Avon County Council Homes
The county of Avon was created in 1974 as part of a reorganisation of local government in England and Wales. The new county took in the cities of Bristol and Bath, together with parts of Gloucestershire and Somerset. The new Avon Council took over the operation of social services in the county, including several children's homes previously run by the Bristol City Council.
Avon was abolished in 1996 and was split into four new unitary authority areas: Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire.
Composite list of children's establishments run (at some time in their history) by Avon County Council.
- Family Group Home, Badocks, 97 Lacey Road, Stockwood, Bristol§
- Family Group Home, Baytrym, 16 Harmer Close, Henbury, Bristol§
- Residential Nursery, Begbrook House, Sterncourt Road, Frenchay, Bristol
- Family Group Home, Birchavon, 36 Rochester Road, Bristol§
- Hostel for Girls, Branksome, 148 Redbourne Road, Westbury on Trym, Bristol§
- Family Group Home, Brookside, 47 Westbrook Road, Brislington, Bristol§
- Family Group Home, Broome House, Witch Hazel Road, Hartcliffe, Bristol§
- Family Group Home, Channel View, 21A Barrowmead Drive, Lawrence Weston, Bristol§
- Family Group Home, Cornercroft, 80 Standfast Road, Henbury, Bristol§
- Family Group Home, Douzaine, 5 Leyland Walk, Withywood, Bristol§
- Family Group Home, Dunvista, 89 Tarnock Avenue, Tynings, Bristol§
- Family Group Home, Elca, 5 Grasmere Close, Southmead, Bristol§
- Family Group Home, Fernhill, Saltmarsh Drive, Lawrence Weston, Bristol§
- Family Group Home, Fieldview, 65 Duncombe Lane, Kingswood, Bristol§
- Family Group Home, Florbrow, 1A Landrail Walk, Stapleton, Bristol§
- The Crescent School for Girls, Frenchay Road, Downend, Bristol
- Family Group Home, Half Acre, 23 Vowell Close, Hartcliffe, Bristol§
- Family Group Home, Highwinds, 33 Highridge Green, Highridge, Bristol§
- Family Group Home, Holmdean, 45 Bishopthorpe Road, Westbury on Trym, Bristol§
- Remand Home for Girls and Classifying Centre, Horfield Lodge, Kellaway Avenue, Horfield, Bristol§
- Family Group Home, Mercas, 49 John Wesley Road,St George, Bristol§
- Family Group Home, Ridingleaze, Lawrence Weston, Bristol§
- Family Group Home, Roselea,. 22 Briar Way, Fishponds, Bristol§
- Family Group Home, The Leaze, 23 Romney Avnue, Lockleaze, Bristol§
- Family Group Home, The Meres, Amercombe Walk, Brislington, Bristol§
- Family Group Home, Threeways, 111 Capgrave Crescent,St Anne's, Bristol§
- Uphill, 63A Silbury Road, Ashton, Bristol§
- Reception and Observation Centre, Vinney Green House, Mangotsfield, Bristol§
- Family Group Home, Westdrift, Coldpark Road, Withywood, Bristol§
- Family Group Home, Lyndhurst, 75 Lynton Road, Bedminster
- Residential Nursery, Nore House, 68 Nore Road, Portishead§
§ indicates homes at some time also run by a borough council.
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 Avon Council homes may exist at:
- Bath and North East Somerset Record Office, Guildhall, High Street, Bath BA1 5AW.
Some records relating to council-run homes, for example inspection reports (though not resident lists etc.), are held by The National Archives (TNA). A closure period may apply to these records.
- Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain s Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
- Urquhart, Gloria (2020) Nobody's Child: The True Story of Growing up in a Yorkshire Children's Home
- Cooke, Allan Institutionalized in a Children's Home: Skellow Hall 1950-1963 — a true story of a child and children in a home (2012, Authorhouse)
- Cummings, Les Forgotten: The Heartrending Story of Life in a Children's Home
- Limbrick, Gudrun The Children of the Homes: a century of Erdington Cottage Homes
Except where indicated, this page () © Peter Higginbotham. Contents may not be reproduced without permission.