Tynemouth 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 Tynemouth Council's Public Assistance Committee took over the Tynemouth Union's scattered homes at Wellington Avenue, Earsdon; Eastfield Avenue, Monkseaton; Queen Alexandra Road West, North Shields; and the receiving home at Military Road, North Shields.
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 responsibility for the running the council's homes. These included a residential nursery at Clevedon Villa, on Clevedon Road, North Shields, opened in 1949.
By 1971, a homes had been opened at 'Seacrest', Rennington Close, North Shields.
Following local government re-organisation in 1974, the running of Tynemouth's children's homes was taken over by the new North Tyneside Borough Council.
Composite list of children's establishments run (at some time in their history) by Tynemouth Council.
- Tynemouth Union / Tynemouth Council Scattered Home, 25-26 Wellington Avenue, Wellfield, Earsdon*
- Tynemouth Union / Tynemouth Council Scattered Home, 2 Eastfield Avenue, Monkseaton*
- Clevedon Villa Nursery, Clevedon Road, North Shields
- Tynemouth Union/Council Scattered Home, Hillcrest, 142 Queen Alexandra Road West, North Shields*
- Tynemouth Union/Council Receiving Home, Holmlands, Military Road, North Shields*
- Seacrest, Rennington Close, North Shields
- Tynemouth Union/Council Scattered Home, Southview, 144 Queen Alexandra Road West, North Shields*
- Northumberland Village Homes Industrial School for Girls, Norham Road, Whitley Bay
- Seacrest, Links Road, Cullercoats, Whitley Bay
* indicates link to pages on www.workhouses.org.uk.
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 Tynemouth Council homes may exist at:
- Tyne & Wear Archives, Discovery Museum, Blandford Square, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4JA.
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.
- Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain s Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
- Urquhart, Gloria (2020) Nobody's Child: The True Story of Growing up in a Yorkshire Children's Home
- Cooke, Allan Institutionalized in a Children's Home: Skellow Hall 1950-1963 — a true story of a child and children in a home (2012, Authorhouse)
- Cummings, Les Forgotten: The Heartrending Story of Life in a Children's Home
- Limbrick, Gudrun The Children of the Homes: a century of Erdington Cottage Homes
Except where indicated, this page () © Peter Higginbotham. Contents may not be reproduced without permission.