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

St Anne's Home For Girls, Ambleside

Photograph of St Anne's Home For Girls, Ambleside

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St Anne's Home For Girls, Ambleside

Nr. St Anne's Church, Ambleside, Westmoreland

(1907 - 1950)

St Anne's was given to the Society by Mrs Charles J Bayley, as a memorial to her late husband, who had been the Vicar of Ambleside for five years. Mrs Bayley also paid for all the furnishings, insisting that they were to be bright. Therefore it was not surprising that it was once jokingly described as 'Sunbeam Cottage'. This picturesque cottage near Lake Windermere, was an inviting sight to the 16 girls, who arrived there in 1907.

The Home officially opened on 2 February 1907, with a dedication ceremony by the Bishop of Carlisle. The age range as listed in our annual reports appears to have been between 2-15 years old. For example the January 1912 edition of The Society's magazine Our Waifs and Strays magazine, documents girls as young as two years old living in the Home.

Two 'tried and trusted workers' for the Society, Miss Livingstone and Miss Joyce started as the first matron and sub-matron. Miss Katherine Benson worked as the Honorary Secretary, though she was replaced in November 1907 by Mrs Fletcher. She did not stay for long either, and Miss Lily Scowcroft became the new Honorary Secretary in 1916.

Our Waifs and Strays makes regular mentions of the 'cosy, homelike' and 'happy' atmosphere at the Home. Some of this spirit is captured in an anecdote from Christmas 1908. In this year, Matron jokingly told the girls that Father Christmas would not arrive that year because, being such a new home, he did not know who they were. This was met with 'many wise shakes of the head' from all the girls, who knew better than to believe one of matron's tall-tales.

This Home closed in 1950.

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