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

St Dorothea's Home For Girls, Bournemouth

Photograph of St Dorothea's Home For Girls, Bournemouth

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St Dorothea's Home For Girls, Bournemouth

Bournemouth, Dorset

(1915 - 1929)

St Dorothea's was opened on 6 July 1915, when Canon Daldy gave a benediction (a type of blessing) to the Home. The audience included the Home's Honorary Secretary Miss Robinson, who had paid for the old building's refurbishment. According to Canon Daldy this had been carried out with a flair for 'artistry and taste'. Also present was St Dorothea's Chaplain GP Trevelyan, who played an active role in the life of the Home.

The children of St Dorothea's were housed in a modern townhouse, which could accommodate 12 girls. We believe that they were all aged six and under, because they are referred to as 'little' girls in our records. They settled quickly into the surrounding area, and in 1916 the home held its first Pound Day which also included entertainment for local people. The young girls performed 'charming action songs and recitations that won laughter and encores.' An account of the day stated that 'it was difficult to say who enjoyed the entertainment most, the small entertainers or the kind grownups.'

At another special occasion in 1923, the girls met the Bishop of London, who was President of the Waifs and Strays' Society. He bought them all tea and asked them about their life in the Home. The visit was a success and 'the baby liked him so much she wanted to go away with him in his motor.'

The lease on St Dorothea's expired in 1926, and all the girls were moved to a new home in Hampstead.

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