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

St Aidan's Home For Boys, Whitley

Photograph of St Aidan's Home For Boys, Whitley

Discover more about this imagelink opens in a new window

St Aidan's Home For Boys, Whitley

Whitley, Northumberland

(1901 - 1906)

St Aidan's was established in 1901, as a temporary home to accommodate 15 boys (aged 7-10). Almost as soon as it opened, the Home received many 'urgent and deserving applications' for places, and it quickly became evident that a larger, permanent boys' home was required in the Newcastle area.

Plans were immediately put into action and a site for the new building was identified. The land, valued at £1,200, was sold to the Society by the Duke of Northumberland, who 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. A building committee with Revd Edward Smith as Chairman was formed and the purchase of the land was completed in 1904. Construction work started in 1905, when the Duke laid the foundation stone in a special ceremony.

Unfortunately we know very little about life in St Aidan's during this period, because reports of the time tend to focus solely on the progress of the new building. Life in the Home would also have been preoccupied by the building project, and special fundraising days would have been organised. When Society homes needed to raise money, they often involved the children in their efforts with events like Pound Days and Sale of Work Days. The boys' of St Aidan's Home would have helped out, by looking after stalls and selling their homemade goods. The children also became involved more directly with the work of the building committee. After one committee meeting, the boys provided the entertainment by performing a well-rehearsed physical drill.

The boys moved to their new Tynemouth Home in 1906.

The Children's Society UNESCO logo Big
           Lottery Fund logo Wellcome Trust