Rock Ferry Home For Boys, Birkenhead, Cheshire
The Rock Ferry Home For Boys was established by the Waifs and Strays Society in 1890 and had premises at 19 Well Lane, Rock Ferry. The Bishop of Chester performed the official opening on May 28th of that year. In 1891, the home was being superintended by David and Emma Carroway. Also sometimes known as the Cheshire Cottage Home, it could accommodate ten boys from the age of 5.
In 1900, the home moved to new premises at what was then number 22 Highfield Crescent where 10 boys aged from 6 to 10 were accommodated.
Its Merseyside location brought a nautical influence to the home, with nautical attire often being worn by the boys. Some of their number went on to join the Training Ship Indefatigable, the top of whose masts could be seen from the home.
By 1911, the home was operating in larger premises at 12 Derby Place (or Derby Park), Rock Ferry, where 18 boys could be accommodated. The first Matron at Derby Place was Miss Smith, later succeeded by Charlotte Floyd.
The precise location of the Derby Place home is unclear but may be at what is now 706 New Chester Road.
After the lease expired on Derby Place, the home home moved to Dacre House on Bebington Road, Rock Ferry. The home could now house up to forty boys from 5 to 15 years in age.
The home had its own football team, The Dacre House Rovers, that played matched with various local school teams.
The home finally closed in 1976. The Dacre House site is now covered by modern housing.
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 Block A Floor 2, Tower Bridge Business Complex, 100 Clement's Road, London, England SE16 4DG (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.