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

Elm Lodge Home For Boys, Seaforth

Photograph of Elm Lodge Home For Boys, Seaforth

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Elm Lodge Home For Boys, Seaforth

Seaforth, nr. Liverpool, Lancashire, and Waterloo, nr. Liverpool, Lancashire

(1893 - 1969)

Elm Lodge, the first Home in the Diocese, was bought by the Society in 1892, after several years of fundraising by the Liverpool Branch of the Waifs and Strays' Society. The building was adapted to suit its new purpose, and the grand opening ceremony was held in March 1893. In front of a large gathered crowd, the Bishop of Liverpool conducted a dedication service - a type of religious ceremony used to open most of the Society's Homes. After the service, the Home was declared open by the Bishop's daughter, Miss Ryle.

Elm Lodge could house 30 boys, aged 7-14. During the first year of the Home's opening, the boys set about creating a new garden for Elm Lodge. They planted hundreds of new shrubs and made a vegetable patch to supply the Home's kitchen with home-grown produce. The garden was also home to the boys' playing shed, which was full of sports equipment and toys for the Summer months.

One of Elm Lodge's founders, Mrs Perhouse, died in 1906. At her funeral service, the boys of the Home 'lined the churchyard path', which according to the Society's magazine Our Waifs and Strays 'was a touching and fitting tribute to one who will always be remembered with most affectionate regard'.

The Society recognised the importance of Christmas to any child's upbringing, and children's homes always tried to make it a time to remember. One 'old boy' from Elm Lodge sent a nostalgic letter to his former Matron, recollecting his Christmases spent in the Home. He wrote of 'memories that are conjured up at Christmas, square tables, liberal supplies of apples, oranges and biscuits, turkey and plum-pudding, and perhaps a threepenny bit!'

Elm Lodge in Seaforth closed in 1931 and the children moved to a home in Waterloo, Liverpool, where Elm Lodge continued to house 30 boys (aged 7-14) before closing in 1969 as part of Liverpool's dockland development.

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