J.A. Gibbs Memorial Home / Headlands School, Penarth, Glamorgan, Wales

In 1918, the Penarth Hotel on Paget Place, Penarth, was donated to the National Children's Home (NCH) by the Gibbs family in memory of Major J A Gibbs, who had died in the First World War. The J.A. Gibbs Memorial Home was intended to educate and train boys for naval service. The premises could accommodate 120.

J.A. Gibbs Memorial Home, Penarth, c.1920. © Peter Higginbotham

J.A. Gibbs Memorial Home, Penarth, c.2013. © Peter Higginbotham

J.A. Gibbs Memorial Home, Penarth, c.2013. © Peter Higginbotham

J.A. Gibbs Memorial Home, Penarth, c.2013. © Peter Higginbotham

J.A. Gibbs Memorial Home, Penarth, c.2013. © Peter Higginbotham

J.A. Gibbs Memorial Home, Penarth, c.2013. © Peter Higginbotham

In 1936, the home became a Junior Approved School for 'delinquent' boys aged from 10 to 13, placed there by magistrates. Now known as the Headlands School, the establishment housed 83 boys, with the number gradually being reduced to 55 by the 1970s.

Following the abolition of Approved Schools in 1973, the establishment became a Community Home with Education (CHE) under the control of Glamorgan County Council but closed in the early 1980s.

Although the old hotel (now a listed building) has been closed up for many years, other parts of the site have continued to be developed by NCH (now Action for Children). Headlands School now provides support for children aged 8 to 19 with a variety of behavioural, emotional and social difficulties.

Records

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

  • Action For Children (formerly the National Children's Home) can provide access to care records for people who were adopted through the charity or who resided in one of its homes. Currently this service is only available to the individuals concerned and not to the descendents of deceased former residents.

Bibliography

  • Bradfield, William The Life of the Reverend Thomas Bowman Stephenson (1913, Kelly)
  • Curnock, Nehemiah The Story of the Children's Home (C.H. Kelly, 1901)
  • Horner, Francis Shadow and Sun (Epworth Press, 1920)
  • Philpot, Terry Action For Children (Lion, 1994)
  • Walpole, Cecil F. Golden Links (Epworth Press, 1941)

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