Emmeline Winstanley Home For Boys, Knutsford, Cheshire
In 1913, the Waifs and Strays Society home took over the former Grammar School premises on the Northwich Road at The Heath, Knutsford. The property, which could accommodate 50 boys aged from 7 to 14, was given by Mr Claude Hardy, who also offered an annual donation of £5 per boy at the home. At Mr Hardy's request, the home was named after Emmeline Winstanley, but her identity is not known.
The location of the home is shown on the 1909 map below, when the property was still occupied by a local Grammar School.
Morris dancing was a pastime in which boys at the home were very active.
The photograph below was kindly contributed by former inmate, Graham Thompson. Taken on Knutsford Heath, immediately opposite the home, it features himself and one of his older brothers who was also a resident.
Another picture from Graham shows him and two of his brothers, again on Knutsford Heath.
The home closed in 1956. The property was later occupied by infants' department of St Vincent's Roman Catholic Primary School and was known as Winstanley House. The school moved to a new site in 1967. A new building, which retained the name Winstanley House, was erected on the site in 1975, containing sheltered housing accommodation.
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.