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

Friars' Home For Girls, Ipswich

No image of this Home exists in the Children's Society Archive. If you have an image of this home please let us know at hlr@childsoc.org.uk.

Friars' Home For Girls, Ipswich

Ipswich, Suffolk

(1886 - 1952)

The Working Girls Home was first established in 1886 and existed for 66 years until 1952 when it was transferred to The Children's Society. The Committee and local supporters continued to act 'on the Society's behalf after the transfer'.

In 1894 the Home received girls aged 12-18 'whose homes may be bad, or whose circumstances render a few years shelter and training desirable.' Residents would be received for 3/6 a week or would cover the costs by 'stay work' in a local factory, and domestically trained girls would contribute to chores around the Home.

When Howard Lodge Free Sheltering Home for Girls was closed in 1896 the committee appealed to Friar's Home to continue their work. It was agreed the Home would keep a room so that any 'stranded' girl could be given a night's shelter. In the morning the girl would be sent to the Cottage Shelter, run by Friars' Home since 1896. The girl's particulars would then be looked at by Friar's Home Matron and decisions made as to whether she would be accepted into the Home. The Cottage Shelter was incorporated into Friar's Home in 1898 only to be closed in 1899.

By 1900 most girls would leave the Home to go into domestic service, some would be transferred to other Homes, and the remainder would be returned to friends or family. When a girl had been placed in a situation she was able to return to the Home on free afternoons or when she was between placements.

In 1909 the girls were instructed in Drill class once a week as well as fortnightly Temperance Meetings. Elder girls were invited to attend Bible and Sewing classes at a Committee Member's house. In 1910 it was possible to accommodate 20 girls at the Home, though only 18 permanent cases were admitted to make sure there was always room for old girls who may have needed to come back during holidays or between situations. In 1911 the Home accommodated girls aged 5-15.

In 1912 a fire broke out at a timber yard close to the Home. The fire spread and the Home was severely damaged, and residents were evacuated to Felixstowe for three weeks.

In 1926 the Home moved to a new premises due to the increase in traffic which caused 'noise, dust and smoke, and at the same time a real danger to younger inmates...' The new house on Woodbridge Road was bought at a cost of £1,850 and was opened on 25 November 1926.

At the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 residents and staff were evacuated to Northampton but returned to Ipswich when attacks on the Midland towns became intensive. In 1952 Friar's Home for Girls was taken over by the Society and repairs and alterations were made to modernise the building. The Home came to be known as Friar's House Home for Girls, Ipswich.

The Children's Society UNESCO logo Big
           Lottery Fund logo Wellcome Trust