Bede Home for Boys, Wakefield, West Riding of Yorkshire

The Bede Home for Boys was established by the Waifs and Strays Society in 1892 at College Grove Road, Wakefield. If was formally opened by Princess Christian on July 18th, 1893, with the Bishop of Wakefield conducting a ceremony of dedication.

Bede Home for Boys, Wakefield, c.1912. © Peter Higginbotham

The home, formerly a private residence, could accommodate 17 boys aged from 7 to 12. The house was enlarged in 1897, increasing its capacity was increased to 22 and also adding a sick-room and a new bathroom. The property had a good garden and a large paddock. An old stable was converted into a playroom for use in bad weather.

Bede Home for Boys, Wakefield, c.1921. © Peter Higginbotham

Bede Home for Boys, Wakefield, c.1929. © Peter Higginbotham

Sawing wood for the winter, Bede Home for Boys, Wakefield, c.1911. © Peter Higginbotham

Swings at Bede Home for Boys, Wakefield, c.1912. © Peter Higginbotham

Amongst the boys' outdoor pursuits, camping was a regular favourite.

Bede Home for Boys at camp, c.1920. © Peter Higginbotham

The boys' playshed contained some basic gymnastic equipment.

Bede Home for Boys, Wakefield, c.1927. © Peter Higginbotham

Matches were arranged between the home's football team and other local sides.

Bede Home for Boys football team, Wakefield, c.1917. © Peter Higginbotham

The home's grounds provided plenty of opportunity to learn about gardening.

Bede Home for Boys, Wakefield, c.1930. © Peter Higginbotham

Bede Home for Boys, Wakefield, c.1931. © Peter Higginbotham

Another extension was added in 1920 and a further wing in 1937 which was opened by the Princess Royal.

The home closed in 1967 and was replaced by the Flynn House Home. The College Grove property has now been converted to residential use.

Former Bede Home for Boys, Wakefield, 2013. © Peter Higginbotham

Former Bede Home for Boys, Wakefield, 2013. © Peter Higginbotham

Former Bede Home for Boys, Wakefield, 2013. © Peter Higginbotham

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.