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

St Saviour's Home For Girls, Shrewsbury

Photograph of St Saviour's Home For Girls, Shrewsbury

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St Saviour's Home For Girls, Shrewsbury

The Hollies, Sutton Road, Shrewsbury, Shropshire

(1893 - 1941)

St Saviour's Home for Girls was linked to the Society as far back as 1887, when it was simply known as the Children's Home, Shrewsbury. Although an independent home, it was affiliated to the Society. In 1890 the home moved from its previous address at Montague Place and on 31 March 1890 the Bishop of Lichfield officially opened the Home's new building (Belle Vue Gardens) as St Saviour's Home for Girls. The title "St Saviour's" was particularly apt, as the Home was intended "For little girls who have been led into sin, or are unfitted for reception in ordinary Schools or Training Homes". It was not until 1 January 1893 that St Saviour's officially joined the Society.

The 16 girls, who were aged 7-13, would tend to their bright flower garden at the front of the Home under the watchful eye of Miss Butler, their Lady Superintendent. Miss Butler had founded the Home in 1882. After the girls had completed their chores they could play games and skip. Inside the Home, on the left, was the chapel and next to that was the kitchen that led through to the scullery and laundry room. Next to this, the dinning room looked into the kitchen by a window hatch.

On 25 May 1911 the Home's new Play-Shed was opened. It was at the end of the garden and was also used as a schoolroom. The Matron had dressed all the girls up as Japanese maidens, complete with flowers in their hair, to add something extra-special to the day. Previously, the nearby Shrewsbury School had its new hall declared open by the Duke of Teck, with a specially written poem read beforehand. Not wanting to be outdone by the rival school, St Saviour's Secretary read a poem that she had written especially, before declaring it open - although without the Duke of Teck, as the Home felt too embarrassed to invite him to open a mere shed!

The Home fully supported the Society's view that Christmas was a time when no one should feel left out. At St Saviour's the girls gave their dollies a tea party so they could join in the Christmas spirit. It was on New Year's Day and ended their Christmas festivities. The dolls sat around their own little Christmas tree, which was in the middle of the table. After tea they had little presents and they played games until they and their "mummies" were all very tired and went to bed, ending a very happy year.

The Home moved to a new address (The Hollies, Sutton Road) in 1929 and stayed there until it was turned into a "War Nursery" in 1941, when the older girls were dispersed to other Homes. After the Second World War the building became St Saviour's Toddlers Home, a Nursery for infants under five, and it finally closed in 1949.

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