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

Connaught House Home For Girls, Winchester

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Connaught House Home For Girls, Winchester

Romsey Road, Winchester, Hampshire

(1886 - 1930)

Connaught House was established in 1882 as a training college for 27 girls, aged 14-16. They were looked after by their Matron, Miss Atkinson, who worked at the Home until 1889. For the first four years, the Home was run independently and it only became part of the Waifs and Strays' Society in 1886.

The girls were trained in housework and laundry, to give them the necessary skills to follow a career in domestic service. Part of the building was boarded out to elderly ladies, so that the girls could gain first-hand experience as housemaids. The girls would look after the ladies' bedrooms by cleaning their rooms and making the beds. They also cooked for their guests, and waited on their tables at dinnertime. Some of the ladies made Connaught House their permanent residence, living in the Home for many years. After the girls had spent two years receiving this valuable training, they were referred to the Home's committee who would help them find a place as a domestic servant.

On 10 January every year, Connaught House held a prize-giving ceremony to reward the girls for their work. Those who had done well received 10 shillings each, and whoever had worked the hardest was given the top prize of a presentation prayer book. The prizes were all paid for from a special fund, which had been left to the Society by a former domestic servant, Mary Groom. This annual event was usually presided over by the President of the Home's Committee, the Dean of Winchester.

The Home closed in 1930, and the girls were moved to other homes.

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