Emigration Home for Girls, Peckham, London

The Peckham Emigration Home for Girls was opened by the Waifs and Strays Society in 1897 at the Avenue (renamed Rosewell Avenue in about 1912), off the High Street in Peckham. The property, also known as Avenue House, had previously been owned by Miss Maria Rye. Since 1869, Miss Rye had been organising the emigration of parties of orphaned and destitute children to Canada on behalf of organisations such as the Waifs and Strays Society. At her retirement in 1895, Miss Rye handed over the home, together her Canadian base at Niagara-on-the-Lake, to the Society who continued her work.

Emigration Home for Girls, Peckham, c.1901. © Peter Higginbotham

Emigration Home for Girls, Peckham, c.1901. © Peter Higginbotham

Girls at the Peckham Emigration Home, 1890s. © Peter Higginbotham

In the Society's hands, the Peckham house continued in its role of preparing girls for emigration to Canada. The home could accommodate 47 girls aged from 6 to 14 years. Illustrated below are the first stages of a group's journey from Peckham to Niagara.

Leaving the Emigration Home, Peckham, 1901. © Peter Higginbotham

From the Peckham Emigration Home to Euston, 1901. © Peter Higginbotham

Girls from the Peckham Emigration Home travel from Euston to Liverpool, 1901. © Peter Higginbotham

In 1914, the poor state of the building and the constant traffic passing its door led to the home being transferred to what became the St Mary's Home for Girls at Cheam.

After some refurbishment, the Peckham premises re-opened as the Peckham Receiving Home for Boys.

The property no longer exists.

Records

Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals.

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.