The Home for Little Girls



Home for Little Girls, Royston - unused (early 1900s?)- Robert H Clark's Series No. 139

The book Royston in old picture postcards states that the home was built in 1908 by the National Refuges for Homeless and Destitute Children provides the following caption to the above postcard:

Many of these girls had only recently been admitted to the National Refuges home, as can be seen from their c1ose-eropped heads. This was because the matron shaved the heads of the new inmates and burnt the hair as a precaution against lice. Any found to be infested were treated with daily baths of disinfectant and at first weekly medical examinations were carried out. Mr. Wix, the local inspector, said in his first report on the school within the home: The children are very orderly and delightfully happy and natural. Both divisions are taught with much thought and care and the school has made a promising start in excellent and well-equipped premises, where the children are under the influence of a good school and a happy well-ordered home. At ten the girls were transferred to the National Refuges home at Ealing and were trained for entry to domestic service.

Home for Little Girls, Royston - posted 1916 - Robert H Clark's Series No 505

The book also had a picture of the home with the following commentary:

A society called the National Refuges for Homeless and Destitute Children opened a new home for little girls between the ages of five and ten at the top of the Barkway Road hill in 1908. This splendid site offered a magnificent view over Royston towards the north-west, but the main entrance (seen here) is on the south-east side of the complex. The site in all amounted to five acres. Eighty children were accommodated and the principal staff were a matron and two teachers. Rather later many of the girls who arrived were under the impression that their fathers had been killed during the 1914-1918 Great War - a way of evading the stigma of illegitimacy which no doubt afflicted many of them.

I have noted the following trade directory entries:

Google shows that there are many web pages relating to the National Refuges for Homeless and Destitute Children, and to the Shaftesbury Homes. The web site Shaftesbury Young People includes a brief history of the movement.

If you can add to the information given above tell me.