Ancestry UK

Ever Open Door, Bradford, West Riding of Yorkshire

In 1919, a Barnardo's 'Ever Open Door' was established at Walmer Place, 245 Manningham Lane, Bradford. It was one of the later members of the sixteen or so such establishments to be set up in Britain's provincial towns and cities and followed on from those already opened in Bath, Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Sheffield and Southampton. The Ever Open Door houses, with their slogan 'No Destitute Child Ever Refused Admission', were open twenty-four hours a day and provided short-term shelter for homeless youngsters while consideration was given to their future, which would generally be in a long-term Barnardo home or emigration to Canada.

The Manningham Lane Ever Open Door could accommodate up to fifteen children with the maximum age of admission being 15.

The building was renovated in the mid-1990s and now houses a clinic.

245 Manningham Lane, Bradford. © Peter Higginbotham


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.


  • Barnardo, Syrie Louise, and Marchant, James Memoirs of the Late Dr Barnardo (Hodder & Stoughton, 1907)
  • Batt, J.H. Dr. Barnardo: The Foster-Father of "Nobody's Children" (S.W. Partridge, 1904)
  • Bready, J. Wesley Doctor Barnardo (Allen & Unwin, 1930)
  • Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain's Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
  • Rose, June For the Sake of the Children: Inside Dr. Barnardo's: 120 years of caring for children (Hodder & Stoughton, 1987)
  • Wagner, Gillian Barnardo (Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1979)