Godfrey Walker Home for Girls / Nursery, York, East Riding of Yorkshire
The Godfrey Walker Home for Girls was opened by the Waifs and Strays Society in 1911 at 4 West Bank Terrace, Acomb Road, York. The house, together with money for its furnishing and maintenance, was donated by Mr Godfrey Walker of Scarborough and Exeter. The home was formally opened on July 27th, 1911, with the Archbishop of York conducting the ceremony of dedication. The home could accommodate 20 girls aged from 5 to 16.
The girls had a regular holiday away in the summer, with Filey being a favourite destination. As seen in the pictures below, dolls and cuddly toys kept their owners company on the visit.
In 1946, the West Bank Terrace property was sold and the home moved a short distance to West Garth at 140 Acomb Road.
In 1947, the home was converted for use as a nursery though retained the Godfrey Walker name. In 1976, the establishment was converted to a Family Home, taking children from the Flynn House Home in Wakefield. The home finally closed in 1982.
The West Bank Terrace property is now a private residence. In recent times, West Garth has been used as a pub/restaurant.
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).
- 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.