Their History


The Sisters, Houseparents and Staff
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This page is for the list of the Sisters and Staff at Branches of the NCH.
Most children that were in care at Highfield and other Homes will only have memories of their own Sister or Houseparent. It would be nice to have a list of all those who looked after us in order of flat number.
A few happy thoughts on each Sister would be nice, as the Sisters in many cases devoted their lives to looking after us.

The Sisterhood.
Young ladies wishing to join the training course to gain entry to the Sisterhood were expected to have a good general education.
Satisfactory applicants were then offered trial appointments of at least three months at a branch of the NCH.
If approval was given by the Governor or Sister in charge of a branch, applicants were accepted as candidates for the Sisterhood.

Image 1 The Uniform of Sisters
Indoor Dress: Navy blue dress in plain style. Blouses should have collars that are fastened at the neckline. Stockings should always be worn with the uniform. Shoes should be plain black or navy blue.
Outdoor Dress: Plain blue coat, blue or grey scarf. Hat this should be of the uniform type a uniform storm cap is also available. Gloves should be worn with outdoor uniform these should be grey, navy or white.
By the mid 1960’s many of the Sisters had reverted to ordinary style clothes.
For going to chapel and other special events some of the older traditional Sisters reverted to the original uniform.
On Sundays when the Sisters were dressed in their uniforms we knew that for a couple of hours we had to act like angels, simply looking so official we knew they meant business.

Training at the NCH college followed by a probationary period of up to two years.
If all was satisfactory it would lead to ordination into the Sisterhood.
It was suggested that no-one should undertake training or ordination into the Sisterhood who knows that she is likely to be married or to leave for any other foreseeable reason.

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When the Sister had completed 21 years service in the Sisterhood, a new red badge was presented to the Sister, the 21 years badge were normally inscribed "For faithful service" on the reverse.



Harpenden info.

It is with regret that we have to announce the death of Lawrence Norman. 17.06.19

Funeral at Hastings.16th July 2019


Do you believe that you are called of God to devote yourselves to the work of a Christian Deaconess in the Children's Home?
I do believe myself to be so called.
Having sanctified in your hearts Christ as Lord, are you willing to take up the tasks and responsibilities of this Order?
I am so willing, the Lord being my helper.
Will you give yourselves in all diligence to your high and holy calling, and by prayer and study to seek to do his work in his way?
I will endeavour so to do.
We receive you this day gladly and gratefully into the fellowship of the Sisterhood Order of the Children's Home, and pray that the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit may be with you now, and abide with you always. Amen.

The Bible with the NCH logo that was presented to each Sister at their Ordination.
In 1979, the centenary of the Sisterhood was celebrated, and we can pay tribute to all those, who over this long period of time, have been part of this great movement that has signified a way of life - the life of faith and service.
The closure of the Sisterhood in 1985 was the inevitable consequence of many years of declining membership.
At a special meeting in March 1985, eleven of the remaining eighteen serving sisters finally agreed to its closure, and this sad but historic event was recognised in two services of thanksgiving held at Stephenson Hall, Highbury.

Inside each bible there was an inscription of presentation.
Presented to Sister Joyce Rempey. July 1949 and signed by the Principal John Litten.

The Staff of the NCH

Image 1 NCH Nursery Nurse


Most of the Sisters were know to us by their Christian name prefixed with the word Sister.
Several Sisters at the time of comming into the Home, decided that they might liked to be known by another Christian name, a list of suitable names was provided by the NCH.
A few Sisters used their Surname, this saved confusion if there were two ladies with similar Christian names, I think a few of the older Sisters prefered this style of name.
The Sister that looked after me was Anne Pearl, originally taking on the title Sister Anne, but later to be known to everyone as Sister Pearl. When first at Highfield she took on a girls house, then later moving across to the Boys side at Wakefield House later to become Flat 1.


ES = Entered The Sisterhood

Flat 1. Sister Anne Pearl 1950''s to 1966. ES 1944
Miss Foale (later known as Sister Rosemary) 1966 - 1973.
Training - Miss Gwyneth (Size XX bra - all that a ten year old boy can remember), Miss Brewin.
Flat 2. Sister Maureen.
Lawrence & Nancy Norman then Moved to Morcom Lodge, Mr & Mrs Roger Hazelden (flat 2 now upstairs).
Flat 3. Sister Ella Phillips ES 1955, then Sister Rose Langley ES 1953
Flat 4. Kathleen Bailey
Flat 5. Sister Marjorie Young ES 1945, then Miss Maureen Blackmore.
Flat 6. Sister Marion Markworth until 1974 ES?
Flat 7. Miss Leila Vincent
Flat 8. Sister Margaret Corbin ES 1954, then Sister Muriel Price ES?.
Flat 9. Mrs Turner and Pop
Flat 10. Sister Jessie Thornton ES? and Sister Rose Langley ES 1953, Sister Maureen.
Flat 11. Sister Doreen Cousins until 1969 ES 1961.
Flat 12. Miss Celia Bartholomew
Flat 13. Sister Joan Vivash ES 1949, Daisy and Jones ?
Flat 14. Sister Margaret Carr ES 1956
Flat 15. Sister Ena Woodhurst ES 1943
Flat 16. Sister Violet Smith ES 1948
Flat 17. Sister Ethel Smith ES 1950
Flat 18. Sister Cora Rodda ES 1941, Sister Louise Edwards ES 1964,

Flat 19. Sister Florence Ford ES 1943
Flat 20. Sister Jill East ES 1961,
Rosemead. (Hospital Flat) Mr Herbert Flint. Sister Winifred Staples ES 1930, Miss Bartholomew.
Hospital. Sister Ann Stones ES 1952
Morcom Lodge (Flat 21). Mr & Mrs Jacks, then Mr & Mrs Kersey, then Lawrence & Nancy Norman
Gateways. Mr H C Roycroft., Mr J C Burns.
Woodlands. Now demolished Mr Parker & Mary Parker. (next to the nursery).
Church. Organist and Choir Mistress Sister Gwen.
Ambrose Lane No 51. Mr Ken Phipps, then Mr Harold Killick, then John Baxter.

Welfare Officers Mr Miller, John Mackriell

Miss Mary Armstrong
Sister Avril

Sister Anne (Pearl)
Sister Kathleen Bayley
Sister Eva Brooker
J Colin Burn (Gov)
Fred Bush Sister
Jill East
Mrs Dorothy Firmin
Herbert Flint Sister
Rosemary Foale
Sister Florrie Ford
Denis Hagon
Mrs Elsie Hawkins
Mr and Mrs Roger Hazelden
Sister Frances Hildyard
Harold A Killick
Sister Kathleen London
Mrs Marion Markworth
Sister Olive Matthews
Graeme McLeod
Laurence Norman
Sister Elsie Payne
Dennis Piper
Arthur Pluck
Sister Ella Phillips
Sister Phyllis
Mr and Mrs Graham Ramsey
Sister Gladys Reed
Sister Cora Rodda
H Charles Roycroft (Gov)
Sister Joyce Slade
Sister Ethel Smith
Sister Winifred Staples
Sister Ethel Sully
Sister Jessie Thornton
Mrs Turner
Miss Lila Vincent
Sister Ruth Weaver
Sister Nellie Whiler
Sister Winifred White
Sister Ena Woodhurst

M/s Shannon. Governor's general secretary at the Block

The Original Houses and Sisters

Wakefield House  1&2
Sister Ada Saunders,
Sister Grace Batty,
Margaret Rumney,
Sister Anne Pearl.

Botteley House  3&4
Sister Mabel Cleaver,
Sister Ruth Anderson,
Sister Betty Staines,
Elsie Merry
Sister Ella Phillips
Miss Phillips

Old Girl’s and Boy’s House 5 & 6

Sister Gladys Bayley
Sister Winifred Hankin
Sister Kathleen
Sister Marion Jones (married Wolfgang Markworth - old boy)
Sister Pearl
Miss Sharples
Miss Shouberlay (Swedish)
Miss Kathleen Kirby

Sister Marjorie Young

Clifton House
Sister Vera Chantrell.
Sister May Bridger (Later married Ken Parker)
Miss Vincent, an Australian

Ashcroft House.
Sister Edith Thompson
Mr and Mrs Turner

Deakin House
Sister Nora Owens,
Sister Winifred Hoare,
Sister May Saville.

Barlow House
Sister Florence Abbott.
Sister Winifred Staples (Photo)

Sister Florence Ford
 Miss Millard
Sister Lottie Farmer

Freens House
Sister Elsie Pond,
Sister Lottie Farmer,
Sister Lucy Drake

Sister Ann Ladelle
Sister Pearl (Anne)
Miss Ena Dejong
Sister Ethel Smith
Sister Cora Rodda

Walker House
Sister Nora Smith,
Sister Elizabeth Spooner,
Ena Woodhurst

Mayfield House
F & E Howard

Clare Lodge
R & J Haylor,  

Nurse Heather Kilburn
Sister Ester
Sister Ann


The Block Office
Sidney Guy
Mr J Niven


Mr Ted Shutt - Sons Geoffrey and Martin
Mr Roycroft

Sister Marjorie Lillian Young was a Sister at Harpenden 1943-1967. Notice of death 26 Nov. 2003
Sister Mary West Sister at Alverstoke, Harpenden, Newquay and Painswick 1947-1954. Notice of death 22 Feb 2004

HARPENDEN The Sisters and Staff
Sister Ann.
A very kind Sister that spent many hours cleaning up my cuts, allowing me to go off and find some other method of injuring myself. On the trips to the clinic in her car, I was allowed to turn the indicator switch on the dashboard when she wanted to make a turn. (Philip).

Sister Cora. and I didn't gel. She'd had polio as a child and had quite a pronounced limp. One day, her day off, she'd gone to London, fell and broke her hip. (Ima)

Sister Doreen.

Sister Ethel.

Sister Gwen
Was the Organist and Choir Mistress, it was here that I got a great love for the pipe organ, it was every Sunday after Church service and lunch I would find Sister Gwen practising, I was the only child that she would let in and I would sit on the organ stool beside her. (Geoff)

Sister Jill
Was returned to us whilst Sister Cora was away. Sister Jill had been with us while training and had just qualified. I guess they felt we would be better off with someone we knew. My records show that I became much happier under her care. (Ima)

Sister Louise.
We also had the good fortune to have had Sister Louise care for us whilst she was training. My brother, sister and I were kept together, and on the whole, I think we had a good childhood. (Ima)


Sister Pearl.
The Sister had very good experience of bringing up children, due to her training at two NCH approved schools.
To some her methods may have seemed a little harsh, but they were fair, and most boys who went through her care will have been put on the correct path to a happy life in later years. (Philip)

Miss Rosemary Foale in charge of Flat 1 on the retirement of Sister Pearl, brought a new way of life to our flat in the mid 1960's.
We did enjoy our new freedom, but many missed the life with the previous Sister when it had been had been far more stable and organised. Miss Foale decided to see if she could wear out my slippers on my rear, before I could wear them out with my feet. (Philip).

Please email more names to

THE STAFF AT OTHER BRANCHES (Please email some kind words on the staff).

Three Sisters are presented with 21 Year's Service Badges.
Sister Ena Woodhurst, Sister Florence Ford, Sister Pearl. C.1965
Standing behind the Sisters Mr T. Owen Buck, Mr & Mrs H.C. Roycroft.

Sister Pearl entered the Sisterhood in 1944 at almost 40, many of the other Sisters entered at a younger age, so did not have the appearence of an elderly and kind grandmother.

Sister Pearl picnicking in Scotland when she was in her 80's.
Still happy as ever.
Sister Anne Pearl born 1908, Tottenham, North London.
Started her NCH work as a cook at the Painswick Branch in 1941, and training school in 1942, her training period was at Danesford Branch at Congleton during 1943. With the ordination into the Sisterhood in 1944, and based at Frodsham in 1944, then at Hapenden in 1945, with Seaton in April 1948 and returning back to Harpenden August 1948 and was in Lea House, later to Wakefield House (flat 1), where she contunued as a Sister in the Home until October 1966, (I was the last new boy that she took on and possibly caused her to leave early), for the next two years she still was active in various NCH roles, until her final retiement from the NCH on 20th June 1968.
A few years after retirement she moved down to the west country for the remaining years of her life, until her death in 2002.

Sister Louise taking a picture of the person taking a picture of.....


Oh yes, and someones going to be in trouble for hanging their coat up on a post...

Image 1

Sister Doreen


Flat 11

Sister Winifred - Barlow House
Sister Winifred Staples. Photo c.1953 A photo of Sister Winifred from 1953, who was in charge of Barlow House in the 1940''s.
She was very strict, but fair too. I got on well with her.
She nicknamed me ''Squibbs'', and gave me nice books for my birthdays, as I hadn''t anyone else to get gifts from.

Sister Ruth Weaver on retirement

Sister Ethel Smith on retirement

Had the firmest, safest hand hold I have ever felt.
She called herself 'Tombstone Tessie' because of her very pronounced /shaped teeth.
She gave us a safe place in a dangerous world.
We were not well regarded by many people, making us feel like an ethnic minority, marked by our Home uniforms. Grey in Winter Khaki in summer. Horrible striped tie to let people know who we were.
I remember being bullied into admitting to stealing a cigarette lighter by the head of Roundwood Park School. What a 9 year old wanted with a lighter, I have yet to find out. I do think that we in Ferens House were proud to belong to it and Sister Ethel.
My negative thoughts and experiences at the home were only of bullying by other children, a lack of explanation for our condition and my ever absent Dad. It didn't do a lot for confidence.
We were special to Sister Ethel.

Sister Ethel Smith of Ferens House passed away on the 4th of March 2013


Sister Ena Woodhurst on retirement after 35 years of service.

For a film clip her and the children of Flat 15.

Retirement of Three Sisters
Over the last few years the splendind service these Sisters have given has not been devoted just to the children.
Sister Ruth has been caring for our retired Sisters in Akrill House.
Sister Ethel has been helping younger members of the staff.
Sister Ena has been as Section Superintendent and has advised and helped the cnew and less experienced members of staff, following her retirement Sister Louise will take her place.

Sister Ethel Sully. J
oined Harpenden in 1931 and was ordained in 1933 at Princes Alice Orphanage .
She has served at Painswick, Frodsham, Alverstoke and became Sister in Charge at Southport in 1955
She has completed thirty six years of service.

Sister Frances Hildyard.
Sister Frances came into the Home in 1934, so has given thirty-five years of service.
Her first few months were spent at Penarth and after training she went to Harpenden Where she worked for twenty-six years.
After a brief spell as Sister in Charge at Newquay, Sister Frances moved to St. Ann's where, as she says, she has spent six happy years.

Her many interests have made her a stimulating person to live with and we know that she will find plenty to do in her retirement, not least as she spends a while in Canada during 1969.
For the next few years she remainded active with several NCH projects, however in 1974 after a broken leg that required quite a large amount of attention the help given to the NCH needed to be reduced.
In 1982 there was a trip to Australia when she went to visit a now grown up child who had been in her care at Harpenden many years previously, then going on to visit a Sister who had gone to set up one of the Australian groups.

Summer Reunion 1973
Highbury buzzed with eager anticipation on July 12 when 150 former members of staff met together for an event that has become a 'must'—a summer reunion for former members of staff, particularly those who found it impossible to get to Westminster Reunion in February—and what a cross-section of people came; maintenance men, domestic and office staff, social workers, teachers, residential child care workers and retired superintendents!
Although the invitation said 2 p.m. many were here before lunch and almost everyone by 1.30, greeting old friends and making the most of that extra hour before a word of welcome from the Principal.
It was a particular disappointment that because of holiday commitments Mr. and Mrs. Alan Jacka could not attend, but the presence of Mrs. Eva Seaton, wife of a former Vice-Principal of the Home, gave much pleasure to all who knew her. Many who had served under the Principal-ship of the Rev. John W. Waterhouse were especially pleased to meet Mrs. Esther Waterhouse again and catch up with news of her family.
Some folk had traveled a very long way—from Cornwall, Devon, Yorkshire, Sussex, Wales and Somerset. Mr. and Mrs. Ray Eaglestone had conveniently arranged their holiday so as to be able to break the journey and be with us; Frances and John Gale brought news of Pestalozzi Children's Village in Sussex, where John is Warden. Mr. T. Owen Buck met his former secretary once again as he greeted Mrs. Robert Lowman whom we all remembered as Miss Lilian Earl. Mr. and Mrs. Lowman travelled from Cornwall.
We were amazed to see that Mrs. Harry Wain (Miss Violet Baker who had served the Home at Chief Office possibly longer than anyone present) 'had not changed a bit! Mrs. Jack Fitch (Sister Alice Coates, former Matron of the Sanatorium at Harpenden) had done a good piece of work in booking a coach—thus making it so easy for the Harpenden folk to travel in comfort, and it was especially good to have the Sisters from Akrill with us.
Following a showing of the film 'A Letter from Mum' in the board room, tea was served indoors and on the lawn, and finally the Principal brought a very happy day to a close by conducting a short epilogue in the Staff Chapel at Stephenson Hall. Many people wrote afterwards commenting on the joy of sharing in the short service and of how it brought back memories of their time at Stephenson Hall.

1973 Harpenden Gang at the Highbury Summer Renunion
Standing (from left to right) : Sister Vera Chantrell and Ivy Shirley, Mrs. Jack Fitch (Sister Alice Coates), Miss Ethel Howard of the Printing Department, Mrs. Ray Eaglestone, wife of a former Headmaster at Bramhope, Mrs. Joan Miller-Mead (Sister Joan Mirams, Regional Representative), Sister Ethel Sully and Mrs. Fred Howard, whose husband was head gardener at the Harpenden branch for many years. Sitting: Sisters Agnes Morris, Lottie Farmer and Marie Pope from Akrill House, Harpenden.

1973 Some of the retired Sisters from time to time come and join us in our Sunday morning service, they all felt that there was a need for a new piano to be placed in our Branch Chapel.
Although this was quite an expensive item they were glad to purchase this as a token of their love and affection.
We dedicated the piano at a morning service recently.
From left to fight—Mr. John Ackroyd our organist who does such an excellent job of work for us week by week, both with the Choir and in Sunday services; Sister Grace Pettipher, aged 91 year; Sister Lottie Farmer, aged 80 years; Sister Beatrice Clarke, aged 87 years; Sister Agnes Morris aged 91 years; and Sister Allison Everard, aged 87 years.
COLIN BURN (Governor).

Charles Roycroft (The Governor) with a group of retired Sisters 1975

Sister Eva Brooker

Sister Eva Brooker, of Flat 12, Deakin Up, of Flat 12, Deakin Up
She was Sister in charge of me  (1956-1960) and we corresponded until the late 1990s.


The Times   14 Oct 1976
Man awoke to find he was stabbing his wife

Colin Carpenter, a social worker, while dreaming that he was being chased by a mob of football hooligans, he lashed out in his sleep and awoke to find he was stabbing his wife with a kitchen knife, magistrates at St Albans, Hertfordshire, were told yesterday.
He was cleared of maliciously wounding his wife. Mr Carpenter, who works at the National Children''s Home at Harpenden, Hertfordshire, said he remembered nothing about stabbing his wife, Linda, Mrs Carpenter, who also works at the children''s home, said that on the night of September 13th this year she was awoken by a sensation in her chest, and found her husband kneeling over her shouting: "We are being attacked I will protect you." She continued: " I tried to wake him by kicking him and shouting. I felt another sensation in my chest. When I put the light on, I saw I was covered in blood and there was blood on the bed." A psychiatrist said he had given Mr Carpenter a truth drug, and his story stood up. The bench had ordered Mr Carpenter not to live with his wife until the final hearing.


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The Rev W Hodson Smith, Third Principal 1912 to 1933

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Sister Ada?



Southdowns, Alresford, Hampshire

Eddy J Alsford
W T Beattie
Sister Kathleen Bishop
Sister Kay Bishop ( Can't remember the name of the fourth family house)
Sister Elizabeth Broome
Sister Ada Burbidge (the Cook)
Miss Carter (cleaner?)
Miss Rachel Conley
Sister Ena Davey (Seaton House)
Sister Eileen ?
Sheila Fogarty
Sister Ena Geldard (Seaton House)
Sister Eileen Goddard (Gramercy House)
Sister Jean W Gray
Sister Hilda Hammond
Miss Elsie Holloway
Sister Gladys Ireland
Sister Winifred Margetts (Sunshine House and Mary Yolland House)
Miss Mavis Naylor
Miss Kathleen Salmon
Mr Webb (the Gardener)
Miss Westlake (cleaners?)
Miss Margaret Willard
Mr Yates (the Farmer)
Mary Yolland 

Sister Kathleen ? (Gramercy House) 
Miss Beryl ?(The Land Girl)

Sister Eileen

Sister Mavis Witchard. Sister at Alresford 1949-1979.
Notice of death 4th Dec 2003. Sister Winifred Margetts died 28th March 2006.

Sisters 'Recognized' at Convocation
John W. Waterhouse
Sister Joyce Broughton (Watson House)
Sister Jacqueline Jones (Penarth)
Sister Sheila Fogarty (Alresford)


Stokesmead, Clayhall Road, Alverstoke, Gosport, PO12 2BZ Hampshire

Miss G Abbott
Mrs Abercrombie
Miss Phyllis Allen
Janet Alvis
Sister Margaret Atkinson
Mr W.T.Beattie  - Superintendant
Miss Olive Bell
Mr and Mrs Bellringer
Mrs V Caldwell
Sister Beatrice Clark
Sister Marjorie Clarke
R Brian Coates
Sister Edith Day
Sister Alison Everard
Sister Christine Ewen Miss
Brenda Farman
Sister Helen Fletcher
E S H Fright
Mrs E Garner (possibly first name was Mandy)
Denis C Hagon
Brian Harvey
Mr, Mrs Hewitt (son called john)
W E Higham
Kenneth Hooke
Sister Molly Howard
Sister Mabel Hubbard
W Stan Hughes MBE
Sister Rosemary Jennings
Miss Amanda Johnson
Sister Lilian Joy
Sister Gladys Kennedy
Miss Doreen Macey
William Markham
Mr Mathews
Sister Clara Moss
ister Kathleen Norris
Mrs Annette Paton (Miss Annette Fleury)
Mr Pollard Sister
Marie Pope
Sister Alice Richards
Sister Joyce Robinson
Sister Joyce Slade
Miss M Sleep
Sister Gertrude Stevens
Joan Stidworthy
George.W.Stone - assistant superintendant
Sister Ethel Sully
Mr Temple
Trevor G Thomas
Sister Myra Trace
Mr Mr Alan Tyler  - Housefather
Mr Walker
Sister Muriel Wakefield
Sister Myra Walter
Sister Ruth Warr
Miss Susan Wheatley
Mrs White
Dr Dorothea Wigfield
Miss Elizabeth Winnen
Sister Mavis Witchard
Miss Blanche Wood (Mrs John Litten)
Sister Doreen Young
Sister Hilda
Sister Peggy
Sister Jessie Angus
Miss Mills also worked at the Alverstoke Branch in Hampshire. Apparently, she did a lot of her training there in the baby unit.

Sister Mary .......
Sister Helen (Fletcher?)

Image 1

Sister Ivy Bell -Alverstoke Branch, her sister was Olive Bell, matron of Sunshine House. Ivy passed away in Aug.88'' she was at Chippin Norton before she too transfer to Alverstoke. the year is unknown to me at this time. she became my mum in 1965  Olive now lives in Gosport.


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Ivy Bell

39 Oxford Road, Birkdale, Southport, Lancashire PR8 2EG
Miss Susan Critchley
Mr and Mrs John K Hilton
Mr and Mrs E C Jacks
Miss Ann Vernon

Birmingham Princes Alice

Princes Alice Drive, New Oscott, Sutton Coldfield Warwickshire

Miss Mary Armstrong
Sister Kathleen Bayley
W T Beattie
Sister Kathleen Broomhead
Sister Pamela Carter
Miss Duggan Thomas Durley
Miss Margaret Earl Sister Lilian Everitt
Mr and Mrs E S H Fright
Sister Jean W Gray
Sister Margaret Hobbs
Miss Elsie Holloway
Sister Betty Jasper
Arthur H Lenton MA
William Markham
Sister Olive Matthews
Sister Ruby McVittie
Sister Doreen Moakes
Sister Margaret Moore
Miss Nixon Mr and Mrs Anthony Oliver
Miss Joan Parsons
Brian Parnell
Sylvia Pearson
Sister Jean Phipps
Kenneth E Phipps
Sister Joan Pointon
Sister Doris Pugh
Sister Flora Ruck
Mildred Salt
Sister Dorothy Scarlett
Sister Monica Seward
Sister Kathleen Sharples
Mr and Mrs Gerald T Shaw
Mr and Mrs Stevens
Sister Bronwen Tooth
Sister Edith Winter
Sister Doreen
Sister Joan
Sister Mary
Sister Winifred

Bonner Road London
Bonner Road
Sister Monica Chenhall
Sister Gertrude Crosby
Sister Emma Goodin

Bonner House, 172 Sellywood Road, Bournville, Birmingham B30 1TJ
Miss Olive Bell
Miss Rosemary Chesworth
Mr and Mrs H G Wix
Mr and Mrs G Welton

Evenley Hall, Brackley, Northamptonshire
Michael J Barlow BSc
Mrs John Billington (Sister Marjorie Button)
Sister Mary Brown
Sister Margaret Brownlow
Mr W T Clark
Sister Christine Fox
Sister Roberta Gregory
Mr Alan Meakin
Sister Christine Pearce
Catherine Riley
Sister Mary Stanton
Sister Evelyn Stops
Sister Roberta
Sister Lesley


Hilton Grange, Old Bramhope, Nr Leeds LS16 9HU

Sister Ada
Sister Eunice
Sister Eva
Sister Mary Bennington
Sister Constance Berlin
Miss Hilary Blackbur
Sister Margaret Butters
Sister Gertrude Crosby
Mr Raymond & Mrs Enid Eaglestone
T Falkingham
David Freeman
Sister Nancy Longbottom
Miss Janet Looms
Miss A M Milns Miss Moon
Mr and Mrs Peter Ogle
G Eric Pape BSc
Mr and Mrs Keith Race
Charles Spybey
Mrs Madeline Twigg
Sister Irene Vause
Sister Phyllis Wallace
Sister Carol Webster
Mr and Mrs J Whitehead
Sister Olive Wiseman
Sister Marian Sister Emily

Holmwood, Passage Road, Bristol BS9 3HY
Sister Doreen Boyce
Miss Margaret Cousins
Miss Crane
Sister Jean W Gray
Miss Sylvia Proctor
Mr and Mrs Alec Sidebottom
Peter Tozer
Mr and Mrs Wadey

Image 1 Clarendon,
16 Cyncoed Avenue,
Cyncoed, Cardiff,
Glamorgan CF2 6SU
Sister Millicent Birley
Mrs Ann Lane
Mr and Mrs Laurence Norman
Miss Sylvia Proctor
Sister Margaret Scorey
Sister Helen Warren
Sister Mavis Witchard

Image 1 Sister Margaret Scorey

December 1970 edition of NCH Family News

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Image 1 .

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Sister Ellen Margaret Scorey
Feeding time at Coomb

Ellen Margaret Scorey, who died on 19th July 2006 at the age of 91, touched so many lives, especially children, as she gave herself to a career of service to others.
Margaret was born in 1914 and spent her childhood in Birmingham, was educated at Kings Norton Girls’ Grammar School and was a Sunday School Pupil, then Teacher, at St Andrew’s Methodist Church, Stirchley. St Andrew’s celebrate their 100th Anniversary this year, so my Aunt was involved during its early years.

She worked at Cadbury’s for a short while, then was called to go into the Sisterhood of the National Children’s Home.
Margaret spent many years as a Sister in Residential Homes at Coomb, Farnborough, Nottingham, Oxted and Cardiff.
Cardiff was one of the Homes where she was fondly known as ‘Sister Margaret’; there was a lovely, family atmosphere there; she worked at other Homes too.
I have a letter dated 24th April 1950, from the Queen, who sent her some honey, for the children in the Cardiff Home. I can remember having tremendous fun there, during my childhood, especially making dampers and cheese dreams in the field, hiding in ‘dens’ and one Easter, we had eggs painted with different designs.
Margaret then moved to London to do pioneer work with Family Aid for the National Children’s Home for about 15 years. She left NCH in 1970 because she wanted to work abroad and spent some time working for the Bible Lands Society in the Mary Lovell Home for blind girls, in Bethlehem.
When she returned to England, she worked for the Church of England Children’s Society for a short while.
She retired to Hereford, where she had a lovely house and garden and was very much involved with St John’s and Chandos Street Methodist Churches and a House Group.
In her latter years, she had to move to Ross for further support, but letters and cards continued to pour in from the many people she had touched along the way.
Margaret Scorey (neice)

For Guardian ‘Other Lives’

Chipping Norton
Penhurst, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire OX7 5LN
Miss Mary Armstrong
Miss Anita Bird
Miss Olive Bunn
Mrs N E Compton
Sister Gertrude Crosby
Miss Nora Dando
Miss M Daniels
Miss Margaret Driskell
Sister Dorothy Ford
David Freeman
Sister Eva Groome
Sister Ann Holmes
Sister Laura Harrington
Mr and Mrs W Stanley Hughes MBE
Sister Maureen Jones
Tony Oliver
Sister Judith Ranson
Sister Doreen Salisbury
Sister Dorothy Schofield
Miss Diane Worsley

For a large collection of photographs taken by Sister Laura Harrington, please visit the Children's Photos page.

1965 Sister Laura on retirement with Rev. Waterhouse

Image 1 Coomb, Carmarthenshire
W T Clark
Sister Nora Miller
Sister Margaret Scorey
Sister Violet M Taylor

Danesford School, Congleton, Cheshire CW12 4EZ
Sister Irene Cole
Sister Dorothy Cranham
Ivor Davies
Sister Sheila Doar
Mr E A W Glover
Alexander Helm
W Stan Hughes MBE
Mr Edwin E Pruden
Sister Margaret
Richard Sawbridge
Miss Sheila
Shaw Mrs Lesley Taylor
Rev and Mrs Juan Thompson

Image 1 Danesford School
P.E. Williams, Headmaster 1966

Dinas Powis
Ardwyn, Dinas Powis, Glamorgan CF6 4HG
Christine Collingwood
Veronica Freeman
Miss Pamela Light
Sister Lilian Rogerson
Sister Lily Spivey
Miss Janet Thorne
Sister E Eluned Williams

Sister Eluned Williams MBE Sister Eluned Williams, who managed a National Children's Home at Dinas Powys, visited Buckingham Palace to collect her MBE which she gained for her work at Dinas Powys. In 1990. 
Sister Eluned Williams appeared on This is your life, the programme was transmitted on 21 March 1990.
Eluned Williams Llywydd Y Gymanfa, the President of Methodism in Wales in 2000.
A firm advocate of public transport, she is well used to making the bus and train journey from her rural Welsh home when on Methodist or ecumenical duties. She has served on several ecumenical bodies, including being one of the Presidents of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland in 1999.
Born in Coedpoeth, near Wrexham, in 1935, Welsh was her first language as she was educated in Penygelli, before embarking on a long career with working with children at the NCH for more than three decades, until retiring in 1997, she worked advocating the role of NCH throughout the Methodist Church. Eluned Williams worked with The National Children's Home for forty-four years, and was awarded an MBE for Services to Children in Care. She was the Vice President of the Methodist Conference 2000/2001.


W. E Craddock - Governor
Miss Nancy Bell
Sister Ada Burbridge
Sister Lily (Lillian?) Elliott
Sister Ethel
Sister Edna Green
Sister Maud Ingram
Sister Bertha Thompson
Sister Edna Weeloch

Sister Mary .......
Sister Helen (Fletcher?)
Sister Florence (surname ?).

Alexandra House, Queen's Walk, London W5 1TQ Sister Connie Cooper Miss Brenda Farman Miss H M Pogson

Ebley House, 235 Westward Road, Ebley, Nr Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL5 4SY Miss F Winfield

The Croft, 15 Sandon Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B17 8DP Mrs E Hatt Mrs D M Gregory

Crowthorn School, Broadhead Road, Turton, Nr. Bolton, Lancashire BL7 0JS Alan Bamford Sister Rosemary Barton Sister Gertrude Battersby Gladys Brierley Sister Gladys Bryan Mr Comer Ronald Huddart Miss Molly Kerley Sister Nora Miller Sister Irene Rowson Arthur Sadler JP Sister Doreen Salisbury Sister Joyce Slade Miss Janet Thickett Mr W H Wadhams Sister Barbara Walker Mrs Emma Walker Sister Winifred White Sister Irene

Elmfield, Harpenden
Ambrose Lane, Harpenden Hertfordshire Sister Alice Coates Sister Phillipa Davies Sean Sister Madge Holtby Mr and Mrs D U Owens Sister Elsie Payne

Elmstead Woods
New Farningham House, Wood Drive, Chislehurst, Kent BR7 5EU Kathleen Carlo Sister Hilda Hammond Alan Meakin

Farnborough George Bush Sister Irene Cook Mr Hall Sister Elsie Payne Sister Marie Pope Sister Margaret Scorey Bert Smith Sister Dora


Newton Hall, Frodsham, Nr. Warrington Cheshire WA6 6ST

1930: 303 Children.
1961: 175 children
1973 145 children.

Flats and houses for children:
Staff Various years
Flat 1: Mr & Mrs Geoff Wyatt then Sister Margaret Bottom flat,
Flat 2: Miss Sheila Burgess Top flat,
Flat 3: Miss Foskett then Miss Elaine Giles Bottom flat,
Flat 4: Sister Mavis Moore then Miss Mills Top flat,
Flat 5: Sister Ruth Bottom flat (also the bell ringer to notify end of play),
Flat 6: Sister Olive Wiseman then Sister Helen Parry Top flat,
Flat 7: Sister Freda bottom flat,
Flat 8: Sister Marjorie ( Dorothy Shields) Then Mr and Mrs Goodwin, then Mr and Mrs Timpson then Miss Joan Locke Top flat.
Flat 9: Sister Janet, Aunty Mary Gleave bottom flat.
Flat 10: Sister Irene top flat,
Flat 11: Sister Marjory Webster then Mr & Mrs Gordon Wix bottom flat,
Flat 12: Sister Glenys then Sister Margery Top flat,
Flat 13: Sister Joyce Collett Bottom flat also tuck shop,
Flat 14: Sister Joan Top flat,
Flat 15: Sister Pam bottom flat,
Flat 16: Sister Ingrid Top flat
Boston House: Sickbay with Miss Joan Locke then Sister Ruth and family
Newton House: Sister Beryl Bonwick
Gayhurst: Mr & Mrs Geoff Wyatt
Orchard End: Mr & Mrs Cliff Jones
Firbank: Sister Booth & Sister Philippa
Springside Sick Bay: Sister Philippa
Springside Nursery: headed by Sister Elsie Cadman and Mrs Jones was the cook.
Chapel: Mr P Crewe choirmaster and organist
Nursery School:  Miss Flashman then Miss Sanderson Staff houses: Red Marley: Mr & Mrs Wicks & Penny then Mr & Mrs Walker & Janet
Westdene: Mr & Mrs Pollard
Holmstead: Mrs & Mrs Hook
Mountville: Mr & Mrs Tilley, Alison and Grandad Tilley

Caswell: Mr & Mrs Finn, Martin & Tony then Mr & Mrs Bradshaw
The Bungalow: Sister Agnes
Firbank Cottage: Miss Joan Sanderson
Stephenson (upstairs): Single female house assistants
Chapel Tower: Single male house assistants
Staff Dining Room: Miss Dunbebbin

Stephenson Admin & Maintenance Staff:

Mr George Tilley
Mrs Margaret Tilley
Mrs Joan Clunas
Mrs Rhona Stubbs
Mrs Joyce Roberts
Mr P Crewe
Mrs E Eva
Mr Norman Worrall
Mr George Robinson

Frodsham staff not mentioned above:

J Colin Burn
Sister Beryl Bonwick (went on to be in charge at Ramsay IOM)
Mr Buckle - Welfare Officer
Mrs Jean Bulkeley
Mrs E Cawley
Sister Laura Evans
Sister Anne Frith
Miss Stella GaleRon Garlick
Sister Edith Hogben
John Horsewood
Sister Ada Hunt
Miss Brenda Johnson
Sister Ruth Jowett
Sister Christine Kelly
Miss Jane Oliphant
Sister Norah Owens
Mr Parker - Steward
Brian Parnell
Sister Winifred Robinson
Mr Samuel S Snell
Sister Hannah Wilson
Sister Grace Winter

Miss Mills also worked at the Alverstoke Branch in Hampshire. Apparently, she did a lot of her training in the baby unit

Newton Hall list of Superintendents and Governors from the beginning until its closure in 1985.
1903 Sister Theta Stormer Sister-in-Charge
1904 Mr James W. Whitmore Governor
1907 Rev. R Bevin
1907 Mr H. H. Hobson
1909 Mr Stanley Walton
1912 Mr Alfred Schofield
1927 Mr Samuel Snell
1957 Mr Eric Basford
1961 Mr Len Wicks
1968 Mr Colin Burns
1969 Mr Norman Walker
1984 Mr Iain Hodcroft

Staff at Flat Number 9 Newton Hall.
1968-1975.Sister Janet small Scottish lady from Edinburgh ruled the house with an iron rod, had a dog called Tinker and cat called Tibby.
Aunty Mary Greaves Sister Janets right hand lady lovely woman took the children out to farms and country walks, really looked after us, had a cottage in Kingsley.
Aunty Heather assistant, only young, blonde hair very pretty I believed married James Heaton who use to live at number 9 as a child. I think she came from Chester very patient taught me the piano, Elvis Presley's 'Wooden Heart' was her favourite to sing whilst playing the piano.
Aunty Edna Butterworth pleasant rather plump lady believed to of married Mr Walker the then superintendent, took over from Sister Janet.
Rosemary Thompson assistant very shy I remember her always blushing at most things, brunnette who tried her best with us as children, had her own room built at number 9.
Mr Dennis assistant again rather kind man, had a very protruding midriff. Would love to hear from them again or anyone that remembers them.(Carl)

Domestic staff
Mrs Hilda Davies who lived just around the corner from me (Alison) when I lived in Frodsham. She was actually married to my mother-in-law's cousin but he died a few years ago. She was Sister Joyce Collett's domestic.
Mrs Phillips who lived opposite to us in Keswick Drive many years ago and was a domestic at Newton Hall in the 60s and 70s. Don't know which flat though.
Mrs Preston who was the cleaner in Stephenson block. She was in her sixties in the early 60s so will be long gone I am afraid. She was a lovely lady who was devoted to her family. Sadly her son drowned in the River Weaver at Frodsham in his early twenties and she was totally devastated.
Miss Dunbebbin - Cook.

Staff Photo possibly at Newton Hall or Harrogate. Mr Wicks is front row third from the left with the centre parting. Mrs Wicks middle row far left.


Sister Ruth: Fair but firm is the general description. Very direct, so you knew where you stood. You can't ask for more than that! She originates from North Yorkshire and still works for NCH I believe. We had a reunion in Chester during the mid to late 1990s. She bought us an English breakfast at the Littlewoods cafe. Then she marched us around the City walls acknowledging the church bells as she did so. She hadn't changed in my mind. Tall, firm, but fair. She said she often wondered what had happened to the 'Southworth Children' God bless you Sister Ruth. I know I was a handful!.
Miss Mills: Sister Ruth's house asst. She went on to be in charge of her own flat. A great lady with loads of love and affection.
Sister Margerat: A great Sister, this is where my other two siblings resided. She would allow my sisters to get into bed with her if they were frightened in the night by a thunder storm or something. A very motherly person indeed. sadly deceased.
Sister Janet: Fairhurst house, Newton Hall. A Scottish lady.
Miss Joan Locke: Sick Bay then Flat 8
Mrs Jones: Nursery cook. The lady who took me out every weekend and gave me a home at her own home. An incredible lady who would hold great parties at her own house for many of the children. Our relationship is still strong today.
The cleaners/workers, (though personally, I thought we did the cleaning!) were Jean Rutter (Thonly or Thornly) and Hilary Abrams.

Sister Ruth. This photograph was probably taken in Sister Ruth's room, flat 5, Newton Hall, in the late 1960s early 1970s. This is not how I recall her, although I clearly recognise her here.

This is Miss Joan Locke in 2005 at 84 years of age. Miss Joan Locke was the nurse at Boston House, when it was sick bay. She also ran Brownies assisted by Alison Tilley. After, Miss Locke went on to be in charge of her own flat 8. Miss Locke also took Brownies on holiday to Isle Of Man and Colwyn Bay.

Sister Mavis. It felt so strange being tucked up in bed at the age of three and having a story read, then a lullaby sung before drifitng off to sleep. (Martyn)

Frodsham Sister Elsie Cadman Sister at Frodsham 1943-1975. Notice of death 4th July 2004

Sister Ruth Jowett

Sister Ruth Jowett - 21 Years Service

Sister Ruth Jowett

Sister Marjorie

Sister Marjorie was at the Newton Hall home from about 1945 to the late 1960`s, and was Sister in charge at No 8 Windrush,(formerly Annie Walker House) for all of those years. She then took up another post at the Harpenden Home.
She was a strict person but always fair and,to me at least,she was the only `mother` I ever had. I remember her with utmostfondness even now,some 50yrs after leaving the `homes` She was well respected by all of the staff for her hard work.
Michael Jones

Frodsham Sister 15th May 1909
With child punishment device (the stocks)

Cathkin House, Rutherglen, Glasgow G73 5RD Sister Edith Ayers Boyd Docherty Sister Olive Goulding Miss Anne Graham Miss Barbara Mann James R Niven Sister Joan Sowerby Sister Marie

Hamilton, Canada
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
H J Gooding

Fairfield, 132 Pannal Ash Road, Harrogate Yorkshire HG2 9JN

Miss Blackshaw
Sister Edna Brailsford
Miss Barbara Camp
Miss Coles
Miss Grace Dougill
Sister Florence
Sister Audrey Ford
Miss Gennery
Mrs Mary Graham
Miss Marjorie Graham
Sister Alice Grout
Miss Hey
Sister Hilda
Miss Pauline Hirst
Miss Hazel Laidler
Mr and Mrs Longstaff
Paul McCardle
Miss Rena Mennen
Alma Moore
The Rev Robert Moore
James R Niven
Peter Ogle
Martin Osborne
Marian Parker
Sister Sybil M Perrott FTCL LRAM
Mr E E Pruden
Sister Mary Richards
Mr Scott
Mr Terry Sigsworth
Mrs Valerie Sigsworth
Miss Stead
Michael Stubbs
Dave Sullivan
Miss Tatchell
Sister Evelyn Woolf

Highbury, London


Chief Office: 85 Highbury Park London N5 1UD

Stephenson Hall (Training College) 85c Highbury Park, London N5 1UD

Legard Family Centre, Legard Road, Highbury, London N5 1UD

ES = Entered the Sisterhood.

Mr C R Addey
Miss Phyllis Alcock
Alan S Angill
Mrs Anne Arnold
Miss Mary P Ashbee
Mrs Valerie Baker

Percy Barnard
Charles N Barnes
Mrs Lily Barrett

Mrs Patti Baxter
Mrs Linda Beaton
Sister Nona Bell E.S 1945
Miss Molly Birchall

Miss Eva Blackmore
Miss F Boys
Miss Kate Bradley
Michael Brain
Mrs C Brown
T Owen Buck BCom
Mrs Betty Cannon

Mrs A Caution
Miss Jo’an Caution
Mrs Sophie Champion
Miss Olive Chapman
Sidney Cole
Miss Kit Coleman
Peter Collemy
Miss Ruth Compton

Douglas G Cracknell LLB
Mrs Iris Croft

Miss Molly E Crutcher
Miss Nora Dando
Miss Connie Dieckman

Mrs Joan Doling
Mrs Hannah Donaldson
John W Dossett-Davies

Claude Drew
Richard J Dyster

Miss Doris Earl
Mrs Olive Everett
John B Farmer
Sister Fiona Fletcher

Mrs J Fletcher
Bill Fotheringham

Mr J A B Gale
Miss Mary F W Gates
Miss Muriel K Gautrey
Leonard Gillespie
Mrs R Gillespie
Malcolm Godfrey
Mrs Ivy Golding

Sister Jean W Gray ES 1951
John F Gray
Mrs Audrey Green
John R M Hall
Mrs Rita Hamilton
Sister Gladys B Harris ES 1947
Paul Harrison
Miss I Harman
Joe Hay
Mr and Mrs William Heal
Mr T B Heath
Miss K Hewett
Mrs C I Hiam
Miss Barbara Hilditch
Mrs Marjorie Hilton
Mrs Christine Hindley
Miss June Hitchcock

Arthur Holden
Miss Doris W Houchin SRN
Miss Margaret Holloway
Mrs Evlyn Howard
Miss Pam Howes
Miss M Hughes
Miss Carolyn Humphreys
Miss D Hull
Reg F Hurley

Mrs Nora Ingle
Mrs Marjorie Ivey
Alan A Jacka OBE, MA
Rev Raymond J Jones MA, BD
Dr T N Kelynack MD JP
Harold A Killick
Mrs Joyce King

Brian King
Mrs K Kinsman
Sister Margaret Kirby ES 1950
Miss Michelle Lazarus

Adam Leach
Mrs Jean Lendon
Arthur Lendon
John Lloyd
Mrs Mary Lloyd
Patrick Lyons
Alan L Malden
A Mallett
Miss Joan Marshall
Colin J Mason
Mrs Ethel Mason
Miss Grace D Mead
Mrs Peggy B Miller
Miss Lily Moxey
Linda M Oliver
Rev George A Parkinson
Dr Mary Parks

Brian Parnell
Miss Susan Parsons
John Pendlebury
Dennis Piper
Miss H M Pogson
Miss Jean Radley
Rev Ernest P Raithby

Mrs Helen Revell
Miss June Rich

Mrs Sonia Saxby
Sister Margaret Scorey ES 1941
Rev A J G Seaton BD
Derek Sealey
Cyril Seamer
Mrs Maud Seamer
Rev A J G Seaton
Sister Monica Seward ES 1941
Mr A Sidebottom
Sister Joyce Slade ES 1946
Miss Winnie E Smith
Mrs Snee
Graham Sparkes

Miss Freda Stacey
Alan Stapleton
Mr M A Stride
Rev Herbert J Sugden
Miss Pamela Thomas

William J Thomas FCA
Brian Thornton MInstM
Miss Winifred Tucker
Violet Turner
Henry Tweed
Sister May Valentine ES 1949
Sister Irene Vause ES 1948
Rev Cecil F Walpole
Mr F J Waiting
Miss Avis Walters
Nancy Warne

Roy Webster
Mrs Maisie Willis
Joe Withington
Miss E M Woolley

Ian Wratislaw
Ashley Wyatt



Bourne Place, Nizels Lane, Hildenborough, Tonbridge, Kent

Mr I T Jones
Margaret Carr
Michael Stubbs

Forest House, Winterpit Lane, Mannings Heath, Horsham, Sussex RH13 6LZ

Miss Jean E Angel NNEB
Mrs Crowder
Miss M de Lacy Evans
Linda Gittings
Mary Green
George Knight
Mrs Watkins
Susan White

Jamaica: Hope Estate, St Andrew, Kingston, Jamaica
Mr Ray G Trueman

Ladywood Family Centre, 2/4 Guild Close, Ledsam Street, Ladywood, Birmingham 16

Mr and Mrs William J Garbett

Leamington Spa
Longford, 1 Vicarage Road, Lillington, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire

Mr and Mrs C Haigh
Mr and Mrs W J Cook

Pastens, Pastens Road, Oxted, Surrey RH8 0RD

P Harrison

Steep Hill House, Steep Hill, Lincoln LN2 1LT

Mr and Mrs Longstaff
Mr and Mrs Whitehead

Sister Ida Sugden

Morville House, 366 Wilbraham Road, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester 21

Mr and Mrs J Burke
Mr and Mrs Gerald Shaw
Sister Edna Stone
Mr and Mrs Ernest Wilcock

Stelling Hall, Nr. Newton, Stocksfield, Northumberland NE43 7UT

Miss Bland
Judith Craig
Mr and Mrs Davies
T E Falkingham
Mr and Mrs Leslie Forster
Mr and Mrs Sidney Guy
Mr and Mrs Heslington
W E Higham
Miss T Kernick
Miss Carol King (now Edwards)
Miss Susan Laidler
Sister Mavis Moor
Sister Helen Parkes
Miss Ann Richardson
Rev Leonard Simpson
Sister Joan Sowerby
Sister Margaret Starling (Mrs Margaret Rourke)
Miss Stephenson
Miss Wendy Taylor
Sister Irene Vause
Miss Susan Wardle
Sister Carol Webster
Mr and Mrs J Whitehead
Mr and Mrs Timson
Sister Pauline ? (Mrs Kilner)
Sister Dorothy ? (Mrs Green)
Sister Freda

Sister Frances Hildyard
Sister Doreen Salisbury

Springfield, Alexandra Park, Nottingham NG3 4JB

Harold Bilbie
Saul Brown
R K Harman
Sister Lucy Moore
Sister Margaret Scorey
Sister Winifred Staples
Sister Ena
Sister Edna
Sister Doris

Sister Maud Clarke
Sister Margaret Scorey

Painswick Gyde Home, Painswick, Stroud, Gloucestershire GL6 6RB

Sister Nellie Bishop
Wilfred J Cook
W Donaldson
Sister Peggy Greenway
Sister Alice Grout
Sister Maud Ingram
Miss T Jolin
Miss J Knapman
Geoff Little
Sister Patricia Morrow
Mr and Mrs Martin Osborne
Sister Ann Prosser
Miss Marjorie Puddy
Miss Rennie
Sister Gertrude Ricks
Mr and Mrs Russell
Sister Ethel Sully
Mrs M West
Miss G Wilson

Headlands School, Paget Place, Penarth, Glamorgan CF6 1YY

D Benger
Sister Eileen Hardy
A J Harrington
Sister Frances Hildyard
Tom Howell
Sister Jacqueline Jones
Mrs Ann Lane
Mr W J Miles
Robert Mumford
A J Stewart

Sister Monica with the boys from Sommerville House which was her house.

Other sisters at Headlands were. Sister Anne (Scott House) Sister Grace (Grenville House) Sister Vera (Nansen) Sister Gertrude (ST. Vincent) and Sister Monica (Sommerville) other sisters were Sis.Molly (Mary) Sis.Gladys and Sis. Aileen (kitchen).

Penarth - Sea View

Image 1

Getty, Nick and Helen

The Archie Briggs House, Pitlochry, Perthshire, PH16 5JW

B E Coates
Joy M Coates
R B Coates
Mr and Mrs R Creamer
Sister Joan Sowerby

Ramsey, I.O.M.
Dalmeny, Ramsey, Isle of Man

Sister Beryl E Bonwick

May Lodge, 25-27 Filey Road, Scarborough, Yorkshire YO11 2TW

Mr and Mrs Douglas T Graham
Miss Hilary Blackburn
Sister Lilian Hilton
Sister Winifred Robinson
Miss Margaret Stables
E F Stephenson
Miss Christine Winter

Ryalls Court, Seaton, Devon EX12 2HJ

Mr C R Addey
Miss Rosemary Fox MA
Sidney R Rutt
Miss Janet Thorne
Miss Elizabeth Winnen

Selly Oak, Birmingham
Stephenson Court, 10 Tredington Close, Selly Oak, Birmingham B29 4NP

Sister Eileen J Hardy
Mr and Mrs G Welton

Sister Gertrude Gee
Mr Grimes
Sister Phyllis
Sister Dorothy Scarlett
J Noel Woodman
Sister Mary

Westdene, 39 Park Crescent, Southport, Lancashire

Miss Avril Batty
Miss Pamela Babay
Miss Barbara Bennion
Miss Irene Hutchison
Sister Patricia Morrow
Sister Elsie Payne
Miss Carol Rogers
Sister Ethel Shepherd
Sister Marjorie Shields
Sister Nora Smith
Sister Edna Stone
Sister Ida Sugden
Sister Ethel Sully

St Anne’s
Elsmere, 200 St Annes Road East, Lytham St. Annes, Lancashire, FY8 3HT

Sister Audrey Browne
Sister Frances Hildyard
Sister Doreen Salisbury
Sister Joan Sowerby
Sister Hannah Wilson

St Leonard’s on Sea
Malmesbury House, 125 West Hill Road, St. Leonards-on-Sea, Sussex

Sister Mary Betts
Mrs Brockington
Miss Elizabeth Broughton
Miss Jane Butler
Miss Dorothy Carley
Sister Marjorie Chapman
Reginald Deeprose
Mr and Mrs E S H Fright
Miss Ann Harris
Miss Jennifer Horne
Harold A Killick
Miss Doreen Macey
Miss Christine Maylam
Miss Jean Newton
K E Phipps
Graham Ramsey
Miss Stevenson
Miss Joy Taylor
Miss Hilary Walker
Mrs Wills
Sister Doreen?


Killay House, 365 Gower Rd, Killay, Sketty, Swansea, SA2 7AH

e.s. = Entered the Sisterhood

Sister Violet May Taylor the first Sister in Charge from 1948 to 1968 e.s. 1938
Sister Olive Brown 1968 e.s. 1950
Sister Sybil M Perrott FTCL, LRAM 1968 to 1971 e.s. 1951
Sister Peggy Greenway 1971 to 1979 e.s. 1958
Mr and Mrs Gerald T Shaw 1979
Edith M Harris
Elizabeth Thomas
Sister Gladys Jennings e.s. 1938
Sister Lilian Ridgway e.s. 1941
Mr Thomas Stanley Edwards, Gardener
Florence L Spencer
Ruth S Baxter
Sister (Jean) Elizabeth Earwicker e.s. 1952
Sister Nora Miller e.s. 1947
Joy Esther Brister
Elizabeth Stone
Margaret Enid Owen
Mrs Betty Griffin, Cook
Sister Betty Owen BA e.s. 1961
Sister June Elizabeth Watts e.s. 1964
Joan Rosemary Harris
June Sainsbury
Miss Marigold Oakley
Miss Audrey M Harris, Secretary
Mr Tom Cunningham, Gardener
Miss Maureen Donner
Mr John Wright
Mrs Marion Wright
Miss Sandra Charles
Mr Malcolm Dugdale
Sister Audrey Ford e.s. 1964
Dawn Coles
Sister Fiona Fletcher e.s. 1962
Miss Dawn Gilham
Miss Brenda A Higgins
Mr Stanley Wilfred Price
Nellie Price
Miss Gwenda Richards
Beryl Eileen Price
Dawn Jay Dugdale
Mr John Coward
Miss Olive Murley
Miss Val Hammett
Mrs Amelia Amura
Mrs Joan Gabriel
Mrs Betty Price
Miss Mary Kidd
Mrs Bradley
Mrs Connick
Mrs Marion R Jones, Nursery
Mrs Lee, Nursery
Miss Hilary Fry, Ballet Teacher



Sister Sybil Sybil Myfanwy Perrott Joined the NCH on 28.3.1949 as a candidate at the Swansea branch and trained at Stephenson Hall 1949-1950. Then went to the Harrogate branch and transfered to the Swansea branch in 1968/69 to become Sister in Charge.
After a period of leave she returned to the Swansea branch from time to time in a non resident capacity and took a break in service in 1974, in 1979 she again returned to Swansea as a full time Assistant Houseparent and retired 22.02.81. Sister Sybil died 19.03.02

Sister Elizabeth Earwicker, who served at Killay House, the Swansea Branch of the National Children’s Home, died on 5 June 2011, at the age of 81.
Sister Elizabeth was at Killay House from 1952. On 30 November 1961 she married Mr Ian Whitehouse, the father of Sandra, Yvonne and Ian, whom some of you will remember.
The family lived in Newport, South Wales.
Many will recall Sister Elizabeth’s visit to Swansea for the funeral of Sister Olive Brown in July 2007.
There was a private funeral for Sister Elizabeth in Newport.
Best wishes,

Sister Nora Miller
Holding a happy young boy named Clive at the presentation by Brian Curvis, British Empire welterweight boxing champion of gifts to the value of £200, including a sewing machine and a wireless an carpets and rugs

Harvest Festival c.1950's
From left to right Sister Olive Brown, unknown, Sister Nora Miller, Sister Violet M Taylor, Sister Elizabeth Earwicker, unknown and names of the children unknown.

Sister Violet M Taylor. 1952

Spring 1962 30 November 1961 was an 'occasion' at the Branch as Sister Elizabeth Earwicker was married to Mr Ian Whitehouse, the father of Sandra and Yvonne, whom some of you will remember. The family are living in Newport again and we wish them every happiness together.
Autumn 1964 Those of you who knew Sister Betty Owen will be sorry to hear that she has had to leave us owing to ill health. Sister June Watts is now caring for her family.
Autumn 1966 Sister Nora Miller has transferred to the Edgworth Branch and I am sure she would be glad to receive letters from you. It is incredible how the years have rolled by and I was sad when Sister Nora had to leave to join Edgworth Branch to be nearer to take care of her elderly relatives in Poynton Cheshire (Clive)

Image 1 Sister Margaret Scorey, Sister Nora Miller and Sister Violet Taylor taken at Sister Violet's 70th Birthday party.

Sister Olive Brown
Image 1

Sister Olive

Born 1927
(Formerly Sister of Killay House)
Died peacefully at Cefn Coed Hospital on 18th July 2007 after a long illness.

Sutton Coldfield
Watson House, 133 Birmingham Road, Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire

Sister Irene Bryan
Mr J N Woodman

Sister Lilian Hilton
Sister Marjorie Larkin
Sister Winifred Robinson

Ashwood, Ashwood Road, Woking, Surrey

Miss Thelma Fletcher
Mr and Mrs E S H Fright
Mrs E E Holland SRN, SCM
Miss J Yearsley

Red Gables, 83 Compton Road, Wolverhampton, Staffordshire WV3 9QH

Sister Kathleen
Mr and Mrs D G Webber

Retirement of Sisters December 1971
After 7 years as "Warden at Stephenson Hall, the Staff Training College at "Highbury, Sister Joyce Slade has retired from the NCH.
Mr. Trevor Thomas, South-East regional officer, at a farewell gathering held in Parkinson Hall, Highbury, on October 14, paid tribute to Sister Joyce. She was a 'wonderful tower of strength'. 'She touched everyone's heart' he said, 'particularly the lives of some 190 girls who have been under her wing at Stephenson Hall.'
Sister Joyce first joined the Home 28 years ago and during that time has worked at Harpenden, Edgworth and Alverstoke branches. In 1949 she went to Alverstoke to launch the newly formed child care cadets scheme, where she stayed until she was appointed to Stephenson Hall.
Mr. Stanley Hughes, former superintendent at Chipping Norton branch described Sister Joyce as 'A wonderful ambassador for the NCH.'
Miss Olive Chapman presented Sister Joyce with a bouquet expressing her 'very good wishes for the future.'
The Principal, the Rev. Gordon E. Barritt, presented Sister Joyce with a dinner service.
'I shall remember you all every time I use it', said Sister Joyce. 'I feel quite lost. I have had 28 years of very mixed experiences—28 years I would never have missed.'
Among the many cards from well-wishers was one from the first group of
Sister Joyce students Sister Joyce was responsible for at Stephenson. She is now living in Wiltshire. Sister Irene Vause has succeeded Sister Joyce.

Three other Sisters retire.

Sister Kathleen London
Retired in October from Akrill House, Harpenden branch. She joined the Home in 1937 and during her 34 years with the NCH, she has worked at Frodsham, Bramhope, Alverstoke, Harpenden, Farnborough, and Cardiff branches and also spent 14 years (from 1949) at chief office, Highbury. At a farewell party held at Harpenden, Sister Kathleen was presented with a clock from the branch and the printing department, and two chairs and a carpet sweeper from those at Akrill House.

Sister Winifred White
Another retirement in October was that of Sister Winifred White who had been at Edgworth branch for 22 years. She was at Frodsham branch for a short while in 1948 before training at Stephenson Hall, Highbury—going to Edgworth in 1949.

Sister Doreen Salisbury
After 25 years at Chipping Norton branch, Sister Doreen Salisbury retired at the end of October. She was trained at the staff training college, Highbury before going to Newquay branch in 1939. After leaving Newquay, Sister Doreen worked at Edgworth and St. Annes branches before moving to Chipping Norton in 1946.

Many thanks to Clive for the hours he has spent providing the information on the names and locations of the staff of the NCH

The badge which was presented to each Sister at her ordination, incorporates the theme of the Circular Badge which had been the symbol of the Sisterhood Order from the first days if its formation. The motto ‘To seek and to save that which is lost’.

Further reading:
‘Sisters of the Children’ – The story of the Sisterhood of The National Children’s Home.
‘The Story of the Children’s Home’ - The Centenary Book of the NCH by Alan Jacka.


Induction of The Rev. Gordon E. Barritt at Harpenden 1969

At the end of September, His Royal Highness Prince Peter of Greece and Denmark spent several hours at Harpenden.
Prince Peter has been responsible for placing children from Tibet in boarding schools in Denmark and in Britain.
Mr. J. C. Burn, the superintendent, escorted him into two of the flats and round the branch. He was impressed with the family group system and the facilities offered to the children.
Prince Peter, second in line to the Greek throne, is married to a Danish princess
and lives in Copenhagen, He was particularly interested in the branch's chapel with its stained glass windows and in the coffee bar built by the children in a cellar beneath the Bernhard Baron Hall.

George Frederick Bush
Died on 30-Jul-1956 in West Ayton, Scarborough. National Childrens Home Headmaster & Governor Harpenden branch. Governor Cogleton Branch. Governor Farnborough (1937).

Charles Roycroft
Charles Roycroft meant warmth, friendship and kindliness to a great number of people wherever he went. He was an Irishman from Cork, and never quite lost an endearing quality in his speech that stemmed from his origin. In his middle twenties he joined the staff of Sam Snell at Frodsham (as did so many young men who were to make their mark in the NCH). There in. due course he brought his bride from Swansea, and there his son Brian was born.

In 1936 a new Governor was being appointed to the Princess Alice Orphanage at Sutton Coldfield, and a new Steward was needed. Charles was sent in advance to prepare the way for the incoming Governor (myself), a newcomer to the NCH and to the work of chid care. We were born in the same year and we got on well. I shall always feel enormously in his debt for the loyal support and sensible guidance that he gave me. He was not only good with children of all ages but perceptive and understanding with staff, and most acceptable in his relations with committee members and visitors. If there was some tricky point to be put to the committee for decision I usually found a pretext to have him explain it in committee—and then it always went through.

In 1939 our 250 children increased in number to over 300 with the arrival of 60 evacuees from the Sheringham branch. In 1940 I was accepted for a direct-entry commission in the RAF, and Charles did an outstanding job as Acting Governor during the war years. Life was serious but fun. Activities flourished, and the Eisteddfods that he and Mrs Roycroft initiated were a centre of interest in the neighbourhood. A degree of participation by children and staff in the running of the community was fostered in a way unusual at that time.

After the war he was appointed Superintendent successively at Harrogate and Harpenden. He was a keen protagonist of the needs and comfort of staff, if they were to carry out successfully their demanding work as residential workers and give of their best to the children they lived with.

Charles was a Methodist local preacher and knew how to speak to children in a way they understood. Religious services under his direction, and with the support of his wife's considerable musical talent, were always sincere and joyous occasions.

He was a fine cricketer and hockey player, and knew how to encourage the use of games and sports for the benefit and enjoyment of both girls and boys—and members of staff too. He was always on the side of progressive methods in the care of children in a practical, non-academic way. Wherever he worked he left close friends among children, staff and neighbours, who wrote and visited him in retirement in South Wales.

It was a joy to have been able to be among their visitors of recent years and to hear news of Brian and Hilary and the grandchildren.

Convocation and other NCH occasions sorely missed his warm friendship and robust
common sense after his retirement. The NCH has been rich in personalities who in their
different ways have left their mark on the work and traditions of caring for children. None has left a deeper mark than Charles Roycroft.

Alan A. Jacka

Brian Roycroft CBE : 1933 - 2002
The son of Charles Roycroft superintendent of Harpenden NCH.
Brian Roycroft died on 24th May 2002. Brian started life in a childcare setting, having been born at the National Children's Home in Frodsham his mother and father worked as house parents. He became one of the great leaders in the creation of social services, being Children's Officer in Newcastle from 1967 to 1971, Director of Social Services (still in Newcastle) from 1971 to 1993, President of the Association of Directors of Social Services, General Secretary of the ADSS, and a whole host of other roles. For all these efforts, he was given a CBE. Brian Roycroft Charismatic social services director with a passion for justice.
Brian Roycroft, who has died aged 68 following a heart attack, was, literally, born into the job - at the children's home in Frodsham, Cheshire, run by the National Children's Home (now NCH). His mother and father worked there as houseparents, and Brian and his sister moved with them from children's home to children's home.
Brian became children's officer in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1967, and director of social services when the department was created in 1971, he retired nine years ago.
Despite his family background, Brian was, at first, undecided on a job. He had won a fellowship to the Methodist public school, Ashville College; then national service experience, as an RAF pilot and officer dealing with often uneducated NCOs, persuaded him to do something socially useful.
He is survived by his second wife Pat, a social worker, their daughter Emma, and the two children of his first marriage.
Brian Roycroft, social services director, born October 29 1933; died 24th May 2002.

Terry Philpot Guardian Friday 31st May 2002

Mr Herbert Flint the grounds man at Harpenden retires in 1970 after 36 years service.

The NCH Principals
The date of service of NCH Principals:-

The Rev Dr Thomas Bowman Stephenson, Founder and Principal 1869 to 1900
The Rev Dr Arthur E Gregory, Second Principal 1900 to 1912
The Rev W Hodson Smith, Third Principal 1912 to 1933
The Rev John H Litten, CBE, Fourth Principal 1933 to 1950
The Rev John W Waterhouse, OBE, MA, BD, Fifth Principal 1950 to 1969
The Rev Gordon E Barritt, OBE, MA, Sixth Principal 1969 to 1986
The Rev E Michael Newman, MA, Seventh Principal 1986 to 1990
D Tom White, CBE, Principal and Chief Executive 1990 to 1996
Deryk Mead, CBE, Chief Executive 1996 to 2004
Clare Tickell, Chief Executive 2004 to

The Principals and the Homes that were founded during their term of office
The Rev Dr Thomas Bowman Stephenson, Founder and Principal 1869 to 1900
Church Street, Lambeth, 1869-1871
Bonner Road, Bethnal Green 1871-1913
Edgworth, Lancs. 1872
Hamilton, Ontario 1873-1935
Milton, Nr Gravesend, Industrial School 1875-1898
Ramsey, IoM. 1880
Princess Alice Orphanage, Nr Birmingham 1882
Alverstoke 1887
Mewburn House 1890
Farnborough, Hants 1898 (transferred from Gravesend)
Willard House 1898

WM minister. He was the architect of a more socially-minded Methodism, through the establishment of two major institutions.
The son of John Stephenson (1799-1861; e.m. 1822), he was born at Newcastle upon Tyne on 22 December 1839 and baptized by Robert Newton.
He trained for the ministry at Richmond College and obtained a London BA. (Katherine Price Hughes, as a small girl, remembered his interest in photography, still in its infancy.)
A Liberal in politics and musically gifted, he was prominent in the Forward Movement.
His ministry was untypical. He sang in the streets and was the first to hire a theatre for use in his mission. In 1869, with the help of two laymen, he founded the NCH and in 1873 was set apart as its Principal.

Always eager to use everyone's talents (including the laity and females), he had employed a deaconess at Bolton in 1868. A visit to Kaiserwerth deaconess centre in Germany in 1871 encouraged him to develop opportunities for women to serve in the Church, through the 'Sisters of the Children' in the NCH and later through the Wesley Deaconess Order, following the publication of his book Concerning Sisterhoods (1890). He was the chief mover behind the admission of laymen to the WM Conference, first speaking for it in 1873 and becoming secretary of the Thanksgiving Fund in 1878.
An expert money-raiser and publicist, he began magazines such as Highways and Hedges, wrote many hymns, especially for children, and composed a service book for them.
He played a prominent part in producing the 1876 Supplement to the Wesleyan Hymn Book and the new WM hymn-book in 1904. His hymn 'Lord, grant us like the watching five' was included in the 1903 Hymn-book (765) and its 1933 successor (786).

He was elected to the Legal Hundred in 1880 and was President of the Conference in 1891. Many of his presidential sermons and addresses were published in The Words of a Year (1892). He received honorary doctorates from Grant University, USA in 1881 and from Victoria University, Toronto in 1888.
In 1898 on the nomination of the Prince of Wales he was appointed an Honorary Associate of the Order of the Hospital of St. John in recognition of his philanthropic service. Excessive work and money-raising tours affected his health and forced him to relinquish his responsibility for the NCH in 1900 and for the Deaconess Order in 1907. He died in Finchley on 16 July 1912 and was buried at Ilford after a funeral service at Wesley's Chapel.

His daughter Dora Stephenson (b.1867), a Sister in the Home and the first Wesley Deaconess, was an important spokeswoman for both organizations, e.g. at the Chicago Deaconess Conference in 1893. She emigrated to Canada after marrying in 1910.

'Dr. Stephenson's life was interwoven with much of the history of his time, his country and his Church. The Lancashire cotton famine, the establishment of a national system of education, the problem of emigration and the development of Canada, the establishment of closer relations between English and American Methodism, the admission of laymen to a share in the supreme governing authority of our Church, and the positioin of women in its work, are all matters which were woven into the very texture of his life; and with regard to many of them, his activities were full of influence in shapingthe course of events and the thoughts of men.'

William Bradfield, Life of the Reverend Thomas Bowman Stephenson(1913) pp.15-16

Methodist Recorder, 18 July 1912
William Bradfield, The life of Thomas Bowman Stephenson (1913)
Katherine Price Hughes, The Story of my Life (1945), pp.13-14
Cyril J. Davey, A Man for All Children (1968)
Gordon E. Barritt, Thomas Bowman Stephenson (Peterborough, 1996)
Brian Frost, with Stuart Jordan, Pioneers of Social Passion (Peterborough, 2006)
Oxford DNB

The Rev Dr Arthur E Gregory, Second Principal 1900 to 1912
Chipping Norton 1903 Frodsham 1903 Bramhope 1907 Oxted 1909 (see Limpsfield) Harpenden Sanatorium 1910 (see Elmfield)

The Rev W Hodson Smith, Third Principal 1912 to 1933
Harpenden 1913 Doddington 1913 Sheringham 1917 Faversham 1918 Penarth (Headlands) 1919 Whitby 1919 Barton-on-Humber 1919 Newcastle (Elswick Road) 1920 (see Stelling Hall) Congleton 1920 Ebley 1920 Southport (Knowsley Road) 1923 Chief Offices, Highbury 1925 YLU Hospital, Highbury 1927 Watson House (Birmingham) 1929 Sutton-on-Sea 1923 Barmouth 1918 Barnet 1917 Akrill House 1933 Alverstoke, 81 St. Marks Road 1924

Born at Burntwood, near Lichfield, the son of a yeoman farmer. He trained for the ministry at Didsbury College.
For nine years from 1888 he served under Charles Garrett in the Liverpool Mission, where he was also actively involved in public affairs; then for twelve years in the North Cornwall Mission, with seven ministers, 40 chapels and more than 100 local preachers, at least nine of whom entered the ministry.
He also served on the County Council and the County Education Committee.
In 1907 he was elected to the Legal Hundred and attended the Ecumenical Methodist Conference in Toronto in 1911 and the Canadian Conference in 1914.
From 1912 to 1933 he succeeded A.E. Gregory as Principal of the NCH in a period which saw an expansion of income, children in care and accommodation, especially at Harpenden.
He was President of the 1927 Conference and died in Newquay on 14 May 1943.

Methodist Recorder, 14 July 1927; 20 May 1943

The Rev John H Litten, CBE, Fourth Principal 1933 to 1950 Staff Training College, Highbury 1933 Gyde Orphanage, Painswick 1933 (joint management) Penarth (Sea View) 1933 Alresford 1934 (on union with Primitive Methodist Church) Harrogate 1934 (on union with Primitive Methodist Church) Alverstoke (rebuilding with Little Church, Sunshine House) Nottingham (Springfield) 1935 Malmesbury 1937 (see St Leonards) Riversmead, Lancs 1939 Coomb 1941 Seaton 1941 Blackburn 1942 Harrogate (Ashfield) 1942 Southport (Westdene) 1943 Bristol 1943 Netherton (Frodsham) 1943 Barton House, Harrogate 1945 (from Barton-on-Humber) Anglesey Lodge, Alverstoke 1946 Princess Alice College 1946-1960 St Annes-on-Sea 1946 Woking 1947 Nottingham (South Bank) 1947 Cardiff 1947 Swansea 1948 Limpsfield 1948 (see Oxted) 9 Aubert Park, Highbury 1934 15 Aubert Park 1944 Wakefield, Highbury 1931 Gloucester Drive, Nr Highbury 1943. THE REV JOHN HOWARD LITTEN CBE: born in 1878. A son of the manse, where there was much love but little money, he won his own way by tireless work and constant self-discipline. He trained as a teacher, and his ability was quickly recognized by his appointment as a tutor at Westminster College. On offering for the ministry in 1903, he was accepted for immediate appointment to circuit. At Ealing, Colchester, Brentford, Salisbury and Gosport he was a pastor beloved and effective. But it was his ministry in the National Children’s Home that the heights of his powers were given, and never will the incalculable debt the Home owes to him be forgotten. For thirty-three years he dedicated himself without stint to his labour of love for the children, and for the last seventeen of these, till his retirement in 1950, he was Principal. It would not be practicable to list all the items of his pioneer work, but certain things stand out: the foundation of the Sisters’ Training College at Highbury and of the Princess Alice College at Birmingham, the rebuilding of Alverstoke with its Sunshine House and Little Church, the establishment of mixed family groups in the branches, the provision of ‘Little Houses’ and children’s flats, the compiling of the Book of Worship, the Convocation Lecture, the founding of the National Council of Associated Children’s Homes, and the signal service rendered by him on the Curtis Committee. The award of the CBE in 1952 crowned a career of devoted public service. In the Home itself he was recognized, not just as an administrator, but as a friend. His thoughtfulness, his sympathy, his respect for the personality of others, and a gentleness which veiled his strength were all facets of the gifted personality which he dedicated unswervingly to one increasing purpose, and with them he brought also a gift of music, a love of beauty, and an artistry of mind and pen. He accomplished great things by determination, faith, and sheer ability. Probably no man in recent years has achieved more for the happiness of children deprived of their own homes than he did. He was a man who dreamed dreams and then put them into action; but in his modesty, he characteristically gave honour to others where honour was due to himself. When he retired, he made his home in Australia, keeping contact with the many young people whom he had helped to emigrate there, and during the last few years he also gave much service to the churches in the Melbourne area, sometimes preaching four or five times on a Sunday, and rejoicing in the pastoral work given him. He returned to England in the spring of 1954 to fulfil various engagements and to deliver the Convocation Lecture of the National Children’s Home. On 21st September 1954, he suddenly received the call to the higher service of God. At the age of seventy-six years his work was done, and he entered into the joy of the Master whom he had followed unswervingly throughout a long and effective ministry of fifty-one years.

Papers of John H. Litten (1878 - 1954)

The collection was donated to the National Library by Litten's granddaughters, Martha and Jane Kinsman, in 1995. The bulk of the papers comprises 48 files containing correspondence, drafts and other papers relating to Litten's work with children after coming to Australia, especially his involvement in the organisation of the immigration of British orphans to Australia, and his work for the National Children's Homes in Australia and as a Methodist Minister in Ringwood Parish in Melbourne. The rest of the collection includes correspondence, diaries, notes and drafts of orders of service, sermons, talks, lectures and other writings. There are also drafts of Litten's biography by Audrey O'Dell. In 1937-38 he undertook a tour of Canada, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa to study the emigration possibilities of children from the British Methodist Children's Homes. Litten's visits to children's homes in these countries were recorded in diaries entitled 'Traveller's logs'. In 1948-49 Litten, in his official capacity as the Principal of the National Children's Home, visited Australia. As a result of this visit Litten recommended that the National Children's Home adopt a children emigration scheme to Australia. In the last year of his ministry in England Litten played a major role in the implementation of this scheme. His visit to Australia was recorded in 'A place in the sun'. Litten retired in 1950 and he and his family emigrated to Australia, living first in Sydney. In 1952 he moved to Melbourne, where Litten continued his work as a minister and became the Minister for the Ringwood and Elwood Parish. He also continued his interest and association with the N.C.H.O., the British emigration scheme and he also formed close contacts with many children's homes in Australia. Litten was awarded the CBE in 1953 for his work with children and the children's emigration scheme. Litten died in England, while on a tour to give a series of lectures on the children's emigration scheme, in 1954. For more information see The National Library is located on Parkes Place in the southern Canberra suburb of Parkes in the Parliamentary triangle.

Principal of NCHO. He trained as a teacher and taught at Westminster College before entering the ministry. In 1917, when he joined the NCHO, his distinctive life's work began.
As Principal, 1933-1950, he founded the Sisters' Training School at Highbury and Princess Alice College, Birmingham to provide training in Child Care; established small mixed family groups throughout the NCHO; instituted the Convocation lecture; built children's flats and accepted many refugee children; and founded the National Council of Associated Children's Homes.
He served on the Curtis Committee, whose report led to the Children's Act of 1948.
Restless and energetic, he was a shrewd selector of colleagues, who returned his loyalty.
He retired in 1950 to Mitcham, Australia.
He died suddenly on 21 September 1954.

Methodist Recorder, 30 Sept 1954

The Rev John W Waterhouse, OBE, MA, BD, Fifth Principal 1950 to 1969 Photo c.1950
Horsham 1951 St Leonards-on-Sea 1953 Glasgow, Cathkin House 1954 Southport (Westdene Park Cresc.) 1952 Newcastle, Stelling Hall, 1953 Dinas Powis 1959 Birkdale 1966 Hildenborough 1967 Edgbaston, Sandon Road 1966 Springside Nursery (Frodsham) Firbank Special Unit (Frodsham) Pitlochry 1967 Scarborough 1966 Leamington 1968 Wolverhampton 1967 Elmstead Woods 1969 Ealing Nursery 1968 2 Manchester Hostels 1968

The Rev John W Waterhouse, OBE, MA, BD, Fifth Principal 1950 to 1969 Photo c.1969 JOHN WALTERS WATERHOUSE, ‘gifted thinker writer and leader’.
The fifth Principal of the National Children’s Home, the Rev John Walters Waterhouse, died in hospital on 1 June 1971 – he was 63. A private cremation service was held at St Austell, Cornwall, a few days later. John Walters Waterhouse, was born in 1908 at Hither Green, London, the only son of Professor Eric S Waterhouse, formerly Principal of Richmond College.
Due to ill health, Mr Waterhouse was forced to relinquish the Principalship in 1969, retiring to St Austell. ‘During his 19 years in office he brought to his work great gifts as a thinker, writer and leader, which enabled the Home to met the developing needs of child care’, comments the Rev Gordon E Barritt. ‘But most of all, Mr Waterhouse will be remembered for the friendship which he was able to share with so many, for his utter devotion to the NCH and for his service to Christ and His Church.’ He was educated at St Paul’s School, London University and Wesley House, Cambridge. At Cambridge University he was the Gibson Greek Testament Prizeman and was awarded the Senior Marshal Scholarship in New Testament Studies. Mr Waterhouse entered the Methodist ministry in 1930 and served as Assistant Tutor at the former Didsbury College from 1931 to 1935 followed by circuit work in Barnet and Epsom. In 1936 John Waterhouse married Dr Esther M Martin and has three sons, David, Robert, John and a daughter Joy and together they made their home an ‘open house’ for those needing hospitality, comfort, support and advice. Mr Waterhouse joined the staff of the National Children’s Home as a member of the executive committee in 1944 and became Principal in 1950 on the retirement of the Rev John Litten. The Principal paid a further tribute to Mr Waterhouse in an article in the ‘Methodist Recorder’: ‘The child care world of 1950 was a new one…It was essential that the occupant of the Principal’s chair should be a person with vision to see the way in which the work of a voluntary organisation could develop, combined with wisdom and administrative expertise to enable the vision to become a reality. Jack Waterhouse was this man’, he wrote. He served on the Home Secretary’s Advisory Council on Child Care and the Central Training Council. He was a Founder Member of the National Bureau for Co-operation in Child Care (now the National Children’s Bureau), was Chairman of the National Council for Voluntary Child Care Organisations in 1957 and was the first Editor of its journal ‘Child Care’. It came as no surprise and brought great delight to all his friends in the Church and in child care circles when his work was recognized in 1958 by the award of the OBE. In 1947 he was a delegate to the Methodist Ecumenical Conference in America and was a member of the Mid-Century White House Conference in Child Care held in Washington DC in 1950. He was Guest Lecturer to the Convention of Methodist Hospitals and Homes in Cleveland, Ohio and a delegate to the World Methodist Conference in North Carolina, Oslo and London. He had the remarkable ability of calling forth intense loyalty from members of staff to himself personally, and people would never knowingly let him down. In the early days of the Principalship he was able to attract from the Methodist Conference an interest and enthusiasm for the work of the Home which had not always been present in previous years. He was first and foremost a Methodist minister with a deep pastoral concern for those committed to his care, but he brought other gifts too. His interest in photography not only meant for him a satisfying hobby, but his artistic ability was used to further the effectiveness of the Home’s publications. He had an eye for the right picture at the right moment and successive Year Books benefited from his skill in colour photography which was used imaginatively to illustrate topics and titles which caught the attention of the public and emphasized with great effect one or other aspect of child care. His publications included works on Zoroastrianism and on Charles Wesley’s hymns. During the celebration of the Home’s Centenary in 1969, although obviously unwell, he took part in as many events as his health would permit. He shared in the planning of the special occasions and services and was never happier than when the Home was honoured. His deep love of children in their varying needs was movingly portrayed when at the great celebration at the Royal Albert Hall he stood on the platform and not only welcomed the little child who came to him, but knelt at her feet – ‘Let the children come to Me…for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these…and He put His arms around them, laid His hands upon them and blessed them.’ ‘We salute this gifted, friendly and lovable man whose convictions were always courageously held and whose courage in the face of illness has been an example and an inspiration to so many.’

He was born on 12 April 1908 at Hither Green, London, the son of Waterhouse" Eric S. Waterhouse.
He was educated at St. Paul's School, London University and Wesley House Cambridge" Wesley House Cambridge, where he won the Gibson Greek Testament Prize and the Senior Marshall Scholarship in NT studies.
He was Assistant Tutor at Didsbury College, 1931-1935. He married Dr. Esther Martin (see Waterhouse, Esther M.) in 1936 and in 1944 joined the staff of the National Children\'s Home, becoming Principal in 1950, during a time of much change.
He was a founder member of the National Bureau for Co-operation in Child Care (later, the National Children's Bureau) and was awarded an OBE in 1958. He attended several World Methodist">World Methodist Conferences, from 1947 on.
He wrote books on Zoroastrianism (1934) and on the Holy Communion (1947). His later years were overshadowed by poor health and he died on 1 June 1971.

Methodist Recorder, 10 June 1971

The Rev Gordon E Barritt, OBE, MA, Sixth Principal 1969 to 1986

He was born at Stockport the son of a bank manager and a mother of Irish descent.
As a conscientious objector he served in World War II in the RAF Medical Corps before training for the ministry at Wesley House.
During his ministry at Newcastle-under-Lyme 1952-1957 he was a chaplain at Keele University.
He joined the NCH in 1957 and became the Principal in 1969, which led to frequent visits to the West Indies.
He served on several committees concerned with child-care, including the Home Office Advisory Council. In 1979 he played a leading role in the International Year of the Child and was awarded an OBE.

Methodist Recorder 21 June 1984
Conference Handbook, 1984

Grace Mead and the Principal Gordon Barritt. on her retirement from the Highbury Office. Grace, has given 36 years service as secretary to three of the principals. During the war when most of the staff were evacuated to Harpenden, she remained at Highbury with a few other staff.

The Rev Michael Newman MA
1986 - 1990
Has worked with the NCH since 1977 first as a chaplain then as Principal Designate.

D Tom White CBE
Principal and Chief Executive 1990 to 1996

Tom White with the Princess of Wales on her visit to Swansea.

Deryk Mead's CBE
Chief Executive 1996 to 2004

Retirement Jan 2004
NCH announced that Deryk Mead CBE, who has occupied the role of Chief Executive of the charity for over seven years, has retired from his position at NCH.

Clare Tickell, the NCH's new chief executive, took up her post in January 2005.
A social worker by training, joins us from Stonham Housing Association, where she has been their chief executive for the last seven years.
Clare has said: ‘I see my role and challenge as ensuring that NCH continues to develop and maintain its position as a leader and innovator in services to children, young people and families in need for generations to come’.

Russell Harman''s Retirement
Image 1

Photo supplied by the daughter of Russell Harman.

The photograph of my father (Russell Harman) and mother on the occasion of his retirement in 1974. 
It is in Nottingham, and I thought could be of particular interest as it has so many children in it. 
The presentation is being made by Sister Edna Oldham.  Unfortunately I was not able to be there, but my two brothers were along with Mr & Mrs Eric Pape.
They had been great friends of my parents since the Congleton days in the late 1930s early 1940s. 
It will be interesting to see if any of the ''children'' identify themselves.


Nottingham’s Farewell
The branch farewell to Mr and Mrs Russell Harman took place at Springfield, Nottingham, in March. In addition to present staff and children, old girls and boys returned for the occasion and special guests were Mr and Mrs G Eric Pape and members of Mr and Mrs Harman’s family (Mr and Mrs Peter Harman and Mr Trevor Harman, right of picture). The picture also includes Sisters Edna Oldham and Brenda Wootton who have been at Springfield throughout Mr Harman’s 12-year Superintendency. Sister Edna made the presentation.

The Home says ‘Thank you…’ Russell Harman
At the end of March many friends gathered at Nottingham to say thank-you and farewell to Mr and Mrs Harman. At his retirement Mr Harman must surely have been one of the longest-serving members of the staff. When I arrived at Congleton in January 1939 he was already established as clerk to Mr H T Gooding. This was his official title. He was ‘all things to all men’… and to all boys. He took his full share of supervision duties (25 hours per week minimum) dealt with after-care and did the schedules, wages, salaries, purchases and petty cash in an office which was the common room for all staff during the day and an ARP post by night. How he did it without fuss or complaint I will never know.
In 1945 he was asked to go to Frodsham as Steward to Mr S S Snell. After a short period at Newcastle, where he re-opened the old Newcastle branch which had been closed during the war, he was appointed Governor of the Ramsey branch, spending some seven years on that delightful island. In 1954 he returned from ‘overseas’ to become Governor of the Newquay branch where he remained until he moved to his final post as Superintendent of the Nottingham branch in 1962.
Many who read this will think of him as they knew him – a colleague and friend; or, if not as a colleague then certainly as a friend, in one of the six branches where he has served with a quiet efficiency and complete dedication to the work entrusted to him at whatever level.
In his work he has always had the capable and wholehearted support of his wife, Marjorie, and the continuing interest and forbearance of his three children. Many have experienced the warm welcome of their home and have reason to be grateful for it.
Since those distant days at Congleton, where Russell and Marjorie made Edna and I so welcome, we have looked upon their friendship as one of our most valued possessions. They have made many such friends during their long stay in the NCH among both staff and children, and I know that all will join me in wishing them a long and happy retirement, which we all agree is well deserved.
(Thanks to Clive for sending this item).


At the opening of the war memorial organ at Edgworth 13th September 1950.
Mr Reginal Foort F.R.C.O., Anne Chadwick, Governor F.J. Milverton, Principal the Rev. John W. Waterhouse and Alan A. Jacka

Birmingham Governors
Governors of the Birmingham Branch.
H.C. Roycroft 1942-1947
Alan A. Jacka 1938-1942
Trevor Thomas 1947-1949
A.H. Lenton 1949-1968
and Ken Phipps 1968-

The visit of the Principal the Rev John W Waterhouse to NCH Killay House Swansea Branch with left to right Sister Betty Owen, ? ? Sister Nora Miller, Sister Violet Taylor, Sister Olive Brown, Sister Elizabeth Earwhicker, the Rev John W Waterhouse, NCH Principal, the Rev Harry Facer, Minister Sketty Methodist Church from 1959 to 1964, unknown, unknown, taken pre 1964.

Senior Sisters Highbury 1939




Taken at Frodsham early 1960s?




Marjorie Malden. See 165
Lived at a bungalow – “Ambrose Corner”, Hollybush Lane, Harpenden.

Mrs C I Hiam Child Care Secretary

Sister Marjory Webster.


Sister Gillian Hearn, Alresford

Miss Muriel Gautrey

The Rev Gordon E Barritt, OBE, MA, Sixth Principal 1969 to 1986


Sister Helen Parkes

Mr Alan Jacka OBE, MA.
Education Secretary, then Social Work Adviser

Miss Mary P Ashbee
Member of the Exceutive Committee

Mr T Owen Buck BCom,
General Secretary



The Rev John W Waterhouse, OBE, MA, BD, Fifth Principal 1950 to 1969

Dr Esther M Waterhouse, wife of the Rev John W Waterhouse

Mrs Wicks

Mr Wicks

Mrs Mary Lenton MA (wife of Arthur Lenton) former Vice President of the Methodist Confrence

Sister Beryl Bonwick


Mr William J Thomas FCA
Financial Secretary


Mrs. Thomas, wife of Trevor Thomas, Governor of Alverstoke

Mrs Nora Craig wife of Mr Arthur Craig Governor of Malmesbury House

Miss Olive Chapman BSc
Education Psychologist



Sister Jill East (Harpenden)


Sister Christine Ewen, Alverstoke



Sister Lily Spivey


Lillian Rogerson,
Sea View in Penarth




Sister Ethel


House - Wakefield



Sister Ethel Smith (Harpenden)



Mrs G U Owen  Joint superintendent of Elmfield School


0042 Sister Joan Pointon

Birmingham Branch 1954-1973


Sister Marjorie Chapman, she was for some time at St Leonard''s on Sea.




Sister Kathleen Norris, Frodsham and Alverstoke.

0047  Sister Gertrude Stevens ( possibly Stephens),


Sister Ethel Sully, Alverstoke



Sister Joyce Robinson, Alverstoke.








Sister Frances Hildyard came into the Home in 1934, so has given thirty-five years of service. Penarth and after training she went to Harpenden Where she worked for twenty-six years. Sister in Charge at Newquay, Sister Frances moved to St. Ann's where, as she says, she has spent six happy years.


Sister Winifred Hankin
of Harpenden
House OGB downstairs

Edith Day Sister, Alverstoke



Sister Elsie Payne who ran the family group at Elmfield





Sister Muriel Wakefield (Alverstoke)


Sister Eileen Hardy
Scott House



Sister Winifred Margetts? (could poss be Margretts)





Sister Jenny Horne



Sister Elizabeth Haigh (Alverstoke)



Sister Pearl born 1908. Anne Pearl started her NCH work as a cook at the Painswick Branch in 1941, and training school in 1942, Danesford 1943. Ordination into the Sisterhood in 1944, Frodsham 1944, Hapenden in 1945, Seaton in April 1948 and Harpenden August 1948 until October 1966.

In the staff photograph, most of the Sisters are looking directly at the camera. Sister Pearl with her eagle eyes has spotted something, probably a child up to mischeif.
It was known that she had the ability to name any child at Harpenden at a range of 500 yards and also know which flat they were in.


Sister Peggy Greenway
Painswick, Swansea.


Sister Jean W Gray
Bristol, Princess Alice Birmingham, and NCH Staffing Secretary - the first member of the Sisterhood to be made a member of the Executive Committee. She served at Birmingham before she was Head of Bristol Branch and then she was elevated to Highbury.


Sister Ivy Bell -Alverstoke Branch, her sister was Olive Bell, matron of Sunshine House. Ivy passed away in Aug.88'' she was at Chipping Norton before she too transfer to Alverstoke.

Sister Laura Harrington
Chipping Norton





Sister Louise Edwards (Harpenden)

Sister Mary Stanton




Phyllis Allen, Nursery Staff


Mrs Eva (formerly a Sister).
She was in charge of the Clothing Store and trained the girls' Skipping Display Team.


George Best

Hhouse master

Headlands, Penarth


Sister Ruth Ewbank


Sister June E Watts

Miss Sharples

House - OGB downstairs (temp). 







This might be Miss (Ena) Machin.
Malmesbury house
Avonlea 1963/1965



Sister Margaret Willis, Alverstoke.



Mrs Edna Pape.








Mrs Marjorie Harman.


Mrs Frances Donaldson.

Mr Charles Roycroft
Princess Alice Birmingham, Harrogate, Harpenden.
An Irishman from Cork, and never quite lost an endearing quality in his speech that stemmed from his origin. In his middle twenties he joined the staff of Sam Snell at Frodsham. There in due course he brought his bride from Swansea, and there his son Brian was born.
1936 Steward at Princess Alice Orphanage. In 1940 he became Acting Governor during the war years. After the war he was appointed Superintendent successively at Harrogate and Harpenden. Charles was a Methodist local preacher and knew how to speak to children in a way they understood.




Sister Hilda, who was at Danesford, Congleton in the mid 1960's.




Sister Louis Gilbert

Peggy Miller, Highbury Head Office




Sister Margaret Scorey
Coombe, Cardiff, Farnborough, Oxted, Highbury.




Sister Violet Taylor
Coombe, first Sister in Charge of NCH Killay House Swansea from 1948 to 1968.

Sister Joyce Slade
Harpenden, Edgworth, Alverstoke and Warden at Stephenson Hall, the Staff Training College at Highbury.



Mr Buckle - Frodsham Welfare Officer in the 60s (nickname Joey)

Mr Norman Worral - Frodsham Maintenance Man for many years up to his retirement in the late 60s





Mr Drage. Alverstoke Staff Dep. Governor

Mr Joe Withington
Social Worker, Highbury, NCH South West Regional Office Bristol.

Mr W T Beattie
Steward Birmingham Branch, Head of Alresford Branch.

Mr Douglas G Cracknell, LLB
General Secretary (following the retirement of Mr T Owen Buck, BCom).


Mr Arthur Craig Governor of Malmesbury House

Mr Killick,
Alverstoke  Dep. Governor
Harpenden Dep Governor

Brackley, Midlands Regional Officer


Mr Trevor G Thomas
Alverstoke, South East Regional Officer.

John Noel Woodman ( Known as Noel )

Pricipal at the following NCH branches

Sutton Coldfield

Is now 93 years old and living in Sheringham, Norfolk (2008).


Mr G U Owen  Joint superintendent of Elmfield School


Mr Eric Pape (Congleton, Penarth and Bramhope),




Mr Walter Donaldson



Denis Piper
Senior Social Worker Harpenden


Mr Arthur Sadler, JP


Mr Alan Malden, worked at Highbury. His work entailed fund raising and that he attended the functions around the country where “Queens” from various churches in the area presented the money raised for the NCH.
Lived at a bungalow – “Ambrose Corner”, Hollybush Lane, Harpenden.

Mr E E Pruden




Miss K Hewitt
Social Worker Highbury, Bristol.

Mr Russell K Harman (Congleton, Frodsham, Newcastle upon Tyne, Ramsey, Newquay and Nottingham)

1937-38 Trainee Sisters

1939 Senior Sisters
Senior Sisters' Course Highbury 1939


Miss Audrey A M Wilson, MA


The Rev John H Litten, CBE
Fourth Principal 1933 to 1950








































Miss Maude Gautrey


Nora Miller
Sister Joyce Slade
E. Alsford
A. Jacka



Ann Mekin
William J. Thom


Lawrence Norman
Jeffery Shaw
Trevor Thomas
Mr & Mrs Burn
Mrs Hiam
Rev Ray J Jones
Joy Waterhouse
J. Cooper

R.K. Harman
David Benger
Rev J. Waterhouse
Dr E. Waterhouse
Joan Cooper


Len Wix
Sister Margaret Scorey
Sister Peggy Greenaway
Sister Sybil  Perriott
Douglas G. Cracknell
Gordon Barrett


W.J. Cook
Miss Mary Ashbee
Mrs Buck
T.O. Buck


Sister Nora Bell
Sister Beryl Bonwick
C. Roycroft
Dr J. Hayward

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