St Nicholas' Home / Nursery, Lowestoft, Suffolk
The St Nicholas' Home was opened in 1929 by the Waifs and Strays Society at St Margaret's Road, Lowestoft. It was the successor to the Society's Church House home which had been forced to close in 1915. After its closure, the home's Honorary Secretary had purchased the new site and given the society its free use. However, progress was slow and it was only fourteen years later that the new home, to be known as St Nicholas', was ready. The Bishop of Norwich laid a memorial stone at the home on July 6th, 1929.
Initially the home accommodated 40 boys aged from 4 to 10 years of age. However, in 1931, it was decided that it should instead become a girls' home.
In 1940, following the onset of the Second World War, the residents were evacuated to the St Nicholas' home in Torquay.
The girls never returned to Lowestoft and after the war, the home was re-opened as a residential nursery. In1970, a day nursery was also opened at the site which later became the Lowestoft Children's and Families' Centre.
In 1973, when the Society's St Mary's nursery at Felixstowe closed, its residents were transferred to the St Nicholas' home.
St Nicholas' closed in around 1979. The property has now been converted to residential use.
Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.
- Index of the Society's first 30,000 children's case files ordered by surname.
- Index of the Society's first 30,000 children's case files ordered by date of birth.
- The Children's Society Records and Archive Centre is at Unit 25, Springfield House, 5 Tyssen Street, London E8 2LZ (email: firstname.lastname@example.org). Files for children admitted to its homes after September 1926 were microfilmed in the 1980s and the originals destroyed. Some post-1926 files had already been damaged or destroyed during a flood. The Society's Post-Adoption and Care Service provides access to records, information, advice, birth record counselling, tracing and intermediary service for people who were in care or adopted through the Society.
- The Society has produced detailed catalogues of its records relating to disabled children, and of records relating to the Children's Union (a fundraising body mostly supported from the contributions of children).
- Bowder, Bill Children First: a photo-history of England's children in need (1980, Mowbray)
- Church of England Waifs and Strays' Society [Rudolfe, Edward de Montjoie] The First Forty Years: a chronicle of the Church of England Waifs and Strays' Society 1881-1920 (1922, Church of England Waifs and Strays' Society / S.P.C.K.)
- Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain s Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
- Morris, Lester The Violets Are Mine: Tales of an Unwanted Orphan (2011, Xlibris Corporation) — memoir of a boy growing up in several of the Society's homes (Princes Risborough, Ashdon, Hunstanton, Leicester) in the 1940s and 50s.
- Rudolf, Mildred de Montjoie Everybody's Children: the story of the Church of England Children's Society 1921-1948 (1950, OUP)
- Stroud, John Thirteen Penny Stamps: the story of the Church of England Children's Society (Waifs and Strays) from 1881 to the 1970s (1971, Hodder and Stoughton)
- Hidden Lives Revealed — the story of the children who were in the care of The Children's Society in late Victorian and early 20th Century Britain.
- The Children's Society
Except where indicated, this page () © Peter Higginbotham. Contents may not be reproduced without permission.