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

Fareham Home For Girls

Photograph of Fareham Home For Girls

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Fareham Home For Girls

Fareham, Hampshire

(1878 - 1939)

Fareham Home for Girls was in operation for 12 years before it became the Society's first home in the Winchester Diocese in 1884. The Home had been opened in 1878 as the Fareham Industrial Home for Servant Girls by Lady Larcom to train older girls for domestic service. The Home was situated outside the town and had its own playground and garden. There was accommodation for 28 residents and a laundry room where the girls were taught domestic skills. The earnings of the laundry matron and girls covered half the expenses of running the Home, the rest was provided by local subscriptions.

The Home was formally transferred to the Society along with 30 girls (aged 12-16) and continued as an Industrial Training Home with domestic training and in 1889, a third laundry maid and a new needlewoman were appointed. In the same year a mark system was established at the Home and laundry girls received 2d and house girls 1d when they had been awarded seven or more good marks that week.

Prominent figures in the history of this home were the Honorary Secretaries, Mr and Mrs Edgar Goble, and Miss Gittens who replaced them in 1888. She was in turn replaced by Miss Pain in 1909. The post of matron was occupied by Mrs Webb until 1889, who was then replaced by Miss Storie. One of the longest serving members of staff was Miss Letch, who worked as Matron from 1891 until her retirement in 1908.

The Fareham Home moved to a new building in 1907, when the old premises became 'too old for repair'. A photograph of 1907 shows both houses existing side by side, prior to the demolition of the old home for garden space. The new Home was renamed St Edith's Home for Girls and was dedicated on 19 July 1907 by the Bishop of Southampton. However tragedy struck that year when the Fareham Donkey died! For many years, he had helped to carry the girls' laundry as well as performing 'odd jobs' around the Home. Luckily the Home was promptly donated a new donkey as well as a small pony.

The troubles of war forced the Home to close in 1939. The girls were evacuated to Exeter, Paignton and finally to Sampford Peverell.

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