Manchester Council Homes

In 1930, the Boards of Guardians, who had administered the poor relief system in England and Wales since 1834, were abolished 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 Manchester Council's Public Assistance Committee took over the Manchester Union's cottage homes at Styal, where over 700 children could be accommodated, and the Dr Rhodes Memorial Home, the former union's reception homes at Cavendish Road, Withington, which housed 134 children. The council also become responsible for the 'mental home' on Partington Lane, Salford, which had originally formed part of the union's Swinton Industrial Schools, and the union's Rose Hill children's convalescent home, Longley Lane, near Northenden. The latter was then used as a residential nursery.

Former Styal Cottage Homes, 2005. © Peter Higginbotham

By 1938, the Rhodes Home had been replaced by the much smaller premises of the Elmfield Receiving Home, at 23 Upper Lloyd Street, Moss Side, Manchester. During the Second World War, the council began placing children in its care in part of the Swinton Mental Home. By 1945, a second receiving home had been opened on Cambrian Street, Beswick.

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. The Committee took over the Styal cottage homes, the Elmfield and Cambrian Street receiving homes, the Rose Hill convalescent home. It also gained responsibility for a number of other children's establishments. These comprised the Brookfield Remand Home for Boys, at Wilmslow Road, Cheadle; the Alder House for Girls, at Burford Road, Whalley Range; and the Mobberley Approved School at Knutsford. At around this date, the council established a hostel for boys at Atherton Old Hall, Old Hall Mill Lane, Leigh.

Outdoor gymnastics at Atherton Old Hall

By 1951, futher new homes had been opened: Lynwood Boys' Home, 11 Holme Road, housed 27 boys, most of whom had been placed by the courts and for whom suitable foster homes could not be found; Broome House Reception and Observation Centre, 779 Wilmslow Road, carried out the assessment of long-stay children aged from 2 to 16 years; Cambrian House, 60 Wood Road, provided short-term care for 25 children; and Oakwood Farm, Styal Road, Styal. The following year, new additions comprised: the Ellerslie Receiving Home, Suffolk Road, Bowdon; Moorfield House Hostel for Girls, 135 Lapwing Lane, Didsbury; Summerhill Hostel for Boys, 60 Palatine Road, Didsbury; Remand Home for Boys, Oakwood Hall, Romiley. In 1955, the Rose Hill nursery was converted for use as a Remand Home for Boys. It was replaced by new premises, known as Royle Green, on an adjacent site at 151 Longley Lane, where 32 under-fives could be accommodated..

Playtime at Cambrian House

The 1948 Act had recommended that where children needed to be in residential care, they should be in 'family group' homes, which ideally accommodated no more than eight children, or twelve at most. In 1953, the council embarked on a programme to build 46 such homes, placed among the new council housing estates being built around the city. By March 1956, there were 27 of homes in operation.Of these, 23 were four-bedroomed houses each accommodating six children, and four were six-bedroomed houses designed to accommodate eight children. The construction programme was finally completed in 1959.

On 1 April 1956, the Styal cottage homes ceased to operate as a large children's home and the seven cottages still in use, with the 43 children accommodated in them, were reorganised and run as seven family groups home. Five of these households subsequently transferred to permanent family group homes, while the other two closed when their housemothers retired. In December 1956, the government reopened the homes as a hostel for Hungarian refugees who came to England in large numbers at the end of 1956. The hostel continued in use until 1959 and the site was then converted for use as the Styal women's prison.

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

Cheshire

Lancashire

  • Hostel for Boys, Atherton Old Hall, Old Hall Mill Lane, Leigh
  • Family Group Home, 1 Croxdale Walk, Victoria Avenue East, Manchester
  • Family Group Home, 101 Plant Hill Road, Manchester
  • Lynnwood, 11 Holme Road, Manchester
  • Family Group Home, 11 Inchcape Drive, Manchester
  • Family Group Home, 12 Enstone Drive, Manchester
  • Family Group Home, 127 Peel Hall Road, Manchester
  • Family Group Home, 13 Charles Craddock Drive, Manchester
  • Family Group Home, 133 Sandyhill Road, Manchester
  • Moorfield House Hostel for Girls, 135 Lapwing Lane, Didsbury, Manchester
  • Family Group Home, 14 Longhurst Road, Manchester
  • Family Group Home, 14 Sledmere Walk, Manchester
  • Glendene, 150 Greenbrow Road, Manchester
  • Family Group Home, 154 Birchfields Road, Manchester
  • Family Group Home, 157 Ashurst Road, Manchester
  • Family Group Home, 2 Broadmoss Drive, Blackley, Manchester
  • Halsbury Children's Home, 20 Halsbury Close, Manchester
  • Family Group Home, 31 Bridgnorth Road, Manchester
  • Family Group Home, 31 Burton Road, Withington, Manchester
  • Family Group Home, 32 Mottershead Road, Manchester
  • Family Group Home, 34 Longhurst Road, Manchester
  • Family Group Home, 37 West View Road, Manchester
  • Sarah Laski Home, 38 St Mary's Hall Road, Manchester
  • Family Group Home, 38 Topfield Road, Manchester
  • Family Group Home, 382 Wythenshawe Road, Manchester
  • Family Group Home, 40 Calve Croft Road, Manchester
  • Family Group Home, 40 Seymour Road, Crumpsall, Manchester
  • Family Group Home, 413 Greenwood Road, Manchester
  • Family Group Home, 43 Brailsford Road, Manchester
  • Family Group Home, 46 Coxton Road, Manchester
  • Family Group Home, 47 Bleak Hey Road, Manchester
  • Family Group Home, 482 Greenwood Road, Manchester
  • Fenham Home (Older Boys), 5 Moorfield Road, West Didsbury, Manchester
  • Family Group Home, 511 Greenwood Road, Manchester
  • Family Group Home, 53 Sandyhill Road, Manchester
  • Family Group Home, 547 Greenwood Road, Manchester
  • Woodlands Long-stay Home, 55 Carlton Road, Manchester
  • Family Group Home, 62 Bradgate Close, Manchester
  • Family Group Home, 62 Searness Road, Manchester
  • Family Group Home, 64 Mottershead Road, Manchester
  • Family Group Home, 7 Beckhamton Close, Manchester
  • Family Group Home, 8 New Park Walk, Manchester
  • Family Group Home, 8 Seaford Walk, Manchester
  • Family Group Home, 8 Windermere Close, Manchester
  • Family Group Home, 9 Maple Walk, Manchester
  • Remand Home / Classifying Centre for Girls, Alder House, 9 Burford Road, Whalley Range, Manchester
  • Observation and Reception Centre, Broome House, 779 Wilmslow Road, Didsbury, Manchester
  • Short-stay Home, Cambrian House, 60 Wood Road, Whalley Range, Manchester
  • Cambrian Street Receiving / Short-stay Home, Cambrian Street, Manchester
  • Rhodes Memorial Home, Cavendish Road, Chorlton cum Hardy, Manchester*
  • Burford Remand and Assessment Centre for Girls, Clarendon Road, Manchester
  • Receiving Home, Elmfield, 23 Upper Lloyd Street, Moss Side, Manchester
  • Family Group Home, Grange Park Road, Manchester
  • Home for Boys, Lynwood, Seymour Road, Didsbury, Manchester
  • Manchester Day Industrial School, Mill Street, Ancoats, Manchester
  • Ophthalmic School / Convalescent Home / Residential Nursery, Rose Hill, Longley Lane, Northenden, Manchester*
  • Remand Home for Boys, Rose Hill, Longley Lane, Northenden, Manchester
  • Residential Nursery, Royle Green, 151 Longley Lane, Northenden, Manchester
  • Home for Younger Severely Disabled, Southfield, 290 Wilbraham Road, Whalley Range, Manchester
  • Hostel for Boys, Summerhill, 60 Palatine Lane, Didsbury, Manchester
  • Hostel for Boys, Summerhill, Didsbury, Manchester
  • Hostel for Girls, Westdene, Kilmington Drive, Manchester
  • Family Group Home, 50 Searness Road, Middleston
  • Family Group Home, 107 Castlerigg Drive, Middleton, Middleton
  • Family Group Home, 128 Rowrah Crescent, Middleton
  • Family Group Home, 145 Lattrigg Crescent, Middleton
  • Family Group Home, 15 Whinfell Drive, Middleton
  • Family Group Home, 16 Asby Close, Middleton
  • Family Group Home, 166 Bowness Road, Middleton
  • Family Group Home, 17 Castlerigg Drive, Middleton, Middleton
  • Family Group Home, 23 Dacre Close, Middleton
  • Family Group Home, 23 Rosthwaite Close, Middleton
  • Family Group Home, 27 Lattrigg Crescent, Middleton
  • Family Group Home, 27 Searness Road, Middleton
  • Family Group Home, 28 Whinfell Drive, Middleton
  • Family Group Home, 3 Fairbank Drive, Middleton
  • Family Group Home, 30 Manesty Close, Middleton
  • Family Group Home, 30 Rowrah Crescent, Middleton
  • Family Group Home, 301 Wood Street, Middleton
  • Family Group Home, 318 Windermere Road, Middleton
  • Family Group Home, 41 Newton Crescent, Middleton
  • Family Group Home, 45 Gatesgarth Road, Middleton
  • Family Group Home, 46 Stainton Drive, Middleton
  • Family Group Home, 7 Threlkeld Road, Middleton
  • Family Group Home, 73 Bowness Road, Middleton
  • Family Group Home, 75 Gatesgarth Road, Middleton
  • Family Group Home, 75 Latrigg Crescent, Middleton
  • Family Group Home, 8 Calder Walk, Middleton, Middleton

* indicates link to pages on www.workhouses.org.uk.

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 Manchester 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