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Children's Homes


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#1 arthurtowse

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Posted 31 January 2004 - 10:16 PM

[SIZE=7][FONT=Times][COLOR=blue][COLOR=blue][COLOR=blue]At a rather late time of life I am prompted to trace back my early childhood.
Can any one out there please let me have any information on, what used to be a huge, self contained complex, known as the Norwood Children's Homes, then at 32 Elder Road, West Norwood SE 27.
As far as I am able to ascertain the Homes existed until the outbreak of W.W.II.
Many, many years ago I made an attempt to trace a friend from those homes but drew a blank. Whether the Homes were bombed during the war I have no idea but if anyone can aid me in this perhaps I can reciprocate by suppyling info about the homes between 1930 - 1939.
Many thanks indeed.....in anticipation.

#2 walkerpross

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Posted 01 February 2004 - 09:45 AM

My mother and uncle grew up in the home you mention. My mother believes that the home was bombed during World War 2 with the loss of all records. I would be pleased to hear from you if you can tell me more about the home, as you recall it at the time.
My mother's maiden name was Walker, although she was also known as Lane.

#3 Borgus

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Posted 01 February 2004 - 12:13 PM

There is a wealth of information held at the London Metropolitan Archives (see www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/leisure_heritage/libraries_archives_museums_galleries/lma), so they may have something there. As well as records, photographs, maps, etc., there are also books (some long out of print) that give detailed histories and accounts of local areas.

A friend of mine managed to find attendance records and a class photograph relating to his mother from the 1920s.
"It does not require many words to speak the truth." - Chief Joseph

#4 James

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Posted 01 February 2004 - 09:09 PM

These topics may help...
http://www.virtualno...p?showtopic=251
http://www.virtualno...php?showtopic=6
http://www.virtualno...hp?showtopic=59

European.vote - EU Referendum


#5 arthurtowse

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Posted 02 February 2004 - 02:58 PM

WALKERPROSS

Thanks for your email. What can I tell you ?
My earliest recollection of the Homes was at the age of about six months. The Homes was a three section establishment having a nursery/infant block, a girls section and a rather large boys section. The two sex areas were completely separate...very much so! The sections comprised of four huge block (basically housing dormatories with a ground floor 'day room' for wet weather and Xmas and washrooms. All blocks were named after eminent Victorians : Gordon, Livingston, Faraday and someone else, and the girls - Nightingale (which is the only one I knew. The homes were completely self-contained with the exception of education, for that we went out into the big wide world (all quarter of a mile of it!) to Gypsy Road school, perhaps some of the older children went up to Salters Hill school, its name I don't remember.
So the homes had its own church, hospital, laundry, playing fireds etc. If it wasn't for the annual holiday (youngsters to Dymchurch, oldies i.e. 12-14) went to Walton-on-the-Naze)' and the occasional trip to Norwood Park on a Saturday afternoon we never saw the outside world.
Most older boys were siphoned off into the army when old enough, a few perhaps to the navy; girls I assume went their way in life via the domestic service route but as the two sexes never met we remained in ingnorance of what the fu or to where we would be sent.ture had in store.
The organisation was managed by a Superintendant but the running was left to a matron, a Miss Knott, who had all female staff under her.
Each boys block had two or three 'yardmasters' generally retired servicemen, I assume the girls had the same though perhaps in female form!
At christmas we were treated to a half bottle of lemonade (in those days there really were half size bottles) which was the only time we saw or drank it. Once a year we went to an outside cinema and received, as we came out, a brown carrier bag containg a small packet of cream crackers, an orange and I think some sweets. We had, during the winter months after tea on Mondays either a slide show or sometimes an 16mm (?) film....silent of course. It was one such night that we saw the effects of the Crystal Palace as it burnt down on Sydenham Hill.
That's all for now, if you want anything further please let me know.

#6 arthurtowse

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Posted 02 February 2004 - 03:02 PM

Borqus/James.

Many thanks for the info. I'm obliged to you both.

#7 arthurtowse

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Posted 07 February 2004 - 02:17 PM

walkerpross

I've just been browsing through and found your original request. Following on from my last reply to your note :
In 1939 all children in the homes were evacuated to the south coast, I ended up in the village of FINDON, a couple of miles outside Worthing. We were there for about 9 months (maybe less) because it suddenly occurred to the powers that be that perhaps the south coast wasn't the ideal place to put so many hundreds of children so one weekend we were all uprooted (though by then some children, who had be housed with families were adopted) and moved further north. I ended up in Hertfordshire, in the village recently in the news limelight - Furneaux Pelham! The matron of the homes was centered in the village of Braughing, about four miles distant. I feel that this second dispersement was somewhat wider than the first.
I don't suppose this helps very much but it might just fill in a tiny gap. From then on........back to the dark ages!

#8 Steve Palmer

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Posted 08 February 2004 - 10:13 PM

Arthur,
I just wanted to say what a wondeful insight into another life and another time.

#9 arthurtowse

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Posted 09 February 2004 - 08:31 PM

STEVE PALMER.

STEVE.
THANKS. WHAT I'VE WRITTEN WAS THE BEST PART! I CONSOLE MYSELF WITH THE FACT THAT WE PROBABLY DID NOT SUFFER THE POVERTY THAT SO MANY FAMILIES EXPERIENCED AT THE HEIGHT OF THE DEPRESSION.