Halliwick School for Girls, Winchmore Hill, London
The Halliwick School for Girls opened by the Waifs and Strays Society in 1927 at 'Halliwick' on Bush Hill Road, Winchmore Hill. The home was originally founded in 1851 by Mrs Caroline Blunt in Marylebone. Because most of its residents had been physically disabled, the establishment had become known as the 'Cripples' Home'. It had moved out to Winchmore Hill in 1911.
The Halliwick School (or 'Cripples' Home for Girls' as it was called at the time) was officially re-opened on October 20th, 1927, with the Bishop of London conducted a ceremony of dedication. The home, which could accommodate 56 girls aged from 8 to 16, was certified as a Special School for the disabled. All the girls attended school until they were 16 and the older ones also learned dressmaking, needlework and embroidery. On leaving the home, the girls were helped to find employment as dressmakers or, in some cases, would be able to maintain themselves working privately at dressmaking.
Outside activities, for those able to participate, included rounders and netball. The girls could also participate in the Girl Guides or Brownies — the Winchmore Guide Company had the distinction of being the movement's first disabled Company.
The home had a large greenhouse where the girls could learn horticultural skills.
At the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, the girls were evacuated to the L.C.C. Residential School at Chipping Ongar (the former Hackney Union Cottage Homes). The following year, the were moved to 'Lavernock' on Halden Road, Torquay.
The Halliwick School re-opened after the war and became known as the Halliwick School for Physically Handicapped Children. A major renovation of the building was carried out in 1950 and a new chapel was opened in 1963. The School became mixed in around 1973.
In the mid-1970s, a new Education Unit was set up to help young people with mental and physical disabilities to learn skills that would allow them to live independently as adults. In 1981, as part of the project, a number of small community houses were built in the Halliwick grounds for students to live in. The scheme was taken over by the Invalid Children's Aid Association in 1984.
Halliwick no longer exists and modern housing now covers the site.
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.
- Index of the Society's first 30,000 children's case files ordered by surname.
- Index of the Society's first 30,000 children's case files ordered by date of birth.
- The Children's Society Records and Archive Centre is at Unit 25, Springfield House, 5 Tyssen Street, London E8 2LZ (email: firstname.lastname@example.org). Files for children admitted to its homes after September 1926 were microfilmed in the 1980s and the originals destroyed. Some post-1926 files had already been damaged or destroyed during a flood. The Society's Post-Adoption and Care Service provides access to records, information, advice, birth record counselling, tracing and intermediary service for people who were in care or adopted through the Society.
- The Society has produced detailed catalogues of its records relating to disabled children, and of records relating to the Children's Union (a fundraising body mostly supported from the contributions of children).
- The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 4DU. Also has a few files relating the home.
- 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.)
- Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain s Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
- 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.
- 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)
- Hidden Lives Revealed — the story of the children who were in the care of The Children's Society in late Victorian and early 20th Century Britain.
- The Children's Society
Except where indicated, this page () © Peter Higginbotham. Contents may not be reproduced without permission.