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

St Aidan's Home For Boys, Tynemouth

Photograph of St Aidan's Home For Boys, Tynemouth

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St Aidan's Home For Boys, Tynemouth

Tynemouth, Northumberland

(1906 - 1948)

St Aidan's was opened in 1906 to replace the boys' home in nearby Whitley, which had been running since 1901. The Whitley Home had originally been intended only as temporary residence, but St Aidan's took several years to build.

Even though a site was bought in 1902, construction only started on 12 September 1905. On this date, the Duke of Northumberland came to Tynemouth to lay the foundation stone in a special ceremony. The Duke also assisted the Home financlally by selling the land, valued at £1,200, to the Society and also made a donation of £600. The Society provided the remaining £600 for the land whilst the Diocese had already collected £1,908 2s 6d for building the Home. The building was completed quickly, and the first intake of boys arrived towards the end of 1906. St Aidan's Home was formally opened on 10 January 1907, with a dedication ceremony conducted by Archdeacon Henderson.

At first St Aidan's could accomodate 25 boys, aged 7-10. High demand for places meant that the house was quickly expanded, and by 1908 St Aidan's could accomodate 36 children. The age range was also increased, and in 1913 St Aidan's started admitting boys up to the age of 15. The children were looked after by their Master and Matron, Mr and Mrs Tullip, who worked at the Home during these early years. Under their supervision the boys were trained in various trades, and the whole top floor of the building was used as a workshop. Mrs Tullip also gave the boys music lessons, and they took part in a Concert at Corbridge in October 1907.

St Aidan's was ideally located for holidays on the East Coast and in 1913 they went to Whitley Bay Scout camp, where they slept under big marquees and took part in a football tournament with children from other Society homes. They also visited the zoo, where according to one boy they saw 'tigers, snakes, monkeys, polar bears, and a sheep with five legs and six feet.'

The Home carried on running for many years. During the Second World War the boys were evacuated further inland to Fallowfield (1940-1945). St Aidan's closed as a boy's home in 1948, and the Home was reopened as a babies' nursery.

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