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

St Oswald's Home For Girls, Cullercoats

Photograph of St Oswald's Home For Girls, Cullercoats

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St Oswald's Home For Girls, Cullercoats

Mast Lane, Cullercoats, Whitley Bay, Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland

(1891 - 1939)

St Oswald's originated as Netherton Home For Girls when that Home moved to the site of a former local boy's college in Cullercoats in 1892. Mrs Wilberforce, wife of the Bishop of Newcastle, originally opened St Oswald's on 8 December of that year. By 1896 the former college had became too small for the needs of St Oswald's ever-growing family. So the Society arranged for its architect, Mr Peach, to design a new Home on a different site in Cullercoats. The original building was still in existence, and later opened as the Beverley Hotel.

Mrs John Henry Burns laid the new Home's foundation stone on 29 October 1895, and as the building work commenced, the growing new red brick building could easily be seen from the local station. The new St Oswald's was officially dedicated on 11 November 1896 by the Bishop of Newcastle.

On the ground floor were the kitchens, dining room, matrons' sitting rooms, children's playroom, and the workroom. In addition, the prayer room and the little chapel where they had RE lessons every week with the Honorary Chaplain, Revd Canon Hicks. Upstairs there were the large and bright dormitories - each one connected to a matron's room. In addition, convenient bathrooms and toilets were situated on each floor. The local doctor visited regularly without charge and sometimes stayed in the infirmary, treating any sick children. One girl who was there for a very long time became the Home's Assistant Matron, helping Honorary Lady Superintendent Miss Rutherford.

St Oswald's closed in 1939 when the children were evacuated to Natland during the Second World War. After the war the children moved to the Society's Home at Princes Risborough.

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