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

Olive House Home For Girls, Hemel Hempstead

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Olive House Home For Girls, Hemel Hempstead

Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire

(1885 - 1900)

On the outskirts of Hemel Hempstead, and a few minutes walk from nearby fields, stood Olive House Home for Girls. This Certified Industrial School was a 'bright and pleasant place to visit', situated in George Street, with a good playground in the back garden. As a small home the building only housed 16 girls, all less than eight years old. After 1890 the Home starting taking in girls up to the age of 14.

The Matron, Miss Scofield, taught the girls how to read and write, and the Vicar of St Paul's church gave the girls regular sermons. Dr Turner worked as the Home's first Honorary Secretary before being replaced by Colonel Jones during the 1890s. In 1892 the Home suffered 'a most unwelcome guest, who came unsolicited'. Scarlet fever broke out in the Home and lasted seven months. Olive House did not have a proper infirmary, so in 1894 a new sick-room was built to help deal with any further illnesses.

Olive House was too small to deal with increasing numbers of children, and in April 1898 it was proposed that a new home should be found. In July 1899 a building was bought in Shipton-under-Wychwood, which was able to accommodate 30 girls. Olive House Home for Girls closed in 1900, and the girls were transferred to their new home. This became St Michael's Home for Girls.

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