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

Home of St Peter And St Paul, Balham

Photograph of Home of St Peter And St Paul, Balham

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Home of St Peter And St Paul, Balham

Balham, London

(1925 - 1938)

In 1924 building work began to erect the London Receiving Homes of St Peter and St Paul in the grounds of St Winifred's, Clapham Park, Balham, London.

The building was in three sections with a central administration block and two wings. The Home's duplicate wing blocks were used to accommodate new arrivals, and when one block was full it would be closed and the children prepared for the move to their permanent Home. This would involve medical examinations as well as washing of the child's hair and clothes. After residents were dispatched to their new Homes, the second block would open and repeat the cycle. This method allowed each block to be thoroughly clearned and 'made ready for more new-comers'.

By 1928 the building was thought to be suitable as a Babies Home and after alterations the Home received 34 babies as its first residents.

The Babies Home was formally opened in June 1939 by Princes Helena Victoria, the grand daughter of Queen Victoria. The Mary Agnes Rutter Ward was endowed with £5,000 by Mr FW Pascoe Rutter, in memory of his wife.

In 1938 the residents moved to Saints Peter and Paul Home for Babies, Catford.

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