St Lawrence's Home for Girls, Worcester, Worcestershire

The St Lawrence's Home for Girls was founded in 1890 by Lady Alice Nelson. It provided accommodation for up to 16 girls aged from 8 to 12 who had been 'ruined or addicted to impure habits'. A payment of five shillings a week was required for each girl. The girls were trained in needlework and dress-making.

When Lady Nelson retired from her active involvement with the home in 1903, it was taken over by the Waifs and Strays Society who initially continued to run it along its existing lines. Before too long, however, it became an ordinary Society branch home.

St Lawrence's Home for Girls, Worcester, c.1908. © Peter Higginbotham

Building work at the property in 1911 increased its capacity to 30 girls aged 7 from 16. A playroom was added in 1928.

At Christmas, the girls prepared a theatrical entertainment — in 1911, it was a piece called The White Garland.

Christmas Entertainment at St Lawrence's Home for Girls, Worcester, 1911. © Peter Higginbotham

Fire escape at St Lawrence's Home for Girls, Worcester, c.1924. © Peter Higginbotham

The home was closed temporarily in 1951 then re-opened as a hostel for student nursery nurses.

The property is now a hotel.

Former St Lawrence's Home for Girls, Worcester, 2012. © 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.