North Riding of Yorkshire County Council Homes

(A full list of children's establishments run by North Riding of Yorkshire County Council is given at the end of this page.)

In 1930, the Boards of Guardians, who had administered the poor relief system in England and Wales since 1834, were abolished and their responsibilities were taken over by county and county borough councils. Each council set up a Public Assistance Committee to oversee its new duties, which included the operation of the various children's establishments previously run by the poor law unions in each area.

The North Riding County Council's Public Assistance Committee took over the work previously carried out by seventeen Poor Law unions, although not all of these had operated their own children's homes. After reviewing the stock of accommodation it had inherited, the council initially kept five homes in use:

LocationPlaces
109 Bolckow Street, Guisborough28
St Leonard's House, Old Malton Gate, Malton22
North End, Northallerton16
18 Hall Garth, Pickering13
Sunnyside, Stepney Road, Scarborough34

The Malton home was closed in March 1934. At around the same time, the Pickering home transferred to part of the former workhouse site at 5 Whitby Road, where 44 children could be accommodated. The Northallerton home closed in around 1937.

By 1943, a residential nursery for 16 children had been opened in the former workhouse at Dale End House, Kirkbymoorside. The Guisborough home was also now in use as a nursery home. Another establishment, the Oak Mount Nursery Home, with 30 places, was opened at Northallerton in 1944.

Dale End House, Kirkbymoorside.. © Peter Higginbotham

By 1947, the Guisborough nursery had relocated to Park Lane and now had 20 places. Three new hostels had also been opened: the Beechgrove Hostel, Malton (22 places); Farmanby House Hostel, Thornton-le-Dale (10); and the Grange Hostel, Strensall (15).

Following the passing of the 1948 Children Act, councils were required to provide care services for all needy children in their area, especially those who lacked a normal family home. In common with other local authorities, the council established a new Children's Committee, whose responsibilities had previously been spread across separate Health, Education and Public Assistance Committees. As well as its existing accommodation, several new homes and nurseries were opened. The establishments for which the Children's Committee was responsible in 1949 is shown in the table below.

Nurseries
LocationPlaces
Oak Mount, Northallerton30
Park Lane, Guisborough20
Dale End House, Kirkbymoorside15
Children's Homes
LocationPlaces
Beechgrove, Malton24
5 Whitby Road, Pickering53
Sunnyside, Scarborough28
Throxenby Hall, Scarborough18
Farmanby House, Thornton-le-Dale10

Throxenby Hall, near Scarborough.

Ten years later, in 1959, the stock of children's accommodation comprised:

Nurseries
LocationPlaces
Eston House Nursery, Eston25
The Close, Brompton, Northallerton30
Children's Homes
LocationPlaces
Cherry Tree House, Grangetown-on-Tees10
Park Lane, Guisborough19
Beechgrove, Malton24
5 Whitby Road, Pickering53
Sunnyside, Scarborough28
Throxenby Hall, Scarborough18
Thorntree House, Thornaby-on-Tees10
Farmanby House, Thornton-le-Dale10

In 1967, the homes at Thornaby, Grangetown and Eston were transferred to the new Teesside Borough Council.

Following the 1948 Children's Act, the recommended practice was for children in residential care to be placed in 'family group' homes, with at most twelve residents in each, though ideally eight. In 1959, only three of the North Riding Council's homes met or came near this target. By 1972, the two residential nurseries had closed, while the number of children's had reduced to six, with still only three of these having fewer than twelve places. The homes in operation 1972 are listed below.

LocationPlaces
Beechgrove, Malton24
Oak Tree House, Richmond10
Sunnyside, Scarborough28
Throxenby Hall, Scarborough18
Willow Tree House, Haxby9
Rose Tree House, Skelton-in-Cleveland10
The Close, Brompton, Northallerton25

Following the local government reorganisation that took place in 1974, the North Riding County Council was replaced by the North Yorkshire County Council. The area covered by the council included much of the northern rural part of the West Riding as well as the city of York and the northern and western fringes of the traditional East Riding. A major change in its children's accommodation resulted, with eight establishments being inherited from York Borough Council and one from the former West Riding Council. North Yorkshire Council's children's premises in 1975 comprised:

Reception Centre, The Close, Brompton, Northallerton
Oak Tree House, Richmond
Burnside House, Carleton Road, Skipton
Ashbank Remand Home, 1 Shipton Road, York
9 Ashford Place, Acomb
103a Danebury Drive, Acomb
Glen Nursery, Clifton, York
249 Kingsway North, York
St Hilda's Garth Reception Centre, Clifton, York
Stockton Hall Approved School, York
The Elms, 160 Hull Road, York

Children's establishments run by North Riding of Yorkshire County Council.

* indicates link to pages on www.workhouses.org.uk.

Records

The involvement of local authorities in the running of children's homes dates from 1930, when they took over the running of the poor relief system previously administered by Boards of Guardians. Surviving records for council-run children's homes may be held in each council's own internal archives. Prior to 1991, however, when a legal requirement was introduced for councils to retain records of children leaving their care, the survival of such records is very variable. Contact details for local authorities in the UK can be found on the website of the Care Leavers Association (CLA). The CLA also provides guidance on accessing childhood care files, which are normally only open to the individuals they relate to.

Locating local authority records has been complicated by the various local government reorganizations that have taken place in recent times, such as the abolition of the London County Council in 1965, and the major nationwide restructuring in 1974 in which many administrative areas were created, amended or eliminated.

Older records may sometimes be placed with the relevant county or borough record office. Many of these repositories have online catalogues of their holdings and also contribute to the National Archives' Discovery database. Note that records containing personal data usually have access closed for a period of fifty years or more.

Older material relating to North Riding of Yorkshire Council homes may exist at:

Some records relating to council-run homes, for example inspection reports, are held by The National Archives (TNA). Again, a closure period may apply to these records.