Glasclune, North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland
In October 1944, a Barnardo's home for girls was opened in a property known as Glasclune on Greenheads Road, North Berwick. The home could accommodate around forty children and was initially used to house girls from the just closed Blairhill evacuation home. At around the same time, an adjacent property on Greenheads Road, Redholme, became a Barnardo's evacuation home for boys. In around 1953, Redholme was closed and the boys moved to Glasclune which was now a mixed home. From 1977, Glasclune was used for the accommodation of children with emotional difficulties.
On the evening of April 19th 1979, the three-storey building was gutted by a fire which began in an unoccupied craft room on the top floor. The blaze, attended at its height by sixty firemen from North Berwick, Haddington and Edinburgh, caused £300,000 worth of damage. Fortunately, none of the seventeen children, who were aged from 5 to 16, was harmed and makeshift accommodation was found for most of them in the home's own annexe and in a neighbouring nursing home. Two Portacabins were also obtained for use as a staff sitting-room and office. The home limped along until finally being closed in 1982, with the burnt-out shell of the main house having being demolished the previous year.
The site was subsequently sold for redevelopment but the home's name lives on in the properties that now stand there — Glasclune Gardens and Glasclune Court.
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.
- Barnardo's 'Making Connections' and Family History Services — for enquiries relating the records of children formerly in the care of Barnardo's and those of other organisations absorbed by them.
- Barnardo, Syrie Louise, and Marchant, James Memoirs of the Late Dr Barnardo (Hodder & Stoughton, 1907)
- Batt, J.H. Dr. Barnardo: The Foster-Father of "Nobody's Children" (S.W. Partridge, 1904)
- Bready, J. Wesley Doctor Barnardo (Allen & Unwin, 1930)
- Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain s Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
- Rose, June For the Sake of the Children: Inside Dr. Barnardo's: 120 years of caring for children (Hodder & Stoughton, 1987)
- Wagner, Gillian Barnardo (Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1979)
- The Barnardo's website.
- The Goldonian Website — memories and information from former Barnardo's children.
Except where indicated, this page () © Peter Higginbotham. Contents may not be reproduced without permission.