Hidden Lives Revealed. A virtual archive - children in care 1881-1981 * Image of handwritten text

Bede Home For Boys, Wakefield

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Bede Home For Boys, Wakefield

College Grove Road, Wakefield, West Riding, Yorkshire

(1893 - 1967)

HRH Princess Christian officially opened the Bede Home for Boys in the Summer of 1893. The Princess had expressed to both the Home's Honorary Secretary and Matron, Miss Walker and Mrs Slater respectively, that she wished the opening to be a private ceremony. However somehow news leaked out, and the local community testified their loyalty to the Royal Family by lining the streets, especially the city centre, and gave her a warm welcome.

The Bede Home was a large old-fashioned house, with a lovely garden and large paddock that the boys could play in. Despite its size it could only accommodate 17 boys until it was enlarged in 1897, making room for five more boys. After the renovation the enlarged dormitory sat above an infirmary and a storeroom. A new bathroom and lavatory were also fitted as well an improved office in the kitchen. The old stable was turned into a playroom for wet weather.

Sunday was the busiest day of the week for the boys. They would get up at the same time in the morning as they did during the week for school. After some household chores were completed, the boys set out for Sunday School at 9am. One hour later it was on to church. This was the Cathedral Church of the diocese. The Cathedral Church's Precentor (a cleric who directs the choral services of a church or cathedral) was also the Home's chaplain. For the remainder of the day the boys were allowed to play in the playground or their new play-shed, built in September 1903. Favourites, amongst the usual games of football and cricket, were wandering in the garden or reading under the trees. After tea they would have a short walk.

A further extension was built in 1920 and a new wing which was officially opened by The Princess Royal was added in 1937.

The Home eventually closed in 1967, and was replaced by Flynn House Home.



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