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

Belbroughton Home For Girls

No image of this Home exists in the Children's Society Archive. If you have an image of this home please let us know at hlr@childsoc.org.uk.

Belbroughton Home For Girls

Belbroughton, Stourbridge, Worcestershire

(1889 - 1910)

Given the success of the Worcestershire boys' home (Hanley Castle), the Society decided that there should also be a home for girls in the same area. Belbroughton Home for Girls was opened on 31 October 1889 by Viscountess Cobham, as the 31st home of the Waifs and Strays' Society.

The building was situated next to the parish church and was capable of accommodating only 14 girls (aged 4-14). Lack of space proved to be a problem and the neighbouring house was leased in 1891, using money from the Worcester County Fund. This extended the size of the Home to accommodate another 10 girls. Nevertheless the intake was slow and the Home had only reached its capacity of 24 girls by 1907.

Managing the Home was a tough job for the Matron, Miss Emily Smith, who being straight out of College was new to this type of work. She was assisted in her work by the Home's Honorary Secretary, Viscountess Cobham, and Miss Constance Wylde who worked as the Home's Lady Superintendent. Miss Wylde resigned in 1898 and the post was filled by Miss Douglas. She was replaced sometime shortly before 1908, as we know that Miss AE Rowland was working as the Superintendent in that year.

In 1908 Miss Rowland set about organising a holiday for the girls. Special fundraising events were held at the Home including a Sale of Work Day, and two dramatic productions (Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella). Once sufficient money had been raised, she wrote a letter to the Society's magazine Our Waifs and Strays asking its readers to recommend holiday cottages on the Welsh coast which would be suitable for the girls.

After 1903 the Home was formally known as All Saints' Home for Girls. In these later years, plans were made to move to new premises and the girls were eventually transferred to Clent in 1910.

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