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

Messing Home For Boys

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.

Messing Home For Boys

Nr. Kelvedon, Essex

(1897 - 1915)

The Messing Home, in Essex, was founded by the Revd Deacle in 1897 as a cottage home for eight boys. For the rest of his life, Mr Deacle ran the Home almost single-handedly. He worked as Honorary Secretary and Treasurer, organising all the Home's finances and administration. He also looked after the boys, and gave them training in subjects like printing and gardening. This gave the boys valuable skills, which would help them to find careers as tradesmen or a labourers in later life.

In 1915 a letter appeared in the Society's newsletter Our Waifs and Strays, written by an 'old boy' of the Home who had spent 16 years in Messing. Addressing Mr Deacle, the letter writes 'I am grateful for all you have done for me ever since I was a youngster. You have always appeared to me in the light of a father.' The letter also invited Mr Deacle to the 'old boy's' forthcoming wedding, which will be held 'in Messing Church, which always has so many happy memories'.

The Revd Deacle died in 1915, and the children were moved to other Society homes.

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