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

St Lawrence's Home For Girls, Worcester

Photograph of St Lawrence's Home For Girls, Worcester

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St Lawrence's Home For Girls, Worcester

Bath Road, Worcester, Worcestershire

(1903 - 1951)

St Lawrence's was founded by Lady Alice Nelson in the early 1880s. For the subsequent 25 years, the Home was run as an independent children's home with Lady Nelson looking after 20 girls (aged 8-14). Upon her retirement in 1903, the Home was transferred to the Waifs and Strays' Society. No immediate alterations were made, but after expansion work in 1911 St Lawrence's could house 30 girls (aged 7-16).

In 1906 St Lawrence's Home hosted a three day bazaar, which was officially opened by the Countess of Coventry. The entertainment was provided by an amateur acting group who performed popular plays of the time, including the comedy Pros and Cons which was billed as 'an amusing story of matrimonial troubles'. Such events were a good way of cementing ties with the local community, and involving people with the Society's work. They also helped to raise funds, and the bazaar included plenty of stalls where people could buy refreshments and homemade goods. The bazaar generated over £200 for St Lawrence's Home, which is roughly £13,000 in today's money. The funds were used to refurbish the Home, and new beds were bought for all the girls.

Christmas was one of the busiest times of the year for the Society's homes, with plenty of festivities arranged for the children. The Society's newsletter Our Waifs and Strays printed a letter from one of the girls in St Lawrence's Home, describing the events of Christmas Day 1909. After awaking early to sing carols outside Matron's bedroom door, the girls all opened their presents underneath their Christmas tree. They spent the evening playing games like musical chairs, before saying goodnight with 'a kiss under the mistletoe'.

A playroom was added in 1928 and the building closed temporarily in 1951, later re-opening as a hostel for training nursery nurses.

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