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

Bolton Home For Girls

Photograph of Bolton Home For Girls

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Bolton Home For Girls

Wardleigh, 112/114 Radcliffe Road, Bolton, Lancashire

(1907 - 1954)

The Waifs and Strays' Society opened this home in 1907, after 10 years of fundraising within the Manchester Diocese. Once the required £2,000 had been collected, the Society bought a building on Radcliffe Road, and converted it to house 40 children. It was adapted to cater for girls aged 5-15.

The Bishop of Manchester officially opened the Home on 14 February with a Dedication ceremony, whose large attendance included the Society's founder, Edward Rudolf. He delivered a speech, expressing his hope that 'the Bolton people would take an interest in the children individually, learn to love them and look upon the girls as a sacred trust committed to their care.' Also present was the Revd HJ Adams, who became both the Chairman and the Chaplain of the Home.

Records of the Bolton Home tell us of various notable events, which were organised for the girls. In the summer of 1921, they were taken on holiday to St Anne's-on-Sea - a favourite destination for the homes in the Manchester area. They went to Blackpool Tower's aquarium and visited an enclosure of wild animals where 'four baby lions, a month old, captured their fancy, and the monkeys captured all the nuts.' The Home also enjoyed an 'annual party', and in 1923 this included performances from 'a conjurer, a humourist and an elocutionist.'

During its lifetime, the Home underwent considerable modernisation. Electricity came to the Home in 1923, replacing many of the old-fashioned gas appliances. They were also brought technologically up to date when Mrs Parr of Derbyshire Lane, bought the Home a 'three valve wireless set and loud speaker.' Another development occurred in 1923, when the Home was expanded to accommodate eight more girls.

The Home closed in 1954 and the building was used as a hostel for nurses still in training.

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