Bede Home for Boys, Wakefield, West Riding of Yorkshire
The Bede Home for Boys was established by the Waifs and Strays Society in 1892 at College Grove Road, Wakefield. If was formally opened by Princess Christian on July 18th, 1893, with the Bishop of Wakefield conducting a ceremony of dedication.
The home, formerly a private residence, could accommodate 17 boys aged from 7 to 12. The house was enlarged in 1897, increasing its capacity was increased to 22 and also adding a sick-room and a new bathroom. The property had a good garden and a large paddock. An old stable was converted into a playroom for use in bad weather.
Amongst the boys' outdoor pursuits, camping was a regular favourite.
The boys' playshed contained some basic gymnastic equipment.
Matches were arranged between the home's football team and other local sides.
The home's grounds provided plenty of opportunity to learn about gardening.
Another extension was added in 1920 and a further wing in 1937 which was opened by the Princess Royal.
The home closed in 1967 and was replaced by the Flynn House Home. The College Grove property has now been converted to residential use.
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
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