Ardwyn, Dinas Powis, Glamorgan, Wales
In 1959, the National Children's Home (NCH) opened a general branch at Ardwyn on Pen-y-Turnpike Road, Dinas Powis (or Dinas Powys), Glamorgan. The property was donated to the charity by Mrs L.N. Liley of Dinas Powis. The home originally housed sixteen children of all ages up to sixteen years although the number was gradually reduced over the years, with ten places provided in 1990.
From 1967 to 1990, the home was managed by Sister Eluned Williams — one of the last ever Methodist-ordained 'Sister of the Children'. She laid great emphasis on the home being integrated into the local community and Ardwyn children attended local schools, joined youth clubs, and took part in sports such as swimming, riding and diving lessons. One girl from the home even reached the Welsh national gymnastics team. Children could invite friends back for tea and pay return visits to their houses. The children were able to have pets such guinea pigs, rabbits, hamsters an canaries. The were also communal animals such a dogs and a baby goat.
It wasn't all plain sailing for Sister Eluned, however. There was always somewhat of a local stigma against Ardwyn children and once even an arson attack on the home. New arrivals at the home from London complained bitterly at how dull they found Dinas Powis. There were also occasional problems such teenage girls from Ardwyn trying to get into nightclubs.
In 2013, the property was standing vacant, with proposals being debated for the building of housing in its grounds.
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.
- Action For Children (formerly the National Children's Home). Can provide access to their own records for individuals who were adopted through the charity or who resided in one of its homes. Help also for those searching for family history information.
- Bradfield, William The Life of the Reverend Thomas Bowman Stephenson (1913, Kelly)
- Curnock, Nehemiah The Story of the Children's Home (C.H. Kelly, 1901)
- Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain s Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
- Horner, Francis Shadow and Sun (Epworth Press, 1920)
- Howard, Philip J Philip: a Strange Child (Dalkeith Publishing, 2007)
- Philpot, Terry Action For Children (Lion, 1994)
- Walpole, Cecil F. Golden Links (Epworth Press, 1941)
- Interview with Sister Eluned Williams
- Action For Children.
- Their History — a website on the homes by a former resident.
- Growing up in the NCH — a forum for those who spent time in NCH homes.
- Scenes from various NCH Homes — 1960s film footage.
- NCH Documentary (1954) Part 1 — Arriving at Harpenden.
- NCH Documentary (1954) Part 2 — Harpenden Oval.
- NCH Documentary (1954) Part 3 — Annual Convocation, Alverstoke
- NCH Documentary (1954) Part 4 — Special facilities at Danesford, Chipping Norton, Harpenden and Frodsham.
- NCH Documentary (1954) Part 5 — Founders Day at Princess Alice Orphanage; training at Harpenden.
- NCH Documentary (1954) Part 6 — Harpenden.
- NCH Documentray (1964) Part 1 — Disabled and special needs at Harpenden and Chipping Norton
- NCH Documentary (1964) Part 2 — Disabled and special needs children at Harpenden, Edgworth, Chipping Norton.
- NCH Documentary (1964) Part 3 — Harpenden, Edgworth, Chipping Norton.
- NCH Documentary (1964) Part 4 — Alverstoke.
- NCH Documentary (1964) Part 5 — Alverstoke.
- NCH Documentary (1964) Part 6 — Alverstoke.
- NCH Frodsham (1960s) Part 1
- NCH Frodsham (1960s) Part 2
- NCH Brackley (1960s)
- Danesford School (1960s)
Except where indicated, this page () © Peter Higginbotham. Contents may not be reproduced without permission.