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

Godfrey Walker Home For Girls, York

Photograph of Godfrey Walker Home For Girls, York

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Godfrey Walker Home For Girls, York

4 West Bank Terrace, Acomb Road, York

(1911 - c1946)

The Archbishop of York dedicated the Godfrey Walker Home for Girls at 4, West Bank Terrace, Acomb Road on 27 July 1911. The building was a generous gift from Mrs Godfrey Walker, of Scarborough and Exeter, who also gave money for the furnishings and maintenance. The Honorary Secretary, Miss Colton Fox (amongst others) maintained a beautiful garden and delightful surroundings for the children. This was a pleasant change for the first girls. They were more accustomed to the slums of South London.

On Wednesday 11 June 1913 the Home held its first Pound Day. No fewer than 376 lbs. of provisions were received. Besides over 32 yards of material, they received 'twenty-one brushes of various kinds', a good number of garments and stockings as well as £6 16s and 1d (which would buy you about £400 worth of goods today). In the afternoon the 20 girls, who were aged 7-16, gave a performance of Cinderella, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

The children attended St Paul's School and each of the girls were a model of behaviour. The headmistress even commented that 'they were a pleasure to teach'.

In the Summer of 1917 many of the girls went away on holiday and so Matron decided to have a spring-clean. Aprons and bonnets were donned, and the remaining girls and Matron marched up to the top of the Home and thoroughly cleaned it all the way to the bottom. They painted the walls a pale shade of blue and Matron taught the girls how to apply it properly. All the girls were really proud of the job they had done as they considered it as real War work.

The building was sold in 1946 and the Home moved to West Garth, 140 Acomb Road, York. It became a nursery in 1947 (also named after Godfrey Walker) and then a family home in 1976, before finally closing in 1982.

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