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

Leicester Home For Boys

Photograph of Leicester Home For Boys

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Leicester Home For Boys

Fern Bank, Avenue Road, Leicester, Leicestershire


Mr T Goodwin Perkins, who was previously the Lay Preacher at St Matthew's Church, Leicester, originally established this Home in March 1888 from two small cottages. He moved to Devonshire shortly afterwards, and could no longer continue his work. The Society took charge of the Home, and its nine resident boys, on 1 July 1889.

This 'cheerful, sunny' home had a small garden, with a greenhouse where the boys could grow vegetables for sale on local markets. They all attended Clarendon Park National School, as well as the Sunday school of St John the Baptist's Church. The Home accommodated boys aged 7-13, who were looked after by their Matron, Miss Miles. Once they reached the age of 13, the boys were sent to the Leicester Working Boys' Home which was based in the same building. These two homes worked in tandem, and could accommodate 21 boys between them.

In 1898 both homes moved to new premises (Stoneygate Grove), which had previously been the residence of Mr Councillor Hicks. This was also located on Avenue Road, so the children did not have to travel too far. Lady Mary Carr Glyn officially opened the new building on 23 September 1898. The Honorary Secretary, Miss Miles, paid for the building to be adapted to make it suitable for the boys. These alterations were very expensive, costing £3,100, a very considerable amount of money at the time. The basement, a former cellar, was turned into a bathroom, boot-room, and boiler-room. Upstairs the former bedrooms were converted into a day-room that overlooked a line of trees. This room included a bookcase that displayed the boys' prizes from school as well as a small library of books. The building was originally a gentleman's home, and there was a very handy hole in the wall of the dining-room that shuttled the food from the kitchen and larder.

In 1948 the residents were transferred to Buckhurst Home in London Road, Leicester, which began admitting girls as well as boys in 1959, and closed in 1972.

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