Hatton Home for Boys, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire

The Hatton Home for Boys was established by the Waifs and Strays Society at Broad Green, Wellingborough. It was located in a Tudor mansion known as Hatton Hall which was donated to the Society, along with the sum of £500 for its refurbishment, by a Mr Harrison. The home was formally opened by Mrs Sotheby on May 14th, 1914, with the Bishop of Leicester conducting a service of dedication.

Former Hatton Home for Boys, Wellingborough, 2013. © Peter Higginbotham

The home could accommodate up to 40 boys aged from 8 to 15, with the initial intake coming from the Society's Islington Technical Home which was then closed.

First inmates of Hatton Home for Boys, Wellingborough, 1913. © Peter Higginbotham

Hatton Home for Boys, Wellingborough, c.1921. © Peter Higginbotham

Hatton Home for Boys, Wellingborough, c.1929. © Peter Higginbotham

The Hatton Home boys were very active in the Boys Scouts and regularly went away for camps.

Scout Inspection at Hatton Home for Boys, Wellingborough, c.1917. © Peter Higginbotham

Camping with Hatton Home for Boys, Wellingborough, c.1923. © Peter Higginbotham

First inmates of Hatton Home for Boys, Wellingborough, 1915. © Peter Higginbotham

Cricket with Hatton Home for Boys, Wellingborough, c.1923. © Peter Higginbotham

An occasional treat for the boys was a visit to the playground and other attractions at Wicksteed Park, near Kettering.

Hatton Home Boys at Wicksteed Park, c.1931. © Peter Higginbotham

The Hatton Home was closed in 1944 and the boys then in residence dispersed to other Society homes. The building then re-opened as a reception centre for children awaiting placement with foster parents. From 1947 to 1951, part of the premises became a staff training college with a boys' home in the remainder. Finally, from 1951 until its final closure in 1958, a boys' home and hostel operated at the site.

Hatton Hall has now been converted to flats for retired people.

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.