Lancashire County Council Homes

The Boards of Guardians, who had administered the poor relief system in England and Wales since 1834, were abolished in 1930 and their responsibilities were taken over by county and county borough councils. Each council set up a Public Assistance Committee to oversee its new duties, which included the operation of the various children's establishments previously run by the poor law unions in each area.

The Lancashire County Council's Public Assistance Committee took over the work previously carried out by around twenty Poor Law authorities. After reviewing the stock of children's accommodation it had inherited, the council initially kept five homes in use. These were at:

LocationPlaces
Quernmore Road, Lancaster (from Lancaster Union)60
Station Road, Kirkham (Fylde)91
Moorlands, Sandown Road, Rawtenstall (Haslingden)43
Bury (Bury)18
Leigh Road, Leigh (Leigh)30

The Bury home had been closed by 1934, however.

Former children's home, Quernmore Road, Lancaster, 2001. © Peter Higginbotham

Following the start of the Second World War, the Rawtenstall and Leigh homes were closed. By 1947, a 30-bed home was in operation at Minster Lodge, Ormskirk.

Following the passing of the 1948 Children Act, councils were required to provide care services for all needy children in their area, especially those who lacked a normal family home. In common with other local authorities, the council established a new Children's Committee, whose responsibilities had previously been spread across separate Health, Education and Public Assistance Committees.

By 1952, new homes had been opened at the Old Vicarage, Bolton-le-Sands; Broad Oak, Sandy Lane, Accrington; 37 Southfield Drive, Westhoughton; Oaklands, Lowton St Marys; Burnthwaite, Lostock, near Bolton; and Bankfield, Ainsworth, near Bolton. Girls' hostels had been opened at 113A Watling Street, Preston, and Neild House, Anson Road, Manchester. At the same date, a boys' hostel was in operation at at Stanifield Road, Farington, near Preston. Residential nurseries had also been established at Rainford Hall, St Helens, and Holly House, Aughton. A reception centre was located at Moorfield, Moorside Road, Swinton. The council now also had responsibility for the Homelea Remand Home at 294 Mosley Common Road, Walkden, near Manchester. The Quernmore Road home at Lancaster was no longer in use.

Further homes were opened during the 1950s, including twenty-four family group homes, each providing around 8 places. The council's children's accommodation in 1959 is listed below.

LocationPlaces
Bankfield, Ainsworth28
Holly House Nursery, Aughton30
The Old Vicarage, Bolton-le-Sands16
Boys' Hostel, Lynnhurst, Stanfield Lane, Farington12
Kirkham Nursery, Moor Street, Kirkham24
Burnthwaite, Old Hall Lane, Lostock24
Neild House, 6 Anson Road, Victoria Park, Manchester11
Minster Lodge, Ruff Lane, Ormskirk21
The Old Vicarage, Whalley Road, Padiham13
Girls' Hostel, 113A Watling Street, Preston12
Reception Centre, Brindle Road, Bamber Bridge, Preston31
Rainford Hall Nursery, Crank, St Helens30
Moorfield Reception Centre, Moorside Road, Swinton26
Homelea Remand Home, 294 Mosley Common Road, Walkden26
Oaklands, Lowton St Marys, Warrington23
24 Hala Grove, Lancaster8
4 Warwick Avenue, Clayton-le-Moors8
14 Blake Gardens, Great Harwood8
89 Aintree Lane, Liverpool8
2 Hudson Road, Maghull8
5 Furness Road, Middleton8
1 Whalley Road, Middleton8
16 Berwyn Avenue, Middleton8
19 Berwyn Avenue, Middleton8
97 Brier Crescent, Nelson8
103 Walton Lane, Nelson8
90 Whittle Street, Walkden8
32 Linden Road, Denton8
76 St Lawrence Road, Denton8
211 Turks Road, Radcliffe8
66 Trafford Drive, Little Hulton8
36 Wordsworth Avenue, Radcliffe8
37 Southfield Drive, Westhoughton8
52 Washacre, Westhoughton8
56 Blundell Road, Widnes8
61 Edinburgh Road, Widnes8

The stock of children's accommodation continued to grow in the 1960s, with the number of family group homes reaching 43 by 1969. Additional homes of all types in operation by 1969 are listed below:

Dyke Nook Lodge, Whalley Road, Accrington
19 Leech Avenue, Ashton-under-Lyne
53 Farm Road, Bold
7 Beech Avenue, Little Lever, Bolton
Rydal House, Chorley Hall Road, Chorley
Children's Nursery, Highfield Road North, Chorley
19 Cotswold Road, Chorley
22 Derwent Avenue, Chorley
2 Thirlmere Road, Chorley
18 Moss Road, Heywood
Princess Street, Hindley
Meadowcroft Approved School, Pope Lane, Hutton
In Service Training Centre, Kirkham
Bowerham Road, Lancaster
Girls' Home, Wensleydale Road, Leigh
Woodfields Children's Home, Leigh
Girls' Home, Cherry Tree Lane, Livesey
Ravenscroft Girls' Remand Home, Liverpool Old Road, Longton
1 Ullswater Way, Goodshaw Chapel, Loveclough
33 Kingsfold Drive, Penwortham
Longridge Children's Home, 2 Barnacre Road, Longridge
2 Springfield Road, Nelson
9 Simister Lane, Prestwich
2 Hazel Grove, Radcliffe
The Willows, 354 Birley Wood, Skelmersdale
21 Tarlswood, Skelmersdale
Belvedere Avenue, Thornton
18 Holme Crescent, Trawden
22 Chestnut Close, Whiston
Pole Lane, Whitefield
67 Edinburgh Road, Widnes
Victoria Road, Platt Bridge, Wigan
Alder Wood, Simpson Road, Worsley

Following the local government reorganisation that took place in 1974, changes took place in the area administered by Lancashire County Council. As part of that process, some children's homes in the region underwent a change in which council managed them, with the county taking over those previously run by borough councils such as Blackburn, Blackpool and Preston. New homes also continued to be opened and some existing establishments closed. The Lancashire County Council's homes in 1975 were:

Dyke Nook Lodge, Whalley Road, Accrington
Holly House, Aughton
Greenfield House, Carr Mill Road, Billinge
Blackburn House, Heys Lane, Blackburn
4 Dunoon Drive, Blackburn
5 Easington Walk, Blackburn
85 Peridot Close, Blackburn
130 Lytham Road, Blackburn
129 Pilmuir Road, Blackburn
134 Shear Brow, Blackburn
594 Whalley New Road, Blackburn
21 Whitby Drive, Blackburn
62 Whitebirk Road, Blackburn
The Grange, Hollowhead Lane, Wilpshire, Blackburn
Argosy Avenue, Blackpool
331 Bispham Road, Blackpool
Clifton Avenue, Marton, Blackpool
6 Dalegarth Close, Blackpool
61 Furness Avenue, Blackpool
Grundy House, Stony Hill Avenue, Blackpool
1 Lostock Gardens, Blackpool
24 Low Moor Road, Blackpool
The Old Vicarage, Bolton-le-Sands
Fern Bank, Burnley
Hargher Clough, Burnley
Sunnyside, Burnley
The Haven, Burnley
Calder House, Highfield Road North, Chorley
Stump Lane, Chorley
Barcroft Street, Colne
Rydal House, Chorley Hall Road, Chorley
22 Derwent Avenue, Chorley
Children's Nursery, Highfield Road North, Chorley
2 Thirlmere Road, Chorley
4 Warwick Avenue, Clayton-le-Moors
Boys' Hostel, Lynnhurst, Stanfield Lane, Farington
14 Blake Gardens, Great Harwood
Meadowcroft Approved School, Pope Lane, Hutton
In Service Training Centre, Kirkham
24 Hala Grove, Lancaster
Bowerham Road, Lancaster
Glendale Close, Leyland
Rainhill, Briars Hey, Mill Lane, Liverpool
Brooklands Girls' Home, Cherry Tree Lane, Livesey
Woodville School, Longridge
Longridge Children's Home, 2 Barnacre Road, Longridge
Ravenscroft Girls' Remand Home, Liverpool Old Road, Longton
Burnthwaite, Old Hall Lane, Lostock
97 Brier Crescent, Nelson
Marsden Hall Road, Nelson
103 Walton Lane, Nelson
Minster Lodge, Ruff Lane, Ormskirk
Quarry Mount, Greetby Hill, Ormskirk
Parish Street, Padiham
Children's Hostel, The Old Vicarage, Whalley Road, Padiham
Highfield, Fryer Close, Kingsfold Drive, Penwortham
The Fylde School, Normross Road, Poulton-le-Fylde
Malvern House, Lacy Avenue, Preston
Burrow Bank, 227 Garstang Road, Fulwood, Preston
Girls' Hostel, 113A Watling Street, Preston
1/5 Carr Street, Preston
Firbank House, 331 Blackpool Road, Preston
61 Grange Avenue, Preston
16 Grange Place, Preston
30 Hazelhurst, Moor Nook, Preston
61 Marl Hill Crescent, Moor Nook, Preston
9 Westby Place, Larches, Preston
Brindle Road, Bamber Bridge, Preston
8 Bacup Road, Rawtenstall
Crestmoor, Haslingden Old Road, Rawtenstall
20 Munro Crescent, Ribbleton
Elm House, 14 Lime Grove, Skelmersdale
21/23 Tarlswood, Skelmersdale
The Willows, 354 Birley Wood, Skelmersdale
St Thomas More, Liverpool Road, Southport
39 Belvedere Road, Thornton
18 Holme Crescent, Trawden
37 Southfield Drive, Westhoughton
52 Washacre, Westhoughton

By 1983, a decline in the number of children being placed in residential care had led to the closure of some establishments including the long-standing home at Minster Lodge, Ormskirk. A rare opening during this period was a family group home at 4 Larches Avenue, Preston.

Composite list of children's establishments run (at some time in their history) by Lancashire County Council.

  • Broad Oak, Sandy Lane, Accrington
  • Dyke Nook Lodge, Whalley Road, Accrington
  • Bankfield, Ainsworth Hall Road, Ainsworth
  • Family Group Home, 89 Aintree Lane, Aintree
  • Family Group Home, 19 Leech Avenue, Ashton-under-Lyne
  • Wood End Remand Home, Everest Road, Atherton
  • Family Group Home, 129 Pilmuir Road, Blackburn§
  • Family Group Home, 130 Lytham Road, Blackburn
  • Family Group Home, 134 Shear Brow, Blackburn
  • Family Group Home, 21 Whitby Drive, Blackburn§
  • Reception Centre, 33 Kingsfold Drive, Penwortham, Blackburn
  • Family Group Home, 4 Dunoon Drive, Blackburn
  • Family Group Home, 5 Easington Walk, Blackburn
  • Family Group Home, 594 Whalley New Road, Blackburn§
  • Family Group Home, 62 Whitebirk Road, Blackburn
  • Family Group Home, 85 Peridot Close, Blackburn
  • Girls' Home, Cherry Tree Lane, Livesey, Blackburn
  • Highfield, Fryer Close, Kingsfold Drive, Penwortham, Blackburn
  • Blackburn House Approved School, Heys Lane, Blackburn
  • Blackburn House Family Group Home, Heys Lane, Blackburn
  • The Grange, Hollowhead Lane, Wilpshire, Blackburn
  • Family Group Home, 1 Lostock Gardens, Blackpool
  • Family Group Home, 24 Low Moor Road, Blackpool
  • Family Group Home, 331 Bispham Road, Blackpool
  • Family Group Home, 6 Dalegarth Close, Blackpool
  • Family Group Home, 61 Furness Avenue, Blackpool
  • Family Group Home, Argosy Avenue, Blackpool
  • Grundy House, Stony Hill Avenue, Blackpool
  • Fylde Farm Reformatory for Boys, Poulton-le-Fylde, Blackpool
  • Family Group Home, 53 Farm Road, Bold
  • Family Group Home, 7 Beech Avenue, Little Lever, Bolton
  • Burnthwaite, Old Hall Lane, Lostock, Bolton
  • The Children's Home, The Old Vicarage, Bolton-le-Sands
  • Family Group Home, Fern Bank, Coal Clough Lane, Burnley
  • Family Group Home, Hargher Clough, Dunoon Street, Burnley
  • Family Group Home, Sunnyside, 318 Colne Road, Burnley
  • Family Group Home, The Haven, Brunshaw Raod, Burnley
  • Poplar House, Moss Hall Road, Heap Bridge, Bury
  • Family Group Home, 19 Cotswold Road, Chorley
  • Family Group Home, 2 Thirlmere Road, Chorley
  • Family Group Home, 22 Derwent Avenue, Chorley
  • Rydal House, Chorley Hall Road, Chorley
  • Calder House Residential Nursery, Highfield Road North, Chorley
  • Stump Lane, Chorley
  • Family Group Home, 4 Warwick Avenue, Clayton-le-Moors
  • Family Group Home, Barcroft Street, Colne
  • Family Group Home, 32 Linden Road, Denton
  • Family Group Home, 76St Lawrence Road, Denton
  • Burrow Bank, 227 Garstang Road, Fulwood
  • Family Group Home, Cragbank, Grange Fell Road, Grange over Sands
  • Family Group Home, 14 Blake Gardens, Great Harwood
  • Haslingden Union / Lancashire Council Cottage Homes, Moorland Cottages, Sandown Road, Haslingden*
  • Family Group Home, 18 Moss Road, Heywood
  • Family Group Home, Princess Street, Hindley
  • Girls' Approved School, Meadowcroft, Pope Lane, Hutton
  • Kirkham Cottage Homes, Moor Lane, Kirkham*
  • In Service Training Centre, Moor Lane, Kirkham
  • Kirkham Residential Nursery, Moor Street, Kirkham
  • Lancaster Union / Lancashire Council Home (Parkside), 2 Quernmore Road, Lancaster*
  • Family Group Home, 234 Bowerham Road, Lancaster
  • Family Group Home, 24 Hala Grove, Lancaster
  • Family Group Home, Bowerham Road, Lancaster
  • Girls' Remand Home, Slynedales, Slyne Road, Lancaster
  • Family Group Home, 9 Westby Place, Larches
  • Girls' Home, 9 Wensleydale Drive, Leigh
  • Children's Home, Chatham Street, Leigh Road, Leigh
  • Woodfield Children's Home, Orchard Lane, Leigh
  • Family Group Home, Glendale Close, Leyland
  • Family Group Home, 66 Trafford Drive, Little Hulton
  • Family Group Home, Newby Drive, Huyton, Liverpool
  • Parkside School for Girls / Poplar Bank House School for Girls, Poplar Bank, Huyton, Liverpool
  • Longridge Children's Home, 2 Barnacre Road, Longridge
  • Longridge Children's Home, Inglewhite Road, Longridge
  • Woodville School, Longridge
  • Family Group Home, 1 Ullswater Way, Goodshaw Chapel, Loveclough
  • Family Group Home, 2 Hudson Road, Maghull
  • Holmlea Remand Home, 294 Mosley Common Road, Boothstown, Walkden, Manchester
  • Worsely Reception Centre (2nd Stage), Alder Wood, Simpson Road, Boothstown, Walkden, Manchester
  • Moorfield Children's Reception Centre, Moorside Road, Swinton, Manchester
  • Neild House, 6 Anson Road, Victoria Park House, Manchester
  • Family Group Home, Clifton Avenue, Marton
  • Family Group Home, 1 Whalley Road, Middleton
  • Family Group Home, 16 Berwyn Avenue, Middleton
  • Family Group Home, 19 Berwyn Avenue, Middleton
  • Family Group Home, 5 Furness Road, Middleton
  • Family Group Home, 103 Walton Lane, Nelson
  • Family Group Home, 2 Springfield Road, Nelson
  • Family Group Home, 97 Brier Crescent, Nelson
  • Family Group Home, Marsden Hall Road, Nelson
  • Liverpool Reformatory Farm School for Boys / Red Bank School, Mill Lane (now Winwick Road), Newton-le-Willows
  • Holly House Residential Nursery, Aughton, Ormskirk
  • Quarry Mount, Greetby Hill, Ormskirk
  • Minster Lodge, Ruff Lane, Ormskirk
  • Family Group Home, Parish Street, Padiham
  • The Children's Home, The Old Vicarage, Whalley Road, Padiham
  • The Fylde School, Normross Road, Poulton-le-Fylde
  • Family Group Home, 1/5 Carr Street, Preston
  • Hostel for Girls, 113A Watling Street Road, Preston
  • Family Group Home, 16 Grange Place, Preston
  • Family Group Home, 30 Hazelhurst, Moor Nook, Preston
  • Firbank House, 331 Blackpool Road, Preston
  • Family Group Home, 4 Larches Avenue, Preston
  • Family Group Home, 61 Grange Avenue, Preston
  • Family Group Home, 61 Marl Hill Crescent, Moor Nook, Preston
  • Children's Reception Centre, Brindle Road, Bamber Bridge, Preston
  • Malvern House, Lacy Avenue, Preston
  • Reception Centre (2nd Stage), Malvern House, Lacey Avenue, Penwortham, Preston
  • Girls' Remand Home, Ravenscroft, Liverpool Old Road, Longton, Preston
  • Lynnhurst Hostel for Boys, Stanifield Lane, Farington, Preston
  • Family Group Home, 9 Simister Lane, Prestwich
  • Family Group Home, 2 Hazel Grove, Radcliffe
  • Family Group Home, 211 Turks Road, Radcliffe
  • Family Group Home, 36 Wordsworth Avenue, Radcliffe
  • St Joseph's School / Briars Hey Community Home, Mill Lane, Rainhill
  • Family Group Home, 8 Bacup Road, Rawtenstall
  • Crestmoor, Haslingden Old Road, Rawtenstall
  • Family Group Home, 20 Munro Crescent, Ribbleton
  • Girls' Home, Blackshaw Lane, Royton
  • Elm House, 14 Lime Grove, Skelmersdale
  • Family Group Home, 21/23 Tarlswood, Skelmersdale
  • The Willows, 354 Birley Wood, Skelmersdale
  • St Thomas More, Liverpool Road, Southport
  • Birkdale Farm School Reformatory for Roman Catholic Boys, Liverpool Road, Ainsdale, Southport
  • St Mary's Approved School / Blackbrook House Community Home, Blackbrook Road, St Helens
  • Rainford Hall Residential Nursery, Crank, St Helen's
  • Family Group Home, 39 Belvedere Avenue, Thornton
  • Family Group Home, 18 Holme Crescent, Trawden
  • Family Group Home, 90 Whittle Street, Walkden
  • Oaklands, LowtonSt Mary's, Warrington
  • 37 Southfield Drive, Westhoughton
  • Family Group Home, 52 Washacre, Westhoughton
  • Family Group Home, 22 Chestnut Close, Whiston
  • Pilkington House, Mersey Drive, Whitefield
  • Family Group Home, Pole Lane, Whitefield
  • Family Group Home, 56 Blundell Road, Widnes
  • Family Group Home, 61 Edinburgh Road, Widnes
  • Family Group Home, 67 Edinburgh Road, Widnes
  • Family Group Home, Victoria Road, Platt Bridge, Wigan
  • Greenfield House School, Greenfield House, Carr Mill Road, Billinge, Wigan

* indicates link to pages on www.workhouses.org.uk.
§ indicates homes at some time also run by a borough council.

Records

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 Lancashire Council homes may exist at:

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.

Bibliography