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

St Christopher's Home For Boys, Hunstanton

Photograph of St Christopher's Home For Boys, Hunstanton

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St Christopher's Home For Boys, Hunstanton

Victoria Avenue, Hunstanton, Norfolk

(1895 - 1968)

St Christopher's Home for Boys started life in 1895 as a small cottage home called Primrose Cottage, on the Glebe Estate, in Victoria Avenue. Mrs Sharrod, the Home's foster mother, along with a few others, were 'dissatisfied with its smallness' as it could only house 12 lads, so they rallied together to purchase a bigger Home.

Eventually a new Home was built on the High Road from Hunstanton to Sandringham. Mrs Seymour and the Bishop of Thetford (who had also laid the foundation stone for the new St Christopher's in October 1906) opened the new Home on 16 April 1907. This new building could house 30 boys who were aged 7-12. A new wing was also later built for the Home, and opened on 21 July 1907.

In 1924, St Christopher's changed from being a boys' home to a girls' home. The reason for this change seems to be that it had become difficult to find suitable jobs for the boys when they were ready to leave the home. The Society's Executive Committee felt that there would be no such difficulty with girls - Hunstanton was an expanding seaside town, and girls would be able to find work as domestic servants in local families or hotels. Therefore, St Christopher's for Boys closed in September 1924. The premises were shut down for a short while to make necessary alternations, including the addition of a laundry, which would be a vital part of the girls' training in domestic service.

St Christopher's Home for Girls was opened and dedicated by the Bishop of Thetford on 17 February 1925.

In April 1934, St Christopher's changed back to be a boys' home. In the garden, the boys had a Hobbies Shed, and an aviary with Budgerigars. Each Summer, boys from the home took part in the local 'Soap Box Derby.' This was a local go-cart race. Competitors made their own go-carts, and boys from St Christopher's had a reputation as being difficult to beat.

In August 1968, St Christopher's closed and the building was put up for sale. It seems that the Society felt that that the home was in a rather inconvenient, isolated location, especially after the closure of Hunstanton railway station. St Christopher's houseparents, Mr and Mrs L Rivett, and the remaining eight boys, moved to the newly acquired home at Flynn House, Wakefield, Yorkshire.

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