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

Bristol Diocesan Home For Girls

Photograph of Bristol Diocesan Home For Girls

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Bristol Diocesan Home For Girls

Longwell Green, nr. Bristol, Gloucestershire

(1903 - 1930)

This home was opened in 1903 with a service taken by the Archdeacon of Bristol. Over 300 people visited the Home to witness the ceremony, including the Society's founder Edward Rudolf. He delivered a speech, expressing gratitude to all those who had helped to prepare the new Home. Special mention was made of a local gardener, Mr Cochran, who had decorated the Home with plants and flowers for the occasion. Shortly after the opening ceremony, the first intake of 30 girls (aged 7-14) arrived to start their new life.

For the first year the Bristol Home rented its property, which was known as Oldland Hall. This changed in 1904, when Admiral Arden Close bought the building and presented it to the Society as a rent-free gift. His wife had recently passed away, and he wanted the Home to stand as a memorial to her life. From this date, the Home assumed a new name - Admiral and Mrs Arden Close Memorial Home for Girls.

The Bristol Home seems to have become a popular part of the local community, and there were never a shortage of willing donors. In 1905 the Home's Honorary Secretary, Miss Higgins, organised a successful Pound Day at which they received more than 1,000 lbs of donated groceries. As well as helping to keep the kitchen well-stocked, such events were a good way for local people to become involved with the Society's work. One local lady, Miss Pigon, took a particularly keen interest in the Home and she organised special days out for the girls. On 10 June 1908 she invited the children to a garden party at the 'Old Palace', where they were entertained by music from Miss Fyffe's band.

The Home closed in 1930 when the children all moved to a new Society home in Box, Wiltshire. This was also named in memory of Mr and Mrs Arden Close, but later came to be called Sunnyside Nursery.

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