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

St Jude's Home For Girls, Selhurst

Photograph of St Jude's Home For Girls, Selhurst

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St Jude's Home For Girls, Selhurst

49 Dagnall Park, Selhurst, London. SE25

(1904 - 1939)

Although this Home was open for 35 years it is infrequently mentioned in the Society's records. It was a quiet, self-sufficient Home which was content with running itself without much aid from the Society. Originally St Jude's Home for Girls was opened in 1862 as a home for orphans or daughters of very poor parents. In 1904 the Home and its 35 girls (aged 7-16) joined the Waifs and Strays' Society. At first the Home consisted of two buildings in Dagnall Park, which the Society connected together via an open walkway above a central entrance.

All children in the Home's care were given a full education. The Society thought it very important for every child to learn to read and write. At St Jude's, like so many of the other Homes, the younger children went to the local Elementary School while older ones stayed and were trained in household skills. It was not always work though: the Home boasted a garden that covered an acre of ground that the girls could run around in. Playtime was a favourite but when it was too wet to go outside they had to stay in and entertain themselves with their dolls and other toys. At St Jude's each girl was given her own locker that she kept all her personal items in. Here she could keep her dolls safe.

With the outbreak of the Second World War the girls were evacuated to a new St Jude's Home at Southbourne, Bournemouth in 1939. That Home was later closed in 1945, and the girls and staff were dispersed to other Society homes.

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