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

Kensington Training School For Girls

Photograph of Kensington Training School For Girls

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Kensington Training School For Girls

3 Church Street, Kensington, London

(1899 - 1910)

Kensington Training School was established in 1899, in the premises of a small London house located at 3 Church Street, Kensington. The Home accommodated 22 girls aged 10-16.

The girls were trained in domestic duties, such as cooking and laundry. Not only did they take all the Home's laundry, the girls also received custom from local people including St Mary Abbott's Christ Church. Every three months the girls varied their duties to give them experience in all aspects of domestic work. According to the Society's newsletter Our Waifs and Strays 'the most responsible and most to be desired' roles within the Home were cook and maid. The girls were encouraged to take pride in their duties, and even the youngest once exclaimed, 'me want to do work like the big girls'.

During the week the children attended school, and Saturdays were spent mending clothes, under the careful instruction of the Lady Superintendent, Miss Purvis, who worked at the Home until 1908. Each child looked after a small patch of garden that they were allowed to tend in the Summer months. Although gardening was a common practice in the Society's rural homes, it was rare in urban areas, and Kensington Training School was 'unique among London Homes'.

It is unknown why the Home closed in 1910. The girls were temporarily housed in West Norwood before being transferred to other homes.

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