St Margaret's Home for Girls, Nidd, near Harrogate, West Riding of Yorkshire

The St Margaret's Home for Girls was opened by the Waifs and Strays Society in 1908 at Town Street, Nidd, near Harrogate. It was intended to house children from the nearby industrial city of Bradford. The building, designed by Mr F.H. Hargrave of Harrogate, could accommodate 15 girls aged from 7 to 14. The costs of its construction furnishing were paid for by Viscount Mountgarret.

St Margaret's Home for Girls, Nidd, c.1908. © Peter Higginbotham

The home was formally opened on September 24th, 1908, by the Honourable Piers Butler, with the Bishop of Ripon conducting a ceremony of dedication. It was a rather wet occasion as the following picture indicates.

Opening of St Margaret's Home for Girls, Nidd, 1908. © Peter Higginbotham

St Margaret's Home for Girls, Nidd, c.1909. © Peter Higginbotham

St Margaret's Home for Girls, Nidd, c.1929. © Peter Higginbotham

The girls at St Margaret's were enthusiastic members of the Girl Guides.

St Margaret's Home preparing for Guides, c.1930. © Peter Higginbotham

The girls were expected to contribute towards the home's household chores. For the younger ones, a "dolls' washday" was a useful introduction to the basics of the laundry.

Dolls' washday at St Margaret's Home for Girls, Nidd, c.1930. © Peter Higginbotham

St Margaret's was located about a mile from the local stately home of Ripley Castle. In 1930, the girls from the home took part in a costumed pageant there.

St Margaret's Girls at Ripley Castle, 1930. © Peter Higginbotham

St Margaret's Home for Girls, Nidd, c.1931. © Peter Higginbotham

In 1938, after St Margaret's had been undergone a refurbishment, it received an influx of girls from the Society's Whitehaven home which was being closed. In 1946, as was increasingly the norm, the home became mixed and was thereafter known just as St Margaret's Home.

The home closed in 1956. The property is now in private residential use.

Former St Margaret's Home, Nidd, 2013.

Records

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Bibliography

  • 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.)
  • 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)
  • 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.