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

Mumbles Home For Girls, Swansea

Photograph of Mumbles Home For Girls, Swansea

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Mumbles Home For Girls, Swansea

Mumbles, Swansea, Glamorganshire, South Wales

(1885 - 1902)

Set well away from the road and the lines of holidaymakers, Mumbles Home for Girls offered a fine view and splendid air. The Home was certified under the Industrial Schools Act, which meant that any child under 14 who was found homeless, begging, or housed in unsanitary or disrespectful conditions could be sent there. The Bishop of St David's opened the Home on 1 July 1885, with Miss Fry as the first Honorary Secretary

The Home accommodated up to 25 girls aged 7-15. Unlike in other homes, the girls were only required to wear uniform on special occasions. The Society did not want them to stand out from other children in the town. The gate in front of the main door bore the inscription 'Mumbles Home for Girls', with no mention of the Waifs and Strays' Society. This was because the Society believed that once the children were taken into the Home they were no longer waifs and strays, but became 'objects of love and care'.

Equally loved were the swing and a seesaw that were situated in the playground, which looked out towards the surrounding hills. The ground floor housed the schoolrooms, kitchen, scullery, pantry and bathroom. The first floor held the Matron's (Miss Langley's) sitting room (which was also used for committee meetings) and a sewing room. On the second floor were eight dormitories. The Home held lots of fêtes and bazaars at nearby Oystermouth Castle, which proved very successful.

Miss Fry was replaced as Honorary Secretary in 1892 by Mrs Galscondine. We do not know the reasons for this Home's closure in 1902. The Annual Report for that year only mentions 'various reasons'.

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