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

Victoria Home For Girls, Bolton le Sands

Photograph of Victoria Home For Girls, Bolton le Sands

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Victoria Home For Girls, Bolton le Sands

Carnforth, Lancaster, Lancashire

(1897 - 1920)

Victoria Home was offered to the Waifs and Strays' Society by Mrs Peacock of Hest Bank Lodge, who also donated £120 towards its furnishing. It began life as a children's home in 1897, with 15 girls in the Home's care. They were looked after by an experienced Matron, Miss Garratt.

During these first few months the Home was run on a trial basis, and it was only formally opened the following year. On July 20th 1898 the Revd Canon Beechey held a dedication ceremony to mark the occasion. He gave a speech in which he explained that the Home was named by the 'express permission' of Queen Victoria, in commemoration of her Diamond Jubilee (a reign of 60 years). After the ceremony, tea was served in a marquee in the garden, with music played by a military brass band.

Situated on the edge of Morecambe Bay, Victoria Home provided a healthy contrast to the inner city areas where the children had previously lived. It was hoped they would be 'strengthened by the balmy breezes of the sea.' The girls enjoyed an occasional holiday away from the Home. In 1898 they travelled to Lancaster for the 'Annual Sports'. This trip was paid for by a local fish-dealer, Miss Parkinson, who in a 'gratifying act of self-denial' saved her profits for many months.

Special events within the Home included Pound Days to raise money for the Society, and also the performance of plays by the children. The Society's newsletter Our Waifs and Strays received a letter from a girl within the Home who described the events of Christmas 1909. After opening their presents, all of the girls took part in a play called The Magic Garland. Later in the day, the letter says that 'Matron had her phonograph down, and we danced until bedtime.'

The Home closed in 1920.

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