Their History

Printed items from NCH and other publications

This page will feature printed text information from NCH and other printed works that are out of print and are difficult to locate.

Administrative Biographical History
1869 - NCH founded by Rev Thomas B Stephenson, a young Methodist Minister, when he converted a disused stable into a home for orphans and abandoned children in Lambeth, London
1871 - The Lambeth home is given approval by the Wesleyan Methodist Conference and moves Bonner Road.
1872 - A second home is opened in Edgworth, Lancashire - a rural location
1873 - The Home''s emigration scheme begins with the departure of the first party of children to Canada. Reception branch in Hamilton, Ontario is opened
1875 - The Home takes on the management of an Industrial School at Milton, Gravesend
1878 - Training of women in child care begins - the ''Sisterhood'' is established
1880 - The Home takes over the management of a children''s refuge in Ramsey on the Isle of Man
1882 - Princess Alice Orphanage opens in Birmingham. The Donor stipulates that home must be for orphans only. The Children''s Home becomes the Children''s Home and Orphanage
1887 - Alverstoke in Hampshire opens as a convalescent home for children
1888 - First Conference (later called Convocation) of Home workers takes place
1891 - Women becoming sisters of the Children take part in a Public Recognition Service as a form of ordination for the first time
1892 - The League of Children''s Friends established? NCH begins placing-out children for adoption
1894 - Canadian government investigates the work of the Home in Canada
1898 - The Milton Industrial School is relocated to Farnborough
1899 - Young Leaguer''s Union established in order to encourage involvement of young people with fund-raising
1900 - Rev T B Stephenson retires and Arthur E Gregory takes his place as principal of the Children''s Home
1903 - New branch opens in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire to provice a home for ''delicate and affected children''. New branch opens at Frodsham in Cheshire
1906 - New Branch at Bramhope, near Leeds
1907 - The Home now becomes known as the National Children''s Home and Orphanage
1908 - Houses rented temporarily in Leigh-on-Sea in order to relieve the pressure of numbers in other branches
1909 - Ownership of the Laleham orphannage in Oxted transfers to NCH
1910 - Sanatorium and new branch at Harpenden in Hertfordshire opens, to provide for children with TB. NCH takes over the management of home in Newport Road, Cardiff, previously run by the Ladies Association for the Care of Young Girls
1912 - A E Gregory dies suddenlby and is replaces as principal by Rev William Hodson Smith. Rev T B Stephenson dies after a long illness
1913 - The Headquarters of NCH are moved from Bonner Road to Harpenden and the administrative section is moved to temporary accommodation in City Road. New branch opens at Doddington in Kent
1916 - New branch opens at Sheringham in Norfolk
1917 - New branch opens at Newquay in Cornwall. New branch, known as Headlands, opens at Penarth, South Glamorgan, providing training for Naval Careers. New branch opens in New Barnet
1918 - NCH provides a home for 97 Serbian refugees at the newly opened branch in Faversham, Kent. Staff rest home opens in Barmouth, Wales
1919 - New branch opens at Whitby, North Yorkshire
1920 - New branches open in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Barton-on-Humber, Lincolnshire and Congleton, Cheshire
1921 - New branch opens in Sutton-on-Sea, Lincolnshire
1921 - New branch ate Ebley, Gloucestershire. NCH takes over management of the Birkdale Orphanage and Training Home for Girls known as Westdene in Southport
1923 - New branch opens at Ribblesdale, Lancashire
1925 - The central offices of NCH move from City Road to Highbury
1929 - New branch, known as the Watson Home opens in Sutton Coldfield and becomes the first residential nursey branch
1933 - NCH branch at Newport Road, Cardiff transferred to Penarth, close to Headlands. This branch is known as Seaview. NCH takes on the administration of the Gyde House Orphannage in Painswick, Gloucestershire. Rev Hodson Smith retires and is replaced by Rev John H Litten as principal. First course for the Sisters'' Training School begins
1934 - The Hamilton branch of NCH is closed. NCH begins a seven year Development Plan. NCH takes on the administration of the Primitive Methodist Homes at Alresford and Harrogate, as a result of the Union of the Methodist churches
1935 - Stephenson Hall is opened in London order to train child care workers and Sisters. New branch, known as Springfield, opens in Nottingham
1937 - New branch open at Malmesbury
1939 - NCH accommodates Austrian refugees through its Riversmead scheme. All children in branches located in unsafe areas evacuated to other branches
1941 - Approved Schools open in Coomb, Carmarthenshire (for boys) and Seaton, Devon (for girls)
1942 - NCH publishes its Report on Reconstruction for post-war development. Hostel for Riversmead boys opens in Blackburn. New branch opens in St Anne''s on Sea, Lancashire
1943 - New branch open in Bristol and Brackley
1946 - Princess Alice College is opened in Birmingham in order to privide training for child care workers and Sisters. New branch, known as Clarendon open in Cardiff. NCH is registered as Adoption Society
1947 - New branches open in Woking (Ashwood) and Nottingham (Southbank)
1948 - NCH takes on administration of the Orphan House for Girls in Swansea, after the home had run inot financial trouble as a result of the Children''s Act 1948
1949 - Training Colleges are recognised by Home Office to provide Certificate in Child Care 1950 - NCH initiates project to emigrate children to Austrailia. New branch in Horsham, Sussex. Rev John Litten retires and is replaced by Rev John W Waterhouse as principal
1951 - The Oxted branch moved to a new location at Limpsfield, Surrey
1953 - NCH takes over administration of Orphan Home in St Leaonard''s-on-Sea, Sussex and relocates Malmsbury branch there
1955 - First Scottish branch open in Glasgow (Rutherglen)
1958 - A new branch is opened in Farnham and a hostel for older children at Enfield
1959 - Children from Penarth (Seaview) relocated to new branch at Dinas Powys in South Glamorgan
1960 - The two training Colleges, Stephenson Hall and Princess Alice College are merged at Stephenson Hall
1965 - Another branch opens in Southport, known as Birkdale
1966 - Second Scottish branch opens in Pitlochry
1967 - New branches open in Edgbaston, Birmingham; Manchester; Hildenborough, Kent and Elmstead Woods, Kent
1968 - The organisation of NCH is regionalised. New branches open in Wolverhampton, Lincoln, Ealing and Leamington Spa
1969 - NCH celebrates its centenary. New branch opens in Bourneville, Birmingham. NCH begins its work in the Caribbean. Rev J Waterhouse is replaced as principal by Rev Gordon E Barritt
1975 - New branch opens in East Grinstead
1976 - NCH takes over administration of children''s home in Enfield
1977 - New branches open in Whitechapel, London and Salford, Manchester
1978 - New branch opens in Dunstable
1979 - New branch opens in Leicester
1980 - New branches open in Hull and Streatham, London 1986 - Rev Gordon Barritt retires and is replaced by Rev Michael Newman as principal
1990 - Rev Michael Newman retires and is replaced by tom White, the first non-ordained principal
1994 - NCH is renamed NCH Action for Children
2008 NCH Action for Children is renamed as Action For Children

The history of the NCH as compiled in the NCH booklet "One Hundred Years" Published in 1969 Many thanks to the NCH for allowing the text of this book to appear.

When the New Year 1869 began, Mr. Gladstone's first term as Prime Minister was less than a month old. For many, his liberal policies, especially in Finance, Ballot Reform and Education for All, were in welcome contrast to those of Mr. Disraeli who had resigned during the previous month.
The country's population at this time was approximately 30 million people and there is no doubt that the social evils arising from industrial development were most disturbing. The wealthy minority were too rich and the manual worker majority were much too poor. The relations between these two classes of the community were really deplorable.
Charles Dickens and other writers (including Benjamin Disraeli) were succeeding in rousing the nation's conscience against these and other evils and local organizations were trying to alleviate hardship, particularly among the children of the poor.
That their progress was slow and not very adequate is exemplified by the fact that in 1869, Clare-Market Ragged School was able to provide but two wholesome dinners of pease porridge each week for 200 to 300 children who could bring their own basin, cup, mug or gallipot.
As well as the foundation of the N.C.H. in 1869, the year also saw the establishment of the Reverend C.H. Spurgeon's Home and School for Orphan Boys at Stockwell in South London and the beginning of new premises for the London Orphan Asylum at Watford, Herts.
Other Centenaries to be celebrated this year are these of Whitaker's Almanac; the Wolf Lighthouse off the Cornish Coast; Holborn Viaduct; Blackfriars Bridge; much of the Thames Embankments and the formal opening of Finsbury Park for public recreation.
A hundredth anniversary, but no cause for celebration, was the recognition in 1869 that foot-and-mouth disease had become a hazard for English cattle.
Abroad in this year of grace, 1869, General Grant became President of the United States of America, the Hudson Bay Territory became part of British America, there were political troubles in Cuba, and the Suez Canal (the 101 mile link between the Mediterranean and Red Seas) was completed and opened to shipping of all nations in peace or war.
Two events unusual for Great Britain occurred in 1869. Early in the year a small Gold Rush started around Kildonnan in Sutherland, North Scotland, where some five hundred 'diggers' staked claims which resulted in several thousand pounds worth of fine gold being mined. In the late summer, the weather became so hot that there were numerous deaths in Yorkshire from sunstroke.
A more familiar occurrence took place in October when there were serious disturbances in Trafalgar Square over the Fenians, who were seeking to overthrow English government in Ireland. Finally, the dollar stood at 4.80 to the pound; and, believe it or not, the rate of income tax in Britain was 5d. in the pound.

Mr. Stephenson, as folk first knew him, spent his early ministry in the North of England where he was well liked and where it seemed probable that he would have stayed. He received a unanimous invitation to a Church in Leeds and was on the point of accepting it. The Wesleyan Conference, however, thought otherwise and upset all his cherished plans, sending him to London to be Minister of Waterloo Road Chapel, in Lambeth.
Though Stephenson would have wished for a different scene for his labours, he threw his whole strength into the service of his congregation which he soon found consisted, not of folk who arrived in their coaches and pairs, but of children who slept rough and whom Stephenson visited with the zeal of the true pioneer that he was. There they were', he said, 'ragged, shoeless, filthy, their faces pinched with hunger and premature wretchedness, and I began to feel that now my time was come. Here were my poor little brothers and sisters, sold to hunger and the devil, and I could not be free of their blood if I did not do something to save some of them.'
Stephenson had been inspired by a book he had recently read entitled 'Praying and Working', and he realized that these two activities were just what he needed as he set out on his almost impossible task. Stephenson knew that he would need friends to stand by him, and he was fortunate to secure the support of a Mr. Francis Horner and a Mr. Alfred Mager (who promised £20 each—a big sum in those days). Mr. Horner decided to see for himself what really did happen on the Embankment at night. A friendly policeman flashed a torch under the tarpaulins covering rows of barrels, and a swarm of boys' heads appeared almost miraculously. Before the last one finally disappeared he shouted to Mr. Horner, 'Do what you can for us, Sir.' That cry was the challenge that prompted the whole work. Very soon Stephenson rented a home just off the Waterloo Road and on 9th July 1869 offered its hospitality to the first two boys, and appointed the first Master and Matron. He wasted no time and before long took the adjoining house, for the 'family' had increased to twenty and was still growing.
The need for new premises was urgent, and within a couple of years premises in Bethnal Green, to which Stephenson's ministry became redirected, served him well and the work forged ahead. The expansion of the Home was almost incredible. Men and women of good will and of many religious denominations gave their services and their money to the development of the Home.
The first twenty-five years were packed with adventure, and the story of Edgworth illustrates this well. Out on the moors of Edgworth in Lancashire there stood a wayside public house. Its reputation was unsavoury and it was known as a gamblers' resort, and a nuisance to the neighbourhood. To Mr. James Barlow, one of the Home's earliest and best friends, came the opportunity of purchasing this public house, known as The Wheatsheaf, and he did not miss his opportunity. Having secured possession of the premises he cancelled the licence and then offered the property, with a hundred acres of land, to Dr. Stephenson, as a gift to the Home in 1872. Edgworth Branch still stands, braving the wind and the rain of the hills, and today is a flourishing residential school for children who need special educational help.
Another notable venture of these years was a migration scheme to a centre in Hamilton, Ontario. Nearly three thousand youngsters received new opportunity in the New World. Though this scheme was criticized and had anxieties, problems and difficulties in plenty, faith was never lacking. 'We believe', said Stephenson, 'that we have a divine vocation; that it is a work absolutely demanded at present, and likely to be needed for many years to come/ How right he was! As early as 1874 Stephenson started a training department. This work of training continues to this day.
In 1875 Stephenson founded what was called an Industrial School at Gravesend. This was a forerunner of the Approved Schools, and after twenty-three years service it moved to Farnborough in Kent to cater for boys in special need of care and protection.
Three other Branches soon followed. The first was at Ramsey (1880) on the Isle of Man. The second was Princess Alice Orphanage (1882) and the third was-the Alverstoke Branch in Hampshire (1887).
Perhaps the best known of the above mentioned Branches that emerged in the 1880s is Princess Alice Orphanage, Sutton Coldfield. The Branch is popularly but inaccurately known as the Birmingham Branch. This splendid gift was initiated by a Birmingham business man, Mr. Solomon Jevons, and the work flourished from the very beginning. Nine houses and additional school premises were built before 1906. Between the wars the hospital (the gift of Mr. and Mrs. G. E. Lowe), the Brampton Hall, the swimming pool and workshops were added.
In 1891 was held the first public Recognition Service in connection with the Sisterhood Order which Stephenson had established for his housemothers and missioners.
Stephenson built not just in bricks but on sure foundations of sound child care. There was nothing haphazard in his enterprise and he thought out every move he made. He had three main aims for children accepted into the care of the Home first, to develop in each child a strong moral feeling ; second, to give every child a sound primary education; and third, to teach each child to use his or her brains and hands that they might be able to earn themselves a living. One of the most significant and successful steps Stephen-son took arose from the belief he had in the contribution women could make to the training of boys. He wrote, 'One feature of our work is the employment to a very large extent of Christian women in the domestic management and moral training of the children. Many institutions, as is inevitable, rely on women for the training of the girls. Ours is the only one in which the training of boys in all routine and influences of domestic life is committed to women. And yet, is it not the right plan? What person is there who will not recognize that the best influences of his early life came from his mother? Of course there are points in the discipline of our boys in which the presence and influence of men are necessary but in the quiet of the domestic circle, in all those influences which are expressed in the word 'home', the presence of women is of the highest importance.' 'But said Stephenson, 'I must again protest against the popular conception that any decent woman will do for such work as this.
Therefore it is a huge mistake to suppose that anybody who may have proved incompetent in any other walk of life, but who can wash a child's face or sew a button upon a child's dress, is fit for such work as ours.

Stephenson's views were keenly promoted in his Training Department. The training was mostly practical, but students also had hours for private study, and lectures, with advice offered to them as to their reading. But knowledge is not a thing apart, it must be matched by character. Stephenson urged that high moral qualities are needed for work with children, for it is a calling and not just an occupation. Stephenson further pointed out to the students that they needed to have self-control, patience and sympathy which would remain unperturbed even in the face of ingratitude and perversity. How Stephenson recruited staff who were prepared for this is almost miraculous, but there is no doubt that he succeeded.

The years 1895 onwards are full of N.C.H. history. In 1900, after more than thirty exacting years of Principalship, Dr. Stephenson retired from the Home, but the work went on, and under the able leadership of the Rev. Dr. A. E. Gregory a number of new Branches were added. In 1903 both the Chipping Norton and the Frodsham Branches were established. The former (which actually began in 1900 at nearby Chadlington) was a Branch set aside for the help of physically handicapped youngsters, as it is today. 'Chippy', as it is affectionately called, has indeed a proud record of healing ministry to those who need help most.
The Frodsham Branch owes its origin to a generous gift by Miss Fowler who presented a hundred acres of land to the Home with two houses which stood on it. Further houses were soon added, together with a farm, and gradually a very fine and extensive Branch took shape.
There are some who make claim that Frodsham was the first Branch to put boys and girls together in family flats, but this is claimed by other Branches also!
Bramhope (on the Yorkshire moors), now a residential special school, was opened in 1907. Oxted (now Limpsfield) followed in 1909, and the Sanatorium at Harpenden in 1910. The year 1912 was sadly marked by the death of both Dr. Stephenson and Dr. Gregory. The Rev. W. Hodson Smith became Principal this same year and completed the Harpenden Branch which had been planned by Dr. Gregory. For over forty years the Headquarters had remained at Bonner Road but now it was possible to transfer the whole community of 350 children to this 300 acre estate where houses for girls and boys had been built and facilities provided for industrial training. (Later, a fine Chapel was built through the generosity of Mr. Joseph Rank which is now the focal point of the Branch.) The Branches which opened at Sheringham, Newquay, Penarth and Doddington all belong to this period of continuing development. Headlands, Penarth, was founded in 1919, when an extensive property was given to the Home by Mrs. J. A. Gibbs in memory of her husband who fell in the first World War. Until 1936 this Branch was run as a Nautical Training School, and during this period many boys were placed in the Royal Navy or Merchant Service. As a further contribution to the wider care of children ninety-seven Serbian refugees were received by the Home in 1918.
Two further Branches by the seaside, one at Whitby and another at Barton-on-Humber, were opened in 1919. Though both of these are now closed, their work is not forgotten. At Harrogate there is a new Barton House, while Larpool Hall, Whitby, has been recently replaced by May Lodge, Scarborough.

1920 saw the addition of three more Branches, at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Congleton and Ebley. It was especially appropriate that there should be a Branch at Newcastle-upon-Tyne which was the birthplace of Dr. Stephenson himself. The former house at Elswick Road, Newcastle, was in use for many years until the transfer to a country house, Stelling Hall, Stocksfield, in 1953.
The Congleton Branch was officially opened by the Duke of York who became His Majesty King George VI, and who was graciously pleased to say that this was obviously 'a real home and not a mere institution' and congratulated all concerned. In due course it became an Approved School, Danesford, and over the years has played its full part in the reclamation of young lives from delinquency. The Home has a distinguished record in the Approved School Service, and at one point managed five Approved Schools (Congleton, Penarth, Coomb, Farnborough and Seaton).
Ebley House, Gloucestershire (1920), at one time used as a Home for senior girls, is now a residential nursery and training centre from which girls are prepared for the examination of the N.N.E.B.
The year 1923 saw the establishment of the Home's work in Knowsley Road, Southport, later to be transferred to Westdene, Hesketh Park, when the former house was made a staff holiday centre.
In 1925 the Chief Offices of the Home were moved from City Road, London, to Highbury Park. This was done with great foresight, and the excellent premises have been of inestimable help to the Home's administration. In 1927 the Y.LU. Hospital (or Nursery as now called) was built in the extensive grounds of Chief Office.
In 1929, Watson House, Sutton Coldfield, was added to the Midland Branches of the Home.
In 1933, when Branches were added at Sea View, Penarth, and Gyde House, Painswick, the Rev. Hodson Smith retired and was succeeded by the Rev. John H. Litten. Mr. Litten was a man of exceptional gifts and personality. He had long dreamed of the establishment of a training college for his staff and particularly for the Sisters. The scheme originally promoted by Dr. Stephenson himself would be realized in a new setting, and he lost no time in tackling the problem and opportunity. In 1933 he rented a nearby house but immediately began to build, and in 1935 the first students entered a splendid new building. 'Stephenson Hall', Highbury, has made a contribution beyond reckoning to the whole field of child care, and Litten's pioneer work was eventually to bring him national recognition by the award of the C.B.E.
In 1934 extensive Branches at Harrogate and Alresford were added as the result of the Union of the Methodist Churches.
In 1935 the Nottingham Branch, 'Springfield', a gift from Sir Arthur Black, was opened, to be followed some ten years later by his further gift of 'South Bank'.
Malmesbury House in Wiltshire, came into the Home's use in 1937. This was another Branch that ultimately was to move, and the present Malmesbury House is at St. Leonards-on-Sea.
Coomb (Carmarthen) and Ryalls Court (Seaton) came into use in the same year (1941). It was war-time and they provided residence in parts of the country which were safer than most. Incidentally no child in the whole.

The end of the Second World War did not find the Home unprepared or without a policy for the future. Throughout the long years of conflict the Principal, the Rev. John H. Litten, gathered his Executive round him and planned for better days. As early as 1942 the Home published the findings of a Commission of Reconstruction, in which every part of the Home's life and work was reviewed and assessed for future use. Much of this was premature, but it is interesting to study how much did in fact become foundation stones of policy for the years that lay ahead and anticipated the findings of the Curtis Committee of which Mr. Litten was himself a member.
The Curtis Report of 1946, presenting the findings of the Care of Children Committee, was published in two sections, the first of which was about training in Child Care. Not only did Mr. Litten contribute much of value in the deliberation of the Committee but established forthwith another Training College in Child Care, Princess Alice College, Sutton Coldfield. Later this merged with Stephenson Hall, and a joint training scheme came into being. One result of this enterprise in training is that the National Children's Home has a high percentage of trained workers. Over 90 per cent of its house-mothers in charge of groups have gained the Home Office Certificate in Child Care, and staff are encouraged to take further training.
During the period immediately following the War many houses were 'flatted' and adapted for smaller families of children. Whereas in days gone by families were counted in terms of twenty or even more, the groups now comprised eight to twelve children. The standards of child care were almost inevitably raised and the Children's Home led the way in giving a greater measure of individual attention to the children in its care.
In the meanwhile, more Branches were added. A delightful house at St. Annes-on-Sea, which had been used as an evacuation centre, was acquired permanently in 1946. At Woking a large nursery (Ashwood) in extensive grounds provided an ideal Adoptions Branch. It also formed an excellent training centre for nursery nurse students. At Nottingham, a further gift had made over 'South Bank' to the Home, as already recorded. This House had the distinction of being a Branch without change of staff for some fifteen years, until the two Sisters left to get married ! Another Branch was established in 1947 at Cardiff. 'Clarendon' was the gift of a former Lord Mayor of the city, and was the smallest of the Home's Branches, accommodating fourteen children in two houses.

Killay House, Swansea, was a notable acquisition in which the Home took over the property and work of the Swansea Orphan Home for Girls (1948). In this year also the Oxted Branch transferred to Limpsfield. Later this fine property, sad to record, was burned to the ground in 1957, but without any loss of life or personal injury.
The new Limpsfield has accommodation for thirty-two children. It is composed of the main Nursery Block, Laleham House, to which are adjoined two most attractive family-group houses. One is called Weil House, for it was made possible by a most generous legacy from the estate of the late Mr. Rene Weil. The other family-group house is known as Parley House. Limpsfield caters for children who for some special reason of health or ability are not yet ready for transfer to senior Branches or for fostering. Here they receive skilled help to overcome their handicaps.
Limpsfield is also one of the Home's Adoption Centres. The Nursery is extremely attractive and perhaps its only danger is that it should be regarded as a showpiece, for visitors come from far and wide to see it.
In 1948, 118 children were received from Germany and from the displaced persons' camps in Denmark. This scheme was highly successful, and the children became 'at home' and settled down in the family life of the Branches. In 1950 the Rev. John Waterhouse became Principal on the retirement of the Rev. John Litten, and built again on the foundations his predecessors had laid. Forest House, Horsham, was established as a Nursery, and Sunshine House, Alverstoke, became a special residential School for physically handicapped girls. With the process of extension, however, there was bound to be retraction also, and in 1950-1 Farnborough, Doddington and Ashfield (at Harrogate) were disposed of for various reasons. There were also certain changes in use. In 1953 the Edgworth Branch became a residential Special School, whilst Bramhope followed similarly some four years later. The Sanatorium at Harpenden became a Branch for the physically handicapped.
The first Scottish Branch, Cathkin House, Rutherglen, opened in 1954, to be followed in 1966 by the Archie Briggs House, Pitlochry, the generous gift of Mrs. I. B. Briggs. In Wales, Dinas Powis took the place of 'Sea View', Penarth. Though it was found necessary to close Newquay in 1963, other Branches situated in areas where the child care needs were more pressing took its place.
Applications for admission of children in 1968 have been as usual far more numerous than the places available, and we were able to admit only 42 per cent of the children on whose behalf applications were made. The demand was again particularly heavy in South-East England, which accounted for nearly half the applications, including a high proportion for children under 5 years of age.
An interesting feature of the 1967 statistics was the increased length of stay of children placed by local authorities. In consequence, fewer vacancies arose in the Branches and admissions were correspondingly reduced. Nevertheless, the total number of children and young people receiving care or support during the year was 3,438, comprising 2,630 in Branches, 208 in foster-homes, 222 who had left school for further education or had embarked on their careers, and 378 assisted in their own homes under the Family Aid Scheme, either as a preventive measure to avoid the necessity of taking them directly into care or during a period of rehabilitation after leaving Branches.
During 1967, 259 babies from our nurseries were placed for adoption and another 45 children in our foster-homes were adopted by their foster-parents. A total of 323 adoptions were legalized.
The recruitment of suitable foster-parents continues to pose a problem. Many of those showing initial interest do not proceed to apply, and of formal applications received, less than one-third are found to be acceptable after full investigation.
Once more the Home appeals for staff, and particularly women between the ages of 18 to 25, though there are some vacancies for single men and married couples. The Principal will be happy to send particulars of the training which is available.
The past year has been marked by a number of new ventures of significance undertaken by the Home, and not least among them has been the allocation of a sum of money for research to be undertaken in association with the National Bureau for Co-operation in Child Care, directed by Dr. M. L. Kellmer Pringle.
The practical value of this research will have a direct bearing on services to children be they preventive, diagnostic, curative or rehabilitative. To have reliable information about the number of socially deviant and emotionally disturbed children seems an essential pre-requisite for making adequate provision for their early detection and treatment. The essence of the study will be to enable Child Care Services to meet current needs by gathering the fullest knowledge available.

THE FUTURE for 1969
Another transformation that took place during these years was at the Printing School situated at Harpenden. The story of the school dates back to 1871 during the Bonner Road days. In that year, an old platen machine together with a small amount of type was acquired and small handbills were produced. From this humble beginning the printing section grew and in due course moved to Harpenden where a carefully laid out and well lighted building was constructed. It was in 1936 that large extensions were made to this building and today there exists a modern printing works of over 12,000 sq. ft. where most of the Home's printing is undertaken.
One of the earliest accounts of the origins of the Home reads thus: 'A gathering of friends of this enterprise, for the purpose of imploring the Divine Blessing upon it, was held in the workshop of the Home on the afternoon of Friday, July 16th, 1869. About 30 ladies and gentlemen were present. John Chubb, Esq., was called to the Chair. He expressed his deep sympathy with the movement and believed that it was urgently needed. He thought the modest scale on which it had been commenced recommended it, for it was from small beginnings that great movements arose; and he trusted this would be but the commencement of a movement which would spread very widely.'
In such a year as this we may seek to discern something of the future in the past. What did Dr. Stephenson say as he traced the way God had led him ? Here are his own words: 'We have a God who answers prayer. How then should we be surprised that He has blessed and sustained us ? We believed that God's hand was in the enterprise when we commenced it, and it is impossible for us to doubt it now. We have such marvellous proofs of God's kind guiding that we joyfully exclaim "This is the Lord's doing and it is marvellous in our eyes." If we had known the difficulties when we started, our faith would probably have failed. But the Lord often lets His people see only a single step before them, and not until they take that step are they permitted a secure foothold for a second.
'We have sometimes had not a single pound in the Bank and no visible source for the next week's supplies, but the money has invariably arrived.' Times have changed greatly, and no longer do we live from hand to mouth as did Dr. Stephenson. But our dependence on God remains the same. The Home to which we belong is no merely human organization but an outworking of the divine spirit in the hearts and minds of those who place themselves in God's hands. Will there be a National Children's Home a hundred years hence ? This is a question on which few would dare to pronounce. But we believe that God will not fail to raise up His servants to help children in need. Whether such help comes through voluntary societies or statutory agencies, or through both, matters little if love is our motive.
The final word comes again from Dr. Stephenson—'Very humbly, feeling how great the work is and how feeble we are for it, we yet offer ourselves, placing the children in Christ's arms, that He may bless them.

1973 A New Chapter for the NCH
Children entering the NCH have come from two main groups. There are the children who’s parents and relatives apply directly to the NCH for their help and there are the local authorities that use our services to board their children, when their Homes have reached maximum numbers.
1973 will see a new policy, we will still accept children who’s parents ask for help, but we are now encouraging the local authorities and Social Services to reserve up to 75% of the places in our general branches.
There will also be the encouragement for local authorities to accept responsibility for children within their area to be received into the branches of the Home, and to meet the full day to day cost of caring for the children placed by them.
The following Homes will have the status of Assisted Community Homes: Birkdale & Southport, Brackley, Bristol, Congleton, Ebley, Frodsham, Harpenden, Harrogate, Lincoln, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Painswick, Penarth, Scarborough, and Seaton.
Of course, there was much heart searching, but the Home was convinced that this whole approach was for the good of the children.
D.G. Cracknell.

1877 Presentation item
Silver presentation gift

An early presentation item from The Children's Home in 1877, later to become The NCH.

A Victorian English sterling silver. It is inscribed 'Childrens Home, 10th December 1877', has three small slots in the top, and one in the base, presumably for fixing, and was made in London in 1876 by Robert Harper. 5.3 inches / 13.5 cm wide, weight 2.7 Troy oz.

A presentationMasonic-looking decorative Level (a tool with a mini plumb line that has to hang perfectly perpendicular to the base to prove a surface horizontal, predating modern spirit levels). In the symbolic language of Freemasonry the tools of the building trade are used to illustrate moral virtues.

The Level is used by operative masons to lay levels and prove horizontals. In speculative masonry the Level teaches equality and is particularly associated with the Senior Warden's office in a Lodge. Such symbols were not restricted to Freemasonry or quasi-masonic orders but were used by many other organisations that wished to illustrate or embody moral teachings (from friendly societies to churches, companies, unions and guilds, etc.), especially during the latter half of Victoria's reign. They were often illustrated in certificates, awards, trophies, and distributed to commemorate the laying of foundation stones, the inception or the completion of buildings or philanthropic projects.


The archives of (a)-(d) and (k) are not subject to access restrictions.

The archives of (e)-(j) are subject to access restrictions as regards archives within a ‘closed period'. The ‘closed period' is 100 years from the closure of the records in the case of archives relating to clients, 75 years in respect of archives relating to the staff of the charity, and 30 years in respect of administrative archives. For further information, please contact the Department of Special Collections and Archives.

In the following listing, the Department’s references for the records are given in the left hand column (e.g. D.7). Where a copy of the Department’s list of the records is held by the National Register of Archives (at The National Archives, Ruskin Avenue, Kew, Richmond, TW9 4DU), this is noted.


F. National Children's Home (now NCH Action for Children)

(a) Bibliography

T.B. Stephenson The Story of the Children's Home and Princess Alice Orphanage (1883).
(reference copy in Special Collections and Archives, ref.

Nehemiah Curnock The Story of the Children's Home (Charles H. Kelly, 2nd ed., 1901).
(reference copies of both the 1st, 1891, and 2nd editions are in Special Collections and Archives, ref. D.541/D3/3/1-2.)

William Bradfield The Life of the Reverend Thomas Bowman Stephenson (Charles H. Kelly, 1913).
(reference copy in Special Collections and Archives, ref.

H.J. Sugden Children on Wheels (Epworth Press, 1928).
(reference copy in Special Collections and Archives, ref.

Alan A. Jacka The Story of the Children's Home (National Children's Home, London, 1969) (a centenary history.)
(reference copies in Education Library, University of Liverpool, ref. 362.73 JAC, and Special Collections and Archives, ref. D.541/D3/10)

Gerry Urey ‘Child Migration 1950-1955' (1994) (typescript)

Terry Philpot Action for Children, The Story of Britain's Foremost Children's Charity (Lion Publishing, Oxford, 1994).
(reference copy in Special Collections and Archives’ Reference Library)

John M. Turner ‘Stephenson, Thomas Bowman (1839-1912)’ in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Vol.52, 2004, pp.510-11.

See, too, entries for Dr. Julie Grier’s Ph.D. thesis (2000) (p.5 of this Information Sheet); Jon Lawrence and Pat Starkey, editors, Child Welfare and Social Action (2001) (see pp.5-6 of this Information Sheet); and Roger Kershaw, Emigrants and Expats, A guide to sources on UK emigration and residents overseas (2002) (see p.6 of this Information Sheet).

A growing number of university theses have been based to some degree on the social work archives at the University of Liverpool. For instance, Dr. Margaret R. Currie’s Ph.D. thesis, ‘Social policy and public health measures in Bedfordshire, within the national context, 1904-1938’ (University of Luton, 1998) draws on NCH (and Barnardo’s) archives, particularly for chapter 4, on the welfare of children.

(b) Archives

D.541 A Central Committees

A1 Minutes of the General Committee, later the Council, 1869-1990, (1991)-(1999)
A2 Minutes of the Executive Committee, 1909-17, and of the
Executive Council, 1933-57
A3 Minutes of the Finance Sub-Committee, 1878-81, and Finance
and General Purposes Committees, later the Executive
Committee, 1894-(1999)
A4 Minutes of the Application Committee, 1908-66
A5 Minutes of other Committees, 1878-(1999), including Local Branch Committees, 1914-45, Welfare Council, 1944-64, and Social Work Committee, 1985-(1999)
A6 Miscellaneous, 1887-1991, including names and addresses of
Committee members, 1918-91, and minutes of Trustees and
Committee of Management and of the Orphanage Committee,
1887-89, 1895.

A7 Minutes of Executive Officers’ Committee, later the Senior
Management Group, 1973, 1978, 1987-92.
A8 Minutes and some related papers of the Trustees, 1913-15,

B Financial and Legal

B1/1-12 Numerical and Financial Statements, (1903)-1916, 1924-26
B1/13 Statements of Income and Expenditure and Balance Sheets,

C Policy and Planning

C1 Policy and Procedure Manuals, 1945-92
C2 Policy papers, 1954-85
C3 Organisation and branch surveys, 1934-47
C4 Strategic plans, 1973-94

D Publications

D1 Annual reports, yearbooks, and annual reviews, etc.,
D2 Magazines, newspapers, and newsletters, including
Children’s Advocate, 1871-86, Highways and Hedges,
1888-1933, Children, 1934-88, and Our News (for Old
Girls and Boys), 1909-73
D3 Books on the National Children’s Homes, 1883-1994
D4 Books about individuals, 1913-87
D5 NCH Surveys and Reports, 1991-94
D6 Material written by staff, 1954-80
D7 Hymn books and sheet music, 1882-1987
D8 Miscellaneous, 1883-1992

It should be noted that the Library, NCH Action for Children, 85 Highbury Park, London, N5 1UD holds copies of a number of NCH publications, copies of many of which are to be found in D.541/D1-D8.

The Department of Special Collections and Archives holds a copy of the catalogue of the catalogued element of these publications (which covers the period c.1950-2000). The Library of NCH Action for Children also holds (uncatalogued) copies of its other, periodical publications: Convocation Lectures, Children’s Advocate, Child Welfare Worker, Highways and Hedges, Children, Our News, Family News, NCH News, and Action for Children News, besides a complete set of annual reports from 1870 to the present day.

Please contact the Library and Information Services Manager (Ms. Jenny
Collieson) to arrange a visit to the Library, NCH Action for Children.

E Staff and Training

E1 Sisterhood Council minutes, 1933-54, and Sisterhood Committee
minutes, 1955-84
E2 Staff Appointment Records, 1873-1969
E3 Ordination/Qualification and Service Awards, 1875-1967
E4 Training course resources, 1928-51
E5 Student records, 1936-79
E6 Publications, 1941-85
E7 Publicity and fund-raising, 1929-85
E8 Miscellaneous, 1949-96

It should be noted that NCH Action for Children, 85 Highbury Park, London, N5 1UD, retains staffing records only for the period since 1950. The publications of NCH (including Highways and Hedges), cited in D2, above, make reference to the retirement/death of long-serving staff and committee members.

F Convocation

F1 Records and Minutes of Convocation, 1892-1985
F2 Programmes, 1895-1935
F3 Handbooks and Discussion Papers, 1936-74
F4 Proceedings, 1932-64
F5 Sermons and Lectures, 1946-84

G Fundraising and Publicity

G1 Newspapers and publications, 1920s-1996
G2 Centenary celebrations and events, 1966-70
G3 NCH George Thomas Society, 1989-93
G4 Fundraising Events, c.1883-1885, 1919, 1929, 1950-90
G5 Appeal leaflets and collection cards, 1930s-1992
G6 Regional activities, 1970s-c.1990s
G7 Information/Publicity leaflets, 1992, n.d.
G8 Miscellaneous, c.1950s-1990s

H Children’s records

H1 Application Registers, [1869]-[1870], 1923-65
H2 Admission Registers, 1869-1984
H3 General Registers, 1914-56
H4 Precis Books, 1869-1964
H5 Transfer Books, 1916-64
H6 Analytical and Statistical Registers, 1869-1981
H7 Contribution and Local Authority Payment Books,
H8 Miscellaneous, 1905-79

J Local Branch records

The largest and most diverse element of the archives of NCH Action for Children comprises the records of nearly 50 of the 80 or so homes. These records have been arranged according to the following classification scheme:-

/1 Committee minutes and establishment, including local branch
committee minutes
/2 Registers, including branch admission and progress registers
/3 Daily branch management, including log books
/4 Staff: details of staff wages and some staff diaries
/5 Publications, including leaflets, reports, etc., relating to a
specific branch
/6 General correspondence
/7 Projects
/8 Publicity and fundraising
/9 Miscellaneous, including cot naming books, scrapbooks of
newscuttings, and photographs

K Projects

K1 Rosebank Project, Lymm, 1981-89
K2 Family Support Centres, 1979-89
K3 Miscellaneous projects, 1991-92

L Overseas

L1 Canada; includes registers, 1873-1931, which provide
details and progress reports of the children who were
emigrated to Canada
L2 Central Europe: records of three schemes involving the
rescue of refugee children from Central Europe - Serbia,
1918-21; Riversmead Scheme (to provide safe haven for
young male German and Austrian Christians with Jewish
ancestry), 1939-61; and the ‘Hospitality Scheme’ (to
provide home for children currently in refugee camps on
the Continent), 1946-60
L3 Australia; includes Committee minutes, 1948-59, registers,
1949-52, publications, 1945-90, and correspondence files,
1938-59, relating to both NCH’s own migration scheme and
to NCH’s earlier use of the Fairbridge Society’s emigration
L4 Hong Kong, 1959-65; principally records relating to the
background to a joint scheme with the International Social
Service to provide foster homes in Britain for a number of
unwanted babies
L5 Caribbean; records, 1973-79, relating to a NCH branch and
training centre at Kingston, Jamaica that opened in 1973

L6 Miscellaneous, 1918-91, comprising South African Fund
Register, 1918-27, Minutes of the Council for Voluntary
Organisations for Child Emigration (including Barnardo’s,
NCH, and Fairbridge), 1951-59, and book about
Motherless Babies Home at Uzuakoli, Nigeria, 1991

M Associated Organisations

M1 Old Girls and Boys, 1905-77, including decorative
calendars and other samples of work produced by the
‘artist without hands’, John Buchan
M2 Young Leaguers Union, including the League of Light,
M3 Ladies Association: commemorative book, c.1930, and list of
first thousand members of the Association, n.d.
M4 Association of Friends, 1970s - 1986
M5 Phebe Mission, 1869-1967
M6 Twig Folley Old British School and Mission, 1942-67
M7 Gordon Hall Mission, 1985

N Farningham and Swanley ‘Homes for Little Boys’

These two children’s homes in Kent were never run by NCH. The Home for Little Boys at Farningham was established in 1864 and the Home at Swanley in 1883. In 1964, when the organisation was being wound up, the trustees donated the proceeds from the sale of the land and buildings, and also the records, to NCH.

The records, which are arranged according to the same classification as that for local branch records (D.541/J), include General Committee minutes, 1867-1928, and Executive and Finance Committee minutes, 1928-67; application books, 1899-1957, admission registers, 1889-1960, and case books (Farningham, 1864-1956, and Swanley, 1876-1960); annual reports, 1865-1922; copies of the magazines Our Little Lads, 1911-34, and Young People’s Union, 1912-52. In addition, about 500 case files are also held relating to children at the two homes from the late 1940s until they closed in the late 1950s.

For records of these Homes held elsewhere, see p.20 of this Information

Case Files

In addition to the archives described above, the Department of Special Collections and Archives holds the case files of children formally admitted into NCH since its foundation in 1869.


In addition to the archives described above, the Department has more recently received a large collection of c.7,000 photographs (of NCH homes and premises, staff, groups of children, activities, etc.) from NCH Action for Children’s Highbury offices. The majority of these photographs (both original and copy photographs) have been placed in the relevant folder of photographs covering a particular Home, though some have been put in folders covering, for instance, ‘Staff NCH’, and ‘Stephenson’ [relating to the Revd. T.B. Stephenson].

In addition to the archives deposited by NCH Action for Children, the following have been received from other sources:-

D.772 Photocopy of Mrs. Dora Berry, ‘Vol.VII of Memories of My Early Years : Early Married Life at the National Children’s Home 1949’ (1993); relates to Bramhope (near Leeds) branch of the NCH, to which Mrs. Berry’s husband was appointed as a member of the Maintenance Staff.

D.777 A.J. Hodgetts, The National Children’s Home, Bramhope Branch, Recollections 1934-1948 (1996)

D.778 Recollections of Mrs. Emma Dyson of the years (1934-40) she spent at the Bramhope Branch of the National Children’s Home [1999]; photographs of the exterior of the former Home, 1991.

D.790 Maureen Bones, Wolverhampton Church Child Jubilee (1999); principally a history of the Princess Alice Orphanage and School, Birmingham (incorporating text of Mr. Les Smith’s Brief History, D.541/J6/5/7).

D.830 Extracts from Malcolm Bottrill, My Family History… (2000) as
concern Mr Henry Bottrill (1849-1924), a member of staff of the Central Office, National Children’s Home, London, 1879-1920, initially as secretarial assistant to the Revd. Dr. T.B. Stephenson and later as Accountant.

D.841 [Dr. David R. Cole], NCH Sisterhood Memorial Book (2001); an account of the meaning of the Sisterhood Badge, a chronological list of the opening of NCH branches 1868-1969, and an alphabetical list of the names of the Sisters who were ordained into the Sisterhood and the year of their ordination.

D.870 Postcard and other photographic views of NCH branches (especially Frodsham and Harpenden) and staff, and other buildings, 1929, 1934, n.d. [?1930s-?1960s].

D.916 Photographs of children and staff at NCH Homes (including Southport), also two NCH long service medals awarded to Sister Edna Stevens (1917-95).

D.928 Papers relating to the Edgworth branch of NCH, 1972, and 2002-05, including Anita D. Forth, Edgworth to Crowthorn, The story of a Lancashire Children’s Home (2005).

Records Elsewhere

The Library of NCH Action for Children, 85 Highbury Park, London, N5 1UD, holds video copies of films about the NCH which were made in 1950s-1970s, together with copies of videos about the NCH made in the 1980s-1995; a total of 26 videocassettes in all.
A list of these videos is held by the Department of Special Collections and Archives.

The Centre for Kentish Studies, Sessions House, County Hall, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 1XQ, holds other records (including managers’ minutes, admission registers, and log books) relating to the Farningham and Swanley Homes; they cover the period 1931-61, and their references are C/ES 193 and 358.
A list of these records is held by the Department of Special Collections and Archives.

Birmingham City Archives, Central Library, Chamberlain Square, Birmingham, B3 3HQ, holds other records (including minute books, log books, registers of children, photographs, press cuttings, and magazines) relating to Princess Alice Orphanage, Birmingham; they cover the period 1878-1980, and their reference is MS 1249. A list of these records is held by the Department of Special Collections and Archives.

The National Library of Australia, Canberra, Australia, holds the papers of the Revd. John H. Litten, CBE (1878-1954; Principal of the National Children’s Home, 1933-50), their reference MS.9284. The papers (28 boxes in all) apparently mainly concern child migration.


1970 Flat Expenditure

To all Houseparents in Charge 19th March 1970
Please take careful note of the following and place this in your file for future reference.
As you are aware, the new financial year begins on April 1st, and I am anxious to put our expenditure on the kind of basis which is easily understood by all members of staff. It is important that we maintain a good overall standard and at the same time be economical as possible.

Clothing and Footwear
From April 1st each child on the branch will have their own card kept centrally at the Administration Block. This will show a fixed amount in April1st, and as each item of clothing is ordered the sum will reduce accordingly.

Allowance per Year
Age up to 5 years £18.
Age 5 – 8 years £20.
Age 8 – 11 years £22.
Age 11 – 14 years £22.
Age above 14 years £28.

For new admissions during the year this will be on a pro-rata basis.

The Monthly allowance will be paid to older children who are buying their own clothes and will be at the rate of 12/6 (63p) per week.

I hope that full advantage will be taken of second-hand clothing especially for play purposes.

A record of expenditure for each flat will be kept under this heading and will include milk, fish, bread, meat and vegetables, as well as the weekly food ordered from Cullens.
Whilst a substantial diet should be provided, every reasonable economy should be taken under this heading, and full advantage should be taken of fruit available from the gardeners when in season.

As a guide the food allowance will be as follows per week.
Children £1.10.00 (£1.50)
Staff £2.

e.g. A family group with eight children and two staff will have an allowance for food of £16.

House Stores and Small Furnishings.
These items will be ordered the same way through Mrs Roberts and a fixed amount per month will be shown on a card for each flat.
It is important that under this heading we do not overspend and Mrs Roberts will be in a position to let you know how your allowance stands at any particular time./

Monthly allowance per flat for soap, soap powder, and small furnishings will be £4.10.00 (£4.50). or annually until 31st March 1971 £54.

Please discuss the forgoing with your assistant Staff as part of the learning situation and also so that everyone will be aware of the Procedure.

J.C. Burn.

1970 Clothes for leaving the NCH


Girls (Older)
1 Coat – Winter
1 Mac., showerproof coat, or anorak
2 pairs shoes
3 pairs stockings
1 pair gloves
3 Vests
3 pairs briefs
3 Slips
3 Bras
2 Suspender Belts
2 pairs Pyjamas
1 Winter dress or
2 Summer dresses
1 Skirt
1 Cardigan
1 Jumper
12 Handkerchiefs
1 pair Slippers
Dressing Gown
Sports clothes if keen to continue, e.g. bathing costume, shorts.
Complete set of toilet Articles,
Coat-hangers and clothes brush,
Mending materials with scissors etc.
Shoe cleaning outfit
One large case and hold-all or two smaller cases.

Boys (older)

1 Suit
1 Sports Coat
1 pair Trousers
1 Duffle-coat or Wind-cheater
1 Anorak
3 Vests
3 pairs Pants
3 Shirts
1 Pullover
2 pairs Pyjamas
1 pair Braces or Belt
2 Ties
8 Handkerchiefs
4 pairs Socks
2 pairs Shoes
1 pair Slippers
Working clothes
Sports clothes if keen to continue e.g. bathing trunks
Dressing Gown - optional
Toilet Articles
Shoe cleaning materials
Coat hangers and clothes brush
One large case and Hold-all or two smaller cases.

Troublesome Children

The National Children’s Home Convocation Lecture 1964
One of the subjects was how to deal with children that while they had not really done anything wrong in the eyes of the law, might if given the chance later develop problems.
Most of the concerns were over parental problems, whilst there was often no physical harm whilst the child was with parents, it was often noticed that the life of the child was affected.
For boys it was often missing several days of school, where they seemed to leave their parents in the morning with the intention of going to school, often the child never arrived at school, although at the end of the school day they might appear home with everything giving the impression that a full day of school had been achieved, this did not only affect boys at the lower end of the learning curve, but even bright children, even arranging to do home work after tea. The ages were in the 9-14 group. It was these boys that often became involved in minor wrong doings whilst away from school.
The first the parents knew was often via the school or the truant officer rather than the police. In many cases the problem was dealt with and no further school days were lost.
The problem we have is with the children that simply do not want to go to school. The solution is for some form of residential school.
Local Councils and the Home Office will jointly fund places for children that have been committed by the court, however if a placement is needed without court intervention, the full upkeep of the child then falls entirely on the Local Council where the child lives. Reluctance in funding is therefore a problem until the child actually becomes out of control.
It is thought that the approved schools programme could be enlarged to admit more children into the system, and possibly remove some of the rather negative connotations the public have over the words ‘Approved School’. Thus a new category of ‘Voluntary Approved School’ might be possible.

When this proposal for Voluntary Approved Schools'' was mentioned to a professional gathering, the question was asked: ‘But what would we do with the children once we got them there?’
The first answer is that the mere ''getting them there'' solves many problems, by forestalling the delinquency to which most of the children in question will resort to, by providing a stable environment which will not be beyond the tolerance of the stress-vulnerable child, by removing children from temptation and provocation. The minimum requirement is thus an atmosphere of good but not punitive discipline.
One might call it a therapeutic discipline based on the principles of least stress and the development of normal social attachments.
This is best done in small family-like units such as in the branches of the National Children''s Home. This system consists in the grouping of some eight or nine children each with their house-mother and having their own rooms. It means the abandonment of large-scale communal feeding, or if this is necessary, having separate tables for the family-groups. It also means the abandonment of large dormitories, three or four children sleeping in one room being the ideal.
Mr. R. H. Adams, Principal of the Kingswood Classifying School, once remarked to the writer that the only junior Approved School to which he could send maladjusted children with the confidence that they would not ''bounce back'' was the Coomb School in South Wales, run by the National Children''s Home, on the above lines.
A short time later—during the period of optimism owing to the temporary lessening of delinquency during the early 1950''s—the Home Office decided that it would have to be closed, choosing this school because it cost a few more shillings per child per week to run and was a little more expensive in the conveyance of children. That it offered a successful solution to a difficult problem was not taken into account.

Golden Links
by Cecil Walpole, General Secretary of the NCH.
The adoption of an approved Dietary Scale has eased, in some measure, the actual task of feeding the children. But it is one thing to have a printed scale and quite another to see that the means for carrying it out are always available.
Five and a quarter million meals are provided in the Home every year, and these meals cost about £154 a day. An increased cost of a farthing a meal would increase the cost of running the Home by £5000 per annum. One Branch reports that it consumes 150 Ibs. of cooking apples each week and 100 Ibs. of eating apples. The Edgworth Branch reports that at Christmastime the children assist in the disappearance of two and three-quarter hundredweights of Christmas pudding—the puddings being cooked in 11 Ib. basins. The Home's bread bill is about £150 a week, and milk costs £50 a day.
The central buying department at Highbury renders valuable assistance to the Branches in the purchase of necessary commodities, and there is always great keenness on the part of the Governors and Sisters-in-Charge to obtain their requirements at the lowest price consistent with quality.
Those who live in constant touch with children know that poor food has its evil effects not only on the body, but also on the mind. Problems of discipline are invariably increased when children are ill-nourished.

The Childrens Advocate
The Organ of The Children’s Home
A selection of items from the 1892 to 1898 volumes of the monthly magazines edited by Thomas Bowman Stephenson founder of the Children’s Home later to become The National Children’s Home.

Our Farm Colony.
This is an attempt to enable our friends to realise the extent and importance of our Farm Colony at Edgworth.
The road on the right comes up from the village of Edgworth, and is the highway thence to the town of Blackburn. The traveller, as he sweeps round the corner of a hill, comes in sight of our settlement, and it is really a wonderful panorama that is spread before him. The hills rise high behind, and on the crest is one of the quarries, from which thousands of tons of stone have been dug, largely by the labour of our own boys, for our own buildings. From Crowthorne up there, is a magnificent view of hill and valley, with little lakes gleaming here and there beneath the light.
But as we are visiting The Children's Home, we may forget the general prospect, and be interested enough in the buildings which surprise us as we come upon them in so lonely a spot.
First on the right is our eharming little Hospital, the gift of dear Mrs. Davies, of Bury. Most comfortable is it in all its appointments; and warmed, so that our delicate children, even in the sharp climate of the moorland, may be able to have any temperature which their state of health requires. Next come two fine houses, one of them the memorial gift of the Rev. J. S. Howarth, whose bonny son " being dead" thus " speaketh." Adjoining it is Jubilee House, one of the many monuments of the fifty years of our good Queen. Under these two houses is a fine covered playground, most valuable in the variable climate of Lancashire.
The gable end of the commodious school, in which excellent work has been done for so many years, shows next. Between the school and the adjacent building runs the roadway up to the quarry, down which the almost endless procession of stone carts has come for the building of our five miles of enclosing walls, and our little township of substantial houses.
The large room, with the two dormers showing, is the Atkinson Hall, where the boys dine daily, and where the social festivities of the community are held. This was built by the legacy of a lady of whom we bad no knowledge, but who had watched our work from afar, and quietly put it down in her will for substantial help. Then comes a useful erection known as the South Australian Wing, for it was built with contributions secured by the Principal when he visited that pleasant colony years ago.
Adjoining is Bolton House, which together with Wheatsheaf House and Woodville House, form one large block. Wheatsheaf House is our only bit of ancient history. It was the only building on the property when Mr. Barlow gave it to us. It was notorious as a public-house, the appropriate home of drunkenness, cockfighting, and unmentionable wickedness. What a transformation now that for nearly a quarter of a century it has been the training home of young lives! Standing a little way back is tho Laundry, and again to the left two band some blocks, which together are the Barlow Memorial Buildings. They were erected by public subscription, to commemorate the name, the character, and work of James Barlow. They comprise the swimming bath, a carpenter's shop, a blacksmith's forge, a shoemaker's shop, a model dairy, a knitting factory, and a beautiful greenhouse, which, like everything else at The Children's Home, is run on strictly commercial principle, and made to contribute through the sale of flowers towards the expenses of the work.
At this point the ways divide, the main road running on towards Blackburn, another turning towards the loft. At the intersection of the two stands Moscrop House, the memorial of a kind and liberal friend.
Next to that is the " Ministers' Children's Gift House," so called because it was built with the contributions of the children of the Ministers of the Methodist Church. And then comes the Sanderson-Mitchell House, the expression of truly kind and generous feeling.
But even now we have not got to the end of our buildings. The picture cannot show it in its place, but to the left is rising the Beckett Memorial House, of which a small picture is given above the border. Considerably further down the road the Watson Holiday House stands, with its invitation to crowds of poor children in the busy manufacturing towns to come and tarry for awhile, and drink in new life and strength from the wholesome moorland air.
All this, and much more, is the work of five and twenty years I Bound about these buildings lie about one hundred and forty acres of land. Very much of this has been reclaimed from the moor. Nearly all of it has been treated by spade culture. It has been enriched by manure, carefully and scientifically applied. It is protected by sound and strong walls, according to the custom of the country. Seen from the railway two miles distant, our Farm is a green spot on the hillside, challenging the attention of the bypasser. It is indeed a wonderful monument of generosity, thoughtfulness, fidelity, and devotion to a great aim. It is perhaps still more remarkable as only one of the several Branches which together constitute The Children's Home; but if it stood alone, it would deserve respectful attention and admiration.
Whatever other names may be remembered in connection with it, two can never be forgotten so long as this noble Colony stands to do its noble work. These names are James Barlow and Alfred W. Mager.

A PEEP INDOORS. BY A SISTER OF THE CHILDREN. We have been turning out the warmer clothing for the winter, and the children have been delighted to find that the things they wore Last winter are not big enough this. We can see great improvements in some of them; especially is this the case of one little girl, who, this time Last year, was quite pale and miserable looking, but now is much stouter, and quite rosy. We are often gladdened by seeing that our children are really trying to be good. The other day the school children started a sort of league amongst themselves. Every time they did a kindness, they were to put it down on a piece of paper. The object was to see who could be the kindest. It was quite pretty to hear them ask when they did anything extra, " Won't that count for a kindness ? " Still, we found it rather trying at times. For instance, I went into the scullery one day to see if the washing-up was done, and there were the girls sitting on the table, surrounded by the unwashed articles, counting their kindnesses !! But still, we are glad to know they have the desire to be good. One of our little girls, who is in a chronic pickle, said tome the other day, " Sister, I really am getting better, I think. I don't quarrel so much, because every time I am naughty Beth and Janet teach me a text, and soon I shall be full of Jesus, there won't be room for anything wicked, will there ? " She has not reached that state yet, but she does really try to mend. One of our greatest pleasures is on Sunday evenings, when the bigger children are gone to church, and the little ones sit round the fire and talk. We then hear their own ideas, and some of them are very funny. Last Sunday evening one mite was very talkative, and amongst other things she said, "-It is very wicked to work on Sundays ; once upon a time a man one Sunday was picking up sticks, and God put him in the moon." Reject DEAR SISTER DORA,—We have in this ward a dwarf baby who has won all our hearts. His parents are dead. He was brought here by a woman who had cared for (or rather not cared for) him, and his condition was frightful. He is well enough now to be discharged, and there is only the workhouse for him. We cannot bear to have him go there, and we have wondered whether he could possibly be admitted to your Home. Yours sincerely, NUKSE 0. The Children's Hospital. The Watson Holiday House IN CONNECTION WITH THE CHILDREN'S HOME ON THE MOORS, EDGWORTH, BOLTON, LANCASHIRE, Is in connection with The Children's Home (Rev. Dr. Stephenson's), of which one of the most important Branches is at Edgworth, near Bolton, under the Governorship of Mr. Alfred W. Mager. The Holiday House has been built by means of a legacy left to The Children's Home by the late Mr. Charles Watson, of Halifax. It is for the exclusive use of poor children, who would be benefited by a holiday in the fine upland air of the Edgworth Moors. Such children will be received at the request of benevolent persons, Committees of Sunday Schools, Day Schools, Ragged Schools, or Missions, in any town or village, but it is thought probable that the children will, for the most part, come from Lancashire, Cheshire, and the West Riding of Yorkshire. Twenty-five children can be received at one time. The usual term of stay will be one fortnight for each child. The children will be admitted, either individually, or in larger or smaller groups. Girls and boys cannot be admitted together. The limits of age are, for girls, 6 to 16 ; for boys, 6 to 13. In special cases younger children— not under four—may be admitted if accompanied by an elder sister. Children who have been suffering from infectious diseases, or living in a house in which any person has been suffering recently from infectious disease, cannot be admitted. A medical certificate of freedom from such danger required on admission. The children must bring with them all necessary clothing; their clothes cannot be washed at the Home; a complete change of clothing must therefore be provided. For every child, a contribution of at least five shillings per week is expected from the person, or committee, sending the child; but as this amount will not cover the cost, and the Committee of The Children's Home will be responsible for the balance, any further contribution will be gratefully received. The cost of Railway journey to and from the House must also be provided by the Applicant. It is hoped that specially favourable terms will be granted by the Railway Companies. Children must conform to the regulations and requirements of the place; they must not trespass upon other land; nor wander without permission from the playground and field set apart for their use and enjoyment. Any boy or girl refusing to obey, or guilty of indecent or profane language, or whose conduct is bad, will be liable to instant dismissal. A notice of the date on which each child can be received will be sent to the Applicant. The nearest Railway Station is Entwistle, one mile and a half from the Holiday House. Turton Station is three miles distant. Forms of Application may be obtained from MR. ALFRED W. MAGER, THE CHILDREN'S HOME, EDGWORTH, NR. BOLTON. Money Received We have received a cheque for £5 7s. Id. under very pathetic circumstances. A friend, residing at Windsor, has recently been bereaved of two of his children. They were greatly interested in our work, and the sorrowing parents decided to forward the amount which their dear boys had in the Savings Bank. In the letter which accompanied the gift the father says:— " We feel sure, if our dear ones could speak to us, they would approve of this being done." We beg to assure the bereaved parents of our deep sympathy with them in the heavy trial which they have just experienced.

OUR WORK WITH BOYS, ITS DIFFICULTIES AND ITS PLEASURES. By Sister Grigg, of the Ramsey Branch. I have been asked to give a few ideas on the best method of training boys, but already so much has been said on the subject, that there remains very little for me to say; still, if a few words of mine will be of any help to a fellow-worker, I will very gladly give them. During the last twelve or fourteen years my work has been chiefly among the boys, and my experience with them has been very varied. Boys come to us from all kinds of homes, in fact, some of them have had no homes at all, and no training other than that they have got in the streets, while others have had the advantage of Christian training at home, but with one and all, the first thing is to try and gain their affections. Let a boy once feel that you care for him, that you are sorry when he is naughty and has to be punished, and on the other hand how pleased you are to see him try to do right. It is not every woman who is fitted for the work of training boys. A woman, really to get on well with boys, must be firm, though not over strict, tender, patient, conscientious, faithful in the discharge of her own duties, have a good amount of self-control and be a good disciplinarian. In the training of boys, you should keep before you what their previous surroundings have been, and at first be as lenient as possible that they may not find it irksome to try to do right. Don't show up every small fault before the other boys, but in a quiet way show him when he is alone how a thing should be done; for to be laughed at by the other boys for doing a thing awkwardly will make it very hard for some boys to do it well. Some natures feel far more keenly being exposed before the other boys than they would any severe punishment. Again, if you have occasion to punish a boy, don't do it when you are angry, but having done it, don't be for ever at the boy about it, don't let him for ever feel that he is in disgrace. I am sure many natures have been spoilt by a system of " nagging." If a child feels that because he has once told a lie that he is never to be trusted again, he will give up in despair. We are trying to lift up natures, we do not want to keep them down. And again, if a boy takes a piece of sugar, don't keep him without sugar; show him he was wrong, but still trust to his honour not to do it again. With some boys, trusting to their honour has great weight, while with others different means must be tried. Habits form character,—take tidiness for instance. Train a boy to put books, papers, toys, articles of dress, always in their proper place. It is singular how easily children fall into orderly habits when they are the custom of the house, even if it be not always exactly pleasant and agreeable to them at the time; it tends to foster orderly habits in after life. Habits of personal neatness and good manners are an element of manly self-respect; even if the boys have to earn their bread by hard labour they may be gentlemen in the highest sense of the word; teach them to have proper self-respect, that it is unmanly to be deceitful or dishonest. Careful home training will help a boy when brought into contact with the world, and will preserve him from low and vicious tastes and indulgences. I would not advocate a boy's being made namby-pamby, the goody-goody kind of children never make manly men. The best boys I ever knew occasionally upset things, and get boisterous; boys who have no fire in them grow up with animation enough to grease a waggon-wheel, but they will never own the waggon or money enough to buy the grease. As regards taking care of their clothes, boys as a rule are not careful, but they can be taught to be so. If a boy needs a new cap, don't say, Go and get one, as if it cost nothing; just think how long he has had it and what condition it is in, for although worn it need not be untidy. It is a good plan to make a note when a boy has a new cap, etc., so that you can praise him if he has taken care of it; this will help them to think, to be more careful of their clothes. A boy being praised for taking care of a cap will think twice before he kicks it about the yard. Of course, housework does not come natural to boys, but with patience and care they can be taught to do it to equal any girl. Give a boy a room to scrub on his first entering the Home, he knows nothing about it, and probably has never seen a room scrubbed; to teach him you must be sure you understand how to do it yourself, and then take the brush and scrub a piece, you will do more in that way than by talking for an hour. In the same way with polishing a grate, do a part of it yourself while he stands by, and let him see the result. A sister in the Children's Home should not mind putting her hand to anything the children have to do, whilst she is able to teach them. Take bed-making. It is not so natural to boys to make their own beds as it is for girls. In our houses especially it is much nicer and more uniform to have them all made alike; the length of sheet turned over at the top, etc. Have all the boys in one bed-room together, each doing as you do yourself with one of the beds. You may have to repeat this process once or twice, but you will find they will gradually all be made alike, and it will save a great deal of time and trouble in the end. It is " line upon line, here a little and there a little," but example is always better than precept. Some boys are exceedingly economical with soap and water. To wash themselves is a thing they can't understand. If a boy won't wash himself clean after having been repeatedly sent back, it is a good plan to get another boy who does wash clean to wash him; he is rather ashamed of this, and so next time tries to do it better himself. Encourage the reading of good and instructive books; reading aloud to the boys and getting them to read aloud occasionally to the others. Asking questions on what they read makes a book more interesting and enjoyable. Have suitable games and amusements for the house, and occasionally join with them in their games. There must be restrictions, but let there at times be a free outlet to the pent-up spirits of the boys, and they will all the more readily fall into order at the proper time. Let them feel you take an interest in their pleasures as well as their work. It is not easy to get to understand the different dispositions and tempers of the children, but still it must be done if we are to work with any amount of success. This often is a great tax on the strength and nervous energy, but we are working for a good Master, who says, " As thy days, so shall thy strength be," and in a measure we feel this made up to us by the thoughtful care of some of the boys. It is a good sign for a boy to say, " Sister, can I do anything more to help ? I have done my own work.' Or, " Sister, you look tired, I will take prayers for you, and see the little ones to bed." I know a boy that saw Sister had a headache, so he went and made a cup of tea in a few minutes without being told. A boy in prayer said, the other day, "Dear Jesus, my heart is so full of joy to be in this happy home. Do bless the dear Sisters who care for us." Acts of thoughtfulness frequently show themselves among the boys. For instance, I remember when one boy could not or would not do his work well, another boy coming up and saying, " Sister, may I show him how to do it?" and the work was soon done satisfactorily. These are only a few instances, small in themselves ; but are they not sufficient to help, and encourage us in our work ? Every Sister has a great influence on the boys in her house, and this makes our work a most responsible one. We have in our hands really the making of the future men of the nation, and our influence will live in them when we have long ceased to work. The influence under which they live must bear fruit, the spirit of love which most sanctifies a home should be the prevailing spirit in every house. We stand in the place of a mother, and should try to fill that place to the best of our ability. " To tend the lone, and fatherless. So angels work on earth." It is a work that is calling down the smile and approbation of our Heavenly Father who has said, " Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these, ye have done it unto Me." We have been allowed to see some of the results of our work, but many will not be known until "that Day." I remember when in Canada, a fine, well-built, strong-looking young man coming to me, and saying, "Oh, Sister, I am glad to see you. I have often thought of the trouble I caused you when in the Home. I was one of your worst boys then, but I am glad I was in the Home, or I should not have been what I am now." Another said a few weeks ago in a letter, " I often pray for you, Sister, and ask God to bless your work. I do try to carry out some of the things you taught me. I am studying hard to pass an examination. I think I shall get through if my health will stand it." I have since received a letter saying he has passed the examination and taken his diploma at the college. On some minds we seem to make very little impression, either here or after they have left us ; but even then if we have discharged our duties conscientiously, we may leave the results with God. Let us then, my dear fellow-workers, pray much and take hold of a strength not our own ; rest, and reward will come by and by, and we shall receive the " Well done " from our Master's lips. But above all, let us remember that our training the boys well for their future sphere in life is not the one great object, but to train and fit them for Heaven. Pray with them, and encourage them to pray for themselves in the little gatherings you have with them, and they will probably learn to pray for themselves when they leave your care.

Our Edgworth Farmstead. Our Farmstead at Edgworth is a very busy place, especially in winter. The fifty head of cattle confined in the extensive cow-byres called "shippons" here—need almost constant attention every day, Sundays included— from early morning until evening, when the animals are "bedded down" and have their final foddering of hay. What a quantity they eat, and how they seem to enjoy the fragrant sun-dried herbage, as they munch away at the armfuls placed before them morning, noon, and evening. See as the cow-boys pass and repass down the foddering gangway, the live stock are all alert, and greedily reach out their heads to snatch a mouthful from every portion before it comes to their individual turn to be fed. When all are supplied, the incessant champing sound, to be heard on all sides, resembles somewhat that attending the movements of machinery, and indicates the animals' enjoyment of their food. When the consumption is over, the creatures lie down in their places, and then begins that natural, yet no less wonderful, operation of chewing the cud. What a scene of quiet complacency they now present! The farmer and his boys, before retiring from their charge, give a final look round to see that all is right: that every animal is safely (yet not uncomfortably) secured by chain or strap; for it is known that a loose cow or horse will sometimes savagely attack others, disadvantaged by being fastened, when no one is about to protect the defenceless ones. Before bed-time it is expedient again to go the round of the buildings, to see that all is quiet, and that the horses, cows, calves, etc., are asleep and doing well. The winters are severe and long upon the Edgworth moorside, and consequently the animals there need much attention and care to preserve them in health and " condition," amidst the artificial environment necessitated by climate and the requirements of mankind. The picture on next page represents a corner of our farmyard, with boys engaged in their morning duties. The big " pedigree " bull is being led away to watering by a sturdy little lad, who has not the least fear of the ponderous animal. Taurus weighs upwards of a ton, and although so meek and docile whilst his kindly juvenile keeper is at his head, he will hold himself very threateningly should any stranger venture to face him in his lair. The animals of the farmstead know their friends well enough, and sometimes very remarkably reciprocate the affection their boy-keepers have for them. The great mastiff watchdog " Hero "—a first prize-winner at Manchester —is seen to be lying quite at ease, notwithstanding all that is going on around him. There is evidently not the least antagonism, but rather is there, clearly enough, an indication of companionship between the equine, bovine, and canine creatures in our keeping. Indeed, it may be said," Their manners have quite that repose. There is the carter-boy taking his horse " Eose " for a drink at the trough, through which flows the purest spring water from the natural filter beds of the great hill above, called " Crowthorne." Pat, a good-hearted Irish lad, is an enthusiastic horseman ; he loves his team, and shares any fruit, cake, or toffee given to him, with his " dear old Daisy," or his younger mare " Kose." But in thus petting the animals, his concern for them is not more seen than in the thoroughness with which he grooms them twice daily. By his well directed efforts with curry comb and dandy brush, their coats are made to shine like a mahogany table. Look at their condition ; it shows they are well-fed, well-groomed, and well-bedded. And yet the animals work hard. The road is steep and heavy from Turton Station to the Home on the Moors : almost all " collar work,1' as the carters term it; but Pat knows how to adjust the loads for uphill or downhill to his horses, so as to ease them, and to get profitable work from them, without their discomfort, or any use of the whip. The stone for building all the houses, school, industrial, farming and other premises, besides that for miles of wall-fences, has been carted, during twenty-four years, from our quarry upon Crowthorne, down the dangerously steep road, by boy-carters, and without any accident to a single horse. The same cannot be said of the men, who, years ago, were hired as carters ; for carelessness, in one or two of their cases, resulted in serious accidents and losses to the Home. If we could only retain our own trained youth for the industrial purposes of the institution, we should need little hired labour ; but we remember our calling is not to be merely farmers, or quarry masters, or builders of houses, but it is to reform and build up character ; to train and educate successive groups of bereaved and destitute, or neglected and outcast lads that, one after another, they may go out into the world, with the fear of God before their eyes, and the love of God in their hearts, and prepared to do their duty " as workmen that need not to be ashamed." As the records of our Home show, no work is more remunerative, or is fraught with greater blessing to the juvenile subjects of it, or to society generally, which our boys and girls are taught faithfully to serve in the various relationships of life.

ALRESFORD Annual Report of the Primitive Methodist Orphan Home, which is situated at Alresford, in Hampshire, has just been issued. The balance-sheet shows that the sum of £572 remained in the hand of the treasurer at the close of the financial year. At the present time there are forty-six children in the Institution. As the accommodation is now entirely filled, and a large number of applications are before the Committee, an enlargement is being contemplated. FOOD The keen foreign competition in butter and meat during the past year has reduced the profits on our Farm to £176. Only by the excellence of our dairying operations and superiority of butter and cream can this competition be successfully met. It should be remembered that the Home land is 1,000 to 1,300 feet above the sea level; the soil is "hungry," and the climate is cold and stormy. Cereals will not ripen at such an elevation, and every year upwards of £400 is spent in provender that would be produced from the land of any ordinary arm in the country. Under these adverse conditions the profit made during the year will not, we hope, be deemed unsatisfactory.

Three years and a half ago we admitted into The Children's Home a lad named Harold Morley. A quiet, well-behaved boy we found him to be; and when two years after his admission a party of lads was selected for emigration, there was no hesitation in including Harold and a brother in the party. He speedily found work on a Canadian farm, and greatly endeared himself to his master and the family. But unfortunately, as it seems to us, he fell ill, and was removed to the Hospital, where he was visited by Mr. Hills, the Governor of the Canadian Branch of the Home, and also by his former master. After the acute symptoms were relieved, it was decided that Harold would never be fit for hard work, and that it was best for him to return to England, in the hope that he might be benefited by his native air. At first it seemed as if the hope was to be realised, for the lad certainly improved in health. But it was only for a short time. Disease had laid hold on him, and very soon it became obvious that he was dying. Throughout the last painful illness he gave cheering evidence that the religious truths which had been taught in the Home had taken deep root, and were bearing fruit in meekness and patience, in faith and love. " Jesus loves me, this I know," he said simply on one occasion, and more than once through his last sleepless weeks he declared, " I can see the angels."
Harold is another sheaf in the great harvest, the full extent of which we, who have sown the seed in weakness, shall be permitted to see in the great day of the Lord.

Published by R. Culley, Ludgate Circus Buildings, London and Printed by Fletcher & Sons of Norwich. These eight page magazines sold at One Halfpenny each or Four Shillings per 100. Each months copy could be bound into a year volume. Each issue feature a page on the Children's Home - Later to become the NCH. Issue for 1903

LITTLE MINNIE. If you had seen this dear child a few months after she had been taken into the shelter of the Home, and had heard her merry laugh, you would never have thought from what misery and wretchedness she had happily bee» rescued ! You will perhaps be able to form some idea of it, however, if we tell you a remark she made on the morning of the first Christmas Day she spent in the Home. "Oh, sister," she exclaimed with delight, "how lovely everything is ! I never knew that Christmas was like this, d Last Christmas Day I was in a public-house with mother, and I danced and sang to make the | people laugh. And then mother and me did just get drunk!" Imagine, if you can, what a terrible life this poor child's must have been. Again and again she would relate to us some such incident as this, and it nearly always began with the words: "When mother and rne was drunk !" A friend, who greatly pitied the child, and felt anxious to get her away from such dreadful surroundings, one day pushed open the door of a tap-room in search of her. In a corner of it lay the mother, so hopelessly intoxicated as to be unable to stand. In another lay Minnie, not yet five years old, but dead drunk. The mother called the child, but was not able to rouse her. Meeting with no response, and unable to go to her, the woman pulled off her heavy boot, and flinging it with too true an aim at the baby face, she inflicted a frightful bruise on the unconscious little one. She then lay down again, stupidly content with the result of her effort. Was not this dreadful? Happily, however, it was not to continue. Very shortly afterwards, Minnie was brought to the Children's Home, and instead of sharing the company of a drunken mother, she was cared for by loving friends, who taught her better things, so that she gradually forgot the sorrows and pains of her earlier years. Is it not sad that in a country like ours with all its Sunday Schools, and Chapels, and Bibles,. there should be so many little children exposed to such dangers and sufferings as those we have just mentioned ?

Since the Home first began it has been the means of rescuing several thousands of children from terrible sorrow and peril. It has given them the care and training which alone could fit them for happy, useful lives. Many have grown up into Christian men and women, and some have already passed into the Father's bright home above. When you are thanking God each night and morning for all the blessings He has showered upon you, think of the poor helpless children, such as the one of whom we have been speaking. Pray that He will put it into the hearts of very many to help us with their gifts, so that we may be able to care for those who are even worse than homeless, and teach them the story of the Saviour's love.

A TALE FOR NAUGHTY CHILDREN Fluff and Flo. What noise is that!" cried mother cat, her novelette unread, "An hour ago, or nearly so, I tucked those kittens, Fluff and Flo, Up safely in their bed." Fluff and Flo Were laughing loud and jumping so. Their noise she never heard. The kittens they, seemed mad with play,, Miss Fluffy, Flo would hug. Then Flo we find rushed up behind. When Fluffy slipped, into the wash-hand jug.

Wild shrieks of fear reached mother's ear. Poor Fluff all wet, stood screaming yet, While Flo was hurrying to get Some tow'ls to rub her dry. “I'll see to that,” said mother cat, Much to the kit's dismay. "And my word's true, a whipping too. May save a cold, besides help you, In future to obey."

The gas turned low, Fluffy and Flo Tucked up in bed to weep, A sob, a sigh, a stifled cry, Then perfect calm. Do you know why ? E. H. BUCHANAN.

SIMPLE DAVID David Norton was one of those poor lads whose brain power has been sadly weakened by illness. He was subject to fits and long illnesses, and his days of schooling were so few that the other lads of the village had long ago outstripped and left him very far behind in knowledge, and yet David would like to have learnt many things the other boys did learn from books. How often did he stop cruel boys from robbing birds' nests; how often rescue from them cats or dogs they were tormenting. Their cries of pain never fell on deaf ears when David was near. Silly David, Simple David, they nicknamed him, for the fuss he made over "only a cat or only a dog." To David it was a thing that God had made and cared for. One winter's morning, poor pussy's cries brought David running to the snow-covered playground of the little school house. The boys had hunted a cat up a tree and were pelting it with snowballs. David sprang among them and with eyes blazing with anger and passion shouted to them, "You wicked boys. You shall not do it, It is God's cat." Maddened with anger and passion, he dashed after first one, then another, to punish them. In the midst of it all, the school mistress appeared, and David, caught in his mad passion, fled to the woods to cry bitter tears of repentance. At mid-day the school mistress, guessing where to find poor David, spoke tender words to him, telling him how pleased she was, how pleased God must be to see him defending the weak, tormented cat. She told him of another David who fought for weak things. And like this other David, she told him that he had giants to fight and taught him how to fight them.

A Memoir of John Buchanan By CECIL F. WALPOLE (General Secretary of the National Children's Home) 1953 Printed at The Printing Technical School, National Children’s Home, Harpenden. An extract of the book.

Early Experiences John Buchanan was born in Glasgow in 1908, but soon after his birth his parents moved to the south of England, and it was in a Hampshire village near Portsmouth that most of his early boyhood was spent. Those early years were lived under very difficult conditions. His father served as a soldier in the Boer War, but in that war had had the misfortune to lose a leg. John's mother did the best she could for her family of five children and at times went out to work in a laundry near her home, but her small earnings, combined with the spasmodic earnings of her husband, barely sufficed to keep the home together. The troubles of the parents were increased by John's physical limitations. He was born without hands and was crippled in other ways. He had two imperfectly formed fingers where his left hand should have been, and the right arm finished with a stump at the elbow. Home conditions made it almost impossible for John's parents to give to him the care and attention he needed, and eventually it was suggested by interested friends that he should be taken into the care of the National Children's Home. Miss Olive D. Bunn, who for many years was in charge of the school at Chipping Norton and who did such magnificent work there, has given us a delightful account of his first day at school. He came into school that first morning,' she writes, c a small, stockily built figure, shoulders squared, head erect, and with lips firmly closed, facing up to that ordeal of childhood—entry into a new school. Terse, almost monosyllabic, replies indicated acute sensitiveness.

It did not take John long to settle down in his new surroundings, and his mother, who had expressed her great concern lest John should be unhappy with strangers, was greatly comforted by the reports which she received concerning him. Those early reports referred to John as an intelligent, likeable lad who was 'particularly nice to other children. He was always anxious to learn, searching for the meaning of things, trying to find out how to make things, and he taught himself quite a lot. Those who knew him before he went to Chipping Norton declared that as a little boy he had run rather wild, but in his new environment his mind and character developed in a wonderful way and he soon began to exercise a real and gracious influence on other boys and girls.

Difficulties and Opportunities With his severe physical limitations, it had seemed beyond the realm of possibility that John would ever be able to hold a pen or a paint-brush in any effective way ; but there was a way, and he speedily found it. He would hold his pen or brush between the stumps of his arms, the two imperfectly formed fingers on the left arm making this possible, and he soon began to produce work that would have been a credit to any ordinary child. If one suddenly came across a group of noisy, laughing children at Chipping Norton, it was almost certain that John would be in the centre of that group. If any special work had to be done, John was always ready to volunteer. When he became a Boy Scout new opportunities came his way, and it was not long before he became the Editor of the Magazine of the Handicapped Troop. In addition to his editorial duties he designed the cover of the magazine, cut the stencil to be used, and wrote out the original material for duplication. That little magazine—not remarkable perhaps for its high literary quality—testified to John's amazing enthusiasm and rapid development.

When it became clear that John possessed gifts and aptitudes calling for proper artistic training, he was enrolled as a student at the City of Oxford School of Art, and his progress there was rapid. He took the General Art Course, and it soon became apparent that his special genius lay in the illumination of literary quotations, with superbly decorated borders. He mastered the art of lettering, showed considerable originality of design and, above all, had a wonderful sense of colour. He loved colour, and rarely failed to find it in the life about him. Commissions of all kinds now began to pour in upon him, and in a few short years he became fully self-supporting. Perhaps, best known for the beautiful Calendars and Greeting Cards which were designed by him and subsequently reproduced by the million. He did not work quickly, and he could not tolerate slipshod work. There were occasions, however, when his output was amazingly high. During the war, the Admiralty were hard put to it to meet their commitments in connection with Warship Weeks. The Board of Admiralty had undertaken to present to each parish which reached its target of National Savings a certificate with the name of the parish, the ship adopted, and the week in which the effort was made, duly engrossed upon it. John Buchanan was eventually given the bulk of the work, and in the result completed over 3,500 certificates in considerably under twelve months. In the Board Room at Lloyds is a fine specimen of John Buchanan's work the autographs of the principal war-time leaders of the Allies, beautifully illuminated. Lloyds were the highest bidders in an effort to assist the R.A.F. Benevolent Fund.'

Continuing Influence John Buchanan’s life was a short one, in the accepted sense, for he died in forty-fifth year. It would be quite impossible to say how many people have been helped and encouraged by his life and example, but many, many letters have been received which testify to his influence. His work added much beauty to the world : his life added more. This handless artist stood for something pure and enduring and, when the end came, he left the world better for his having passed through it. Cecil F. Walpole

BBC Programmes featuring the NCH

CHILDREN''S NEWSREEL 24 December 1959 ·
A television programme · BBC Programme Number: LCH9662E · First broadcast on 1959-12-24 · Children from the National Children''s Home at Harpenden have performed a nativity play this Christmas. · HARPENDEN: Ls buildings of children''s home (06.18-06.24), interior of children''s dressing room (06.24-06.29), vars make up and beards are applied to young actors (06.29-06.46), ms audience of children watch from pews (06.46-06.50), vars nativity play in progress i/cut s audience of children watching (06.50-07.56). MUTE ·
Last saturday, 300 children were invited to a bumper party at the "Talk of the Town" hosted by the Soho Association. · Children''s Newsreel opening titles (mute) (0.00-0.18). LONDON: Ms doorman shows children in through doors (0.25-0.35), has pan r over party (0.35-0.41), ms woman places party hat onto child (0.41-0.45), ms small boy sits at table wearing party hat (0.45-0.49), ms boy at table holding onto chimpanzee (0.49-01.00), ms children eat at table (01.00-01.03), ms large christmas cake (01.03-01.07), vars children take part in plate spinning (01.07-01.19), ms children eating at tables (01.19-01.23), vars children drive go karts around small course in hall (01.23-01.36), vars children eating at tables (01.36-01.47), ms singer Marion RYAN gives small girl a panda bear and gets kiss on cheek in return (01.47-01.55), vars children sit at tables (01.55-02.04).... MUTE

EYE ON RESEARCH THE GROWING CHILD · A television programme · BBC Programme Number: LSF5084B · First broadcast on 1961-05-10 · · Programme about research into growth in children, from the National Children''s Home in Harpenden. Pres by Raymond BAXTER. Dr James TANNER explains growth, differences in growth, development & measuring of growth. · PARTICIPANTS: Dr James M. TANNER; R. WHITEHOUSE & S JARMIN demonstrate by measuring David TANNER; Dr J.W.B. DOUGLAS discusses relationship between groth & intelligence; Peter JONES demonstrates wrist X Rays; M.R.J. HEALY discusses Wurmser diagrams; Kay CONNETT, Royal Ballet School; V. STOWELL commentates over film of Cambridge rats growth, inc Pat PLEDGER; Professor R.A. MCCANCE discusses effects of nutrition in animals. · ·

A STOCKING FULL OF STARS 25 December 1972 · A television programme · BBC Programme Number: LON5502X · First broadcast on 1972-12-25 · Christmas entertainment direct from the National Children''s Home at Harpenden opened by Michael ASPEL & Roy CASTLE, with contributions from Lesley JUDD & Blue Peter, Graham HILL, Eric MORECAMBE, Basil Brush, Generation Game... · FILM/VT INSERTS CNTD: Right Charlie - Charlie CAIROLI & company, Norman BARRETT (3m13s); Animal Magic - Johnny MORRIS & two chimps (3m45s) CPYRT FTGE: c MGM: Tom & Jerry Slicked Up Pup (5m52s); c ?: Laurel and Hardy (4m12s); c Ceskoslovensky Film Export: Mr Mole Visits The Zoo (6m05s); c CBS: Penelope Pitstop - Jungle Jeopardy (20m04s); c Screen Gems: Yogi Bear Gleesome Threesome (6m28s) EX LIB: Ringo STARR, John HUGHMAN "Back Off Boogaloo" ex Top Of The Pops (3m02s); Vision On first tx 27/04/71 & 13/10/70 (3m13s); The Goodies first tx 29/10/71 · INTVS: Graham HILL; Colin BURN, Superintendent of Home; Eric MORECAMBE FILM/VT (5m28s) Blue Peter - Peri HORNE, Lesley JUDD, Peter PURVES, Valerie SINGLETON, John NOAKES (4m53s) Basil Brush "Has He Been" - Ivan OWEN, Derek FOWLDS, Stuart SHERWIN (6m19s) Generation Game - Bruce FORSYTH, Anthea REDFERN, with Harpenden children Michael PLUMRIDGE, Christopher CARTER, David SMITH, Vera PRICE, Sally PRICE, Caroline LOUGHRAY, Malcolm PRICE, Michael CARTER, Laverne BENNETT (7m49s) · SONGS: Roy CASTLE & children "Twelve Days Of Christmas" (37s) "It''s Magic" (1m00s) "I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly" (3m38s) "Sweet Gingerbread Man" (2m24s) "The Hippopotamus Song" (3m35s) "Up Up And Away" (1m30s) "I''d Like To Teach The World To Sing" (2m15s) children "76 Trombones" (2m17s) handbells "The Bells Of St Mary" (1m37s)

A STOCKING FULL OF STARS 25 December 1973 · A television programme · BBC Programme Number: LON1033P · First broadcast on 1973-12-25 · Christmas entertainment direct from the National Children''s Home at Harpenden opened by Michael ASPEL, with Hope and Keen. Incl contributions from soccer stars, Osmonds, Blue Peter, Vision On, Record Breakers, Charlie CAIROLI... · SONGS: Michael ASPEL, Hope and Keen & Children "I''d Like To Teach The World To Sing" (1m15s) "Morningtown Ride" (1m45s) Hope and Keen "Two Little Boys" (2m57s) with children "Cows Go Moo" (1m28s) 5 children "Going To The Zoo" (3m09s) children''s home choir "Let Bells Ring Out" (1m40s) · MICHAEL ASPEL INTVS: Joe BAKER; Colin BURN, Superintendent of the National Children''s Home; George CHISHOLM; Yasmin SMART & lion cub VT INSERTS: Top Soccer Star intvs - Billy BREMNER, Terry VENABLES, Peter OSGOOD, Colin BELL, Mick CHANNON, Peter SHILTON incl clips of goals & saves (5m17s); Christmas Greeting from The Osmonds (35s); Blue Peter at Cotswold Farm Park - Manager Joe HENSON, Lesley JUDD, John NOAKES, Peter PURVES (?m?s) Harpenden Children at the Circus - Jacko FOSSETT, LITTLE BILLY with children Marie TAYLOR, Christine ZENONOS, Joan MACHIN, Andrew OSBISTON, Andrew GOODY, Simon BAXTER at Billy Smart''s Winter Quarters (7m00s) · VT INSERTS CNTD: Vision On - Pat KEYSELL, Tony HART, Wilf LUNN, Ben BENISON, incl clip "Vision On:Metal" first tx 06/02/73 (5m17s); Record Breakers - Roy CASTLE incl The Chalk Handbell Ringers play "White Christmas" (6m08s) Charlie CAIROLI & company with Norman BARRETT (5m35s) CPYRT FTGE: c MGM: Homesteader Droopy (6m54s), Tom & Jerry Mice Follies (6m34s); c Walt Disney: Robin Hood (2m15s), Vanishing Prairie (1m46s); c BFI: Lizzies Of The Field (4m10s) EX LIB: The Goodies first tx 04/02/73 (4m00s); Red Arrows ex Wedding Breakfast 14/11/73 (6m10s)

A STOCKING FULL OF STARS 25 December 1974 · A television programme · BBC Programme Number: LON1059L · First broadcast on 1974-12-25 · Christmas entertainment direct from the National Children''s Home at Harpenden intro by Michael ASPEL & Rolf HARRIS. Incl contributions from Blue Peter, Basil Brush, & Showaddywaddy. · MICHAEL ASPEL INTV: Marjorie HINDES re Supreme Champion Of Crufts 1974 VT INSERTS: Blue Peter at Twycross Zoo - Peter PURVES, Lesley JUDD, John NOAKES (5m44s) Basil Brush - Ivan OWEN, Roy NORTH, children Andrew BAGLEY, Candida PRIOR (5m18s) EX LIB: Some Mothers Do ''Ave ''Em first tx ? (2m59s); St Bernard Burtonswood Bossy Boots ex Crufts Dog Show 10/02/74 (20s); Vision On first tx ? (5m29s) SONGS: Rolf HARRIS & children "I''d Like To Teach The World To Sing" (56s) "Houdini Hepplethwaite" (3m30s) "Little Drummer Boy" (2m17s) "Provencal Pilgrim" (2m25s) "Up A Tree" (2m23s) · SONGS CNTD: Sovereign Collection "Blue Ridge Mountain" (3m00s) children''s home choir "Carillon Carol" (3m01s) Showaddywaddy & children''s home choir "Hey Mr Christmas" (2m32s) BLUE PETER 25 September 1975 · A television programme · BBC Programme Number: LCH9145X · First broadcast on 1975-09-25 · · ITEM 01:NESSIE: John meets Mrs MATHESON, winner of Nessie, a gigantic paper mache monster. Delivered on a fire engine, she is donated to the National Children''s Home in Herpenden, Hertfordshire. (FILM 3m58s)

ITEM ARENA THEIR LIPS ARE SEALED · A television programme · BBC Programme Number: LMAE220P · First broadcast on 1979-04-15 · A prog about ventriloquism with "Tattersall" & his amazing life-size doll and TERRI ROGERS with her truculent partner "Shorty". "Saveen" with Daisy May, the "Scowl" & the talking dog. · Annotation based on Radio Times · Phillip Norman presents film re the art of ventriloquism. · Intv. Jim TATTERSALL re the construction of his life-size mechanical dolls & their characters, i/cut s'' him in performance at the Little Lever Working Men''s club, Lancs, & at the Hare and Hounds pub in Little Lever, incl s'' audiences & cs'' dolls (1.15-11.14). Intv. Albert SAVEEN re his puppets, incl Daisy May, & re difficulty of getting correct facial expression to make act convincing, i/cut s'' him in performance at National Children''s HOme, Harpenden (11.14-23.07). Intv. Terri ROGERS re Shorty, her puppet, & his character, re her act in which Shorty keeps control of the audience by swearing at & insulting them, & about the pronounciation of letters which ventriloquists find difficult.

LOOK NORTH 29 October 1980 · A television programme · BBC Programme Number: RNLC544R · First broadcast on 1980-10-29 · · KEN COOPER rep from Grimsby where a thousand school children have become part-time screen actors in a charity film being made for the National Children''s Home. The musical is called ''For the Love of Children''. · He INTVS: JOHN LLOYD of the National Children''s Home & GEOFF LIVINGS one of the children''s teachers.

A radio programme · BBC Programme Number: 14SX1422 · First broadcast on 1981-07-26 · Recorded on 1981-07-01 · Media: LP · Notes: CAIRS 141422 · · SBH:Interviews by A. Macnamara & R. Peacock on the forthcoming wedding of Prince Charles & Lady Diana Spencer with Barry Rose, Choirmaster at St. Paul''s Cathedral, and with Devon children walking to the wedding. From Sunday. CHRONOLOGICAL · PRE:Rose (int. MacNamara) on putting together a programme and training the choirboys. Children from a National Children''s Home (int. Peacock at Basingstoke) on why they are walking and views on wedding NTS:Introduced by Clive James TXN/TDT:R4 26-Jul-1981 CON:MACNAMARA Anne (int) ROSE Barry (spkr) PEACOCK Ruth (int)

LONDON PLUS 05 December 1984 ·
A television programme · BBC Programme Number: C:LCAR449L · First broadcast on 1984-12-05 · Maggie Nelson on spot rept re siege at Nat. Children''s Home HQ in Highbury Park where Nigel Tyson was keeping his ex wife who works there hostage. Armed police surrounded the bldg, the woman was released & the gunman later gave himself up. · INTV: Pat LYONS, National Children''s Home: re disruption to work caused, staff were unable to enter building today (2.55-3.36) INTV: Police spokesman: tells press how siege was ended (2.18-2.55) ACTY: s'' police bring Nigel TYSON out of building, into car & away (2.00- 2.18) s'' police & press in road outside building (1.26-1.46) ext building (1.05-1.26) Maggie NELSON rep to cam (1.46-1.56)

SOUTH TODAY 24 April 1985 ·
A television programme · BBC Programme Number: D:RSRW417P · First broadcast on 1985-04-24 · · ''Stokesmead National Children''s Home'', Gosport is being sold for auction. DEBBIE THROWER look back at its past. · STILLS: early residents, A/V Home, kids'' tea party; then ms estate agents'' signs, pan r to Home; then s'' Debbie walks to front door + looks thru window; then s'' IDA GENT arrives (Home cared for 3 of her kids in 1937) - she tells Debbie why she had to leave kids there; then s'' Vietnamese refugees at Home last year; then INTV: DAVID HALLAM, ''Nat. Children''s Home'' - now try to keep kids in community, not in Homes; then STILL: former residents; then ext s Home + playground.

BREAKFAST TIME 05 October 1984 ·
A television programme · BBC Programme Number: E:LCAB440F · First broadcast on 1984-10-05 · · Nick Ross intvs "Janice" ex Cardiff about her 2 children being taken into care because she refused to allow them to be caned at school. · STUDIO: ROSS: 2 Welsh children taken into care because mother wrote letter to school forbidding caning after son received severe bruising from caning of both hands. Mother''s name not revealed because of court order (79.00-80.06) INTV: "Janice" ex Cardiff: Ross asks mother if she is not taking things too far since sons have been taken away from her. Mother says no, she doesn''t believe in caning & it can''t be allowed to go on. Fact that a court order has been placed gives official seal to child abuse. Has taken her case to European Court. Her husband & sons are 100 percent behind her even though it has caused heartache & sadness in family & sons don''t want to go into care (80.06-84.29) Time in ex on-screen clock

Films made for the National Children''s Home to make the public aware of the work of the NCH

Short extracts of some of the films are to be found at.


Slum terraced housing (possibly Islington, London?), children in the street playing, children scavenge in bins for firewood. Mother takes her daughter to the large headquarters in Highbury, Islington, London, the board of the National Children's Home. She pulls at her clothes nervously before the door of the building and enters.
A TB sanatorium Children in beds outside as part of a TB ward, nurses attend to the children in the sunshine trying to cure their Tuberculosis. Other children play ring-a-ring of roses and other games. When cured the children move to the children's home in Harpenden, Hertfordshire..(Elmfield Sanatorium), and then moves to Highfield.

Girls playing games with their dolls, boys play cricket. (End of film missing)

Temp Location


Two children are taken into emergency care at Highfield Harpenden, The governor gives the brother and sister a walm welcome before taking them to their new home, we see the first few days of life in one of the flats together with the other children in the flat.

Main Film
Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

 THE TRUST OF A CHILD (1959) (37 min.): b&w.
Begins with the history of NCH, then shows aspects of the work in the present through the experiences of three women in various settings. Includes footage of residential care, the Staff Training College at Stephenson Hall, the ordination of women into the Sisterhood Order, and the annual reunion at Westminster with many old boys and girls. Projects and staff featured: Harrogate Branch and its Superintendent Mr Roycroft; Chipping Norton Branch; Hilton Grange at Bramhope; Family Aid and Sister Margaret Scorey. Interesting summing up by the Principal John Waterhouse, speaking as ''the father of this family''

WHO CARES? (1964) (35 min.): col.
Commentary by Johnny Morris. Shows life in NCH residential child care projects, with particular reference to careers guidance and aftercare. Projects featured: Chipping Norton Branch; Edgworth Branch with the boys at work; Alverstoke Branch, its Superintendent Trevor Thomas, and a worker Dianne Dean, Elmfield School. Careers and aftercare staff featured: Miss Gautrey, Careers Officer; Mrs Hiam, Senior Social Worker; Louis Minster, Child Care Officer; Peggy Miller, Child Care Officer. Also shows: John Waterhouse, Principal; John Gale, a child care administrator. Junior boys are shown in one Home using a furnace to heat metal while making a wrought iron stand.

Main Film - Error of sound on some parts.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

CHILDREN CANNOT WAIT (1966) (29 min.): col.
A story to encourage recruitment to the NCH Sisterhood Order. A young woman visits Brackley after contact with a child in care, overcomes her father''s opposition and applies for training at the Staff Training College, and spends her pre-training period at Frodsham. Includes shots of residential care. Projects and staff featured: Brackley Branch, its Superintendent Bill Clarke, and a housemother Sister Evelyn Stops; the Staff Training College at Stephenson Hall; Frodsham Branch and its Superintendent Len Wicks.

Made with the help of the NCH.
Two Junior Boys Approved Schools.
A group of 10 and 11 year old boys play in the school playground at an Approved School in Lestershire, there is a football game in progress and a fight between a couple of the boys looks to be about to start. 

Image 1


We are shown a dorm with 48 beds in a rather cramped condition, the beds are neatly made up.

Desford Approved School

Image 1


The Headmaster at the NCH School joins in with a game of football. He thinks staff are there to help the boys. The boys live in small groups in a similar fashion to the NCH Branches. A group of boys are seen at tea.

Danesford NCH Approved School

OVER TO YOU (1966)
 How children can be looked after by the sponsor''s at one of their homes for short periods when parents are in hospital. Life at the home is shown and work with mentally and physically handicapped children

The work being done for physically handicapped children in the sponsor''s home

The SECOND BATTLE OF HASTINGS (1968) (20 min.): col.
Children from NCH projects in Sussex play their own version of the Battle of Hastings at a castle. One child is hurt; the scene changes to a residential home and the life there, and the boy''s previous stay at the Horsham Branch. There is discussion of the need for foster care and adoption for children; then the film returns to the boy, and there is an unusual dream sequence. Projects featured: St Leonards-on-Sea Branch and Horsham Branch.
Note: This film might cause nightmares if viewed by younger children.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

A CENTURY OF CARING (1969) (45 min.): col.
Made for the centenary of NCH. Looks at the foundation and early history of the organisation, its development, its state in 1969, and its future plans, including plans for development abroad. Projects and staff featured: Harpenden Branch; Glasgow Branch; Alverstoke Branch; Family Aid and Sister Margaret Scorey; Edgworth Branch; Chipping Norton Branch; Brackley Branch and its Founder''s day. Good overview, including the start of the move away from purely residential work. Still includes very traditional images of bad parents.

LOVE AND LET GO (1970?) 16 min.): col.
Actress Polly James and her husband Clive Francis visit NCH Alexandra House in Ealing, a residential project for physically disabled children. They talk to staff and parents about the children and their needs. The officer in charge, Brenda Farman, talks about the work and its demands. Also shows local church members delivering harvest festival gifts; fundraising by children; the preparation of a child with Downs syndrome for adoption.

LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE (1970?)(10 min.): col.
Compares residential child care in the present with the narrator''s own painful childhood experiences as an orphan.
Looks at projects run by Dr Barnardo''s, the Church of England Children''s Society, and NCH Harpenden Branch. Features NCH houseparents Mr and Mrs Lawrence Norman.

THE LOVE AND CARE THEY NEED (1970?) (18 min.): col.
Commentary by Gordon Jackson. Looks at NCH projects in Scotland. Projects and staff featured: family centres, and the director responsible, Boyd Docherty; Glasgow Branch at Rutherglen; Pitlochry Branch.

A LETTER FROM MUM (1970?) (20 min.): col.
Two small boys discuss the NCH magazine Sunny smiles. A story follows of two children taken into NCH care because their parents have been injured in a road accident after chasing jewel thieves in a car. There are scenes of residential life before the children return home. Project and staff featured: Scarborough Branch and its Superintendent Mr D T Graham.

SO MANY CHILDREN (1970?) (12 min.): col.
Narrated by Peter Purves, Surveys a wide range of NCH work with children at various projects, at a superficial level. Projects featured: Medway Towns Housing Project; Ladywood Family Centre in Birmingham; holiday schemes; Hilton Grange at Bramhope; Elmfield School; Ramsey Branch on the Isle of Man.

TODAY''S CHILDREN (1971) (30 min.): col.
An abandoned child is taken to NCH Elmstead Woods Branch after consultation with the local authority. There are shots of life in residential care; case histories of other children are touched on superficially. A range of NCH projects is shown, to indicate the variety of help available to children and families, with emphasis on partnership with service users, parents and local authorities. Projects and staff featured: Elmstead Woods Branch and its Superintendent, Alan Meakin; the Family Advice Service in Liverpool and Dennis Piper; Harpenden Branch coffee bar; Elmfield School; Bourne Place School at Hildenborough, and staff Trevor Thomas, Mrs Hiam and Mr Jones.

(25 min.): b&w.
Takes a factual and practical look at the task of residential child care in NCH, interspersed with interviews with staff, who seem relaxed and genuine. Professional and unsentimental. Project and staff featured: Painswick Branch and its Superintendent, Mr Cook.


Designed to inform teenagers of the dangers of sexual encounters before parenthood can be considered

(Adoption Group) Anglia TV
The pros & cons of fostering and long term care in a children''s Home. Four teenagers that have been in foster care and are now at Highfield NCH, are asked about their views on both types of care.
Carol (15 approx), Alan (15 approx) Andrew (13 approx), give positive and negitave views on both.
Andrew aged about 12, thinks he liked foster care better, "they don''t hit you there and you get picked up by car after school, at Highfield Mr Parker does not collect you by car".

Four young multi-handicapped children are studied and their progress or otherwise is recorded over a six-month period. During this time, they are systematically stimulated by child care staff, and special efforts are made to enrich their environment. Intended for child care staff and parents of handicapped children

A drama documentary that starts at the Highfield branch in Harpenden with a family of four young children coming into the care of the NCH in 1954.



Care of handicapped children in Penhurst School.

KALEIDOSCOPE OF CARE (1977) (30 min.): col.
Looks at a number of NCH projects in Great Britain, including both residential care and community care projects. Projects and staff featured: Ramsey Branch on the Isle of Man, and its Superintendent, Sister Beryl Bonwick; Crawford House Independence Unit in the Glasgow Branch at Rutherglen; Hilton Grange at Bramhope; Elmfield School in Harpenden; Headlands School in Penarth and its Head, Mr D A Benger; Ladywood Family Centre in Birmingham; Medway Towns Housing Project.

The story of the founding of the National Children''s Home.

A double decker bus has been fitted out with play equipment, this tours council estates and allows mothers to get a bit of freedom whilst the younger children are looked after for a few hours each week.

Shows many aspects of the work of Alexandra House, at Ealing, West London, a special NCH Unit, which cares for both severely handicapped and other children with great needs. Intended for general audiences.

Documentary about the work of the National Children''s Home, with an appeal for the support of NCH''s Children in Danger Campaign.

NCH NEWSDESK (1985) (20 min.): col.
TV presenter John Craven visits NCH projects and talks to staff and service users. Projects and staff featured include: Langley Family Centre in Rochdale; Leeds Careline and Norma Rose; Salford Intermediate Treatment Centre and Paul Coggins; Ebley House and Peter Ogle; Kendoa Road Centre in London and Audrey Murray. Final interview with John Gray, Director of Advocacy. Follows the format of the TV programme John Craven''s Newsround


ONE DAY AT A TIME (1991)National Children''s Home ; Vanson Wardle Productions.
(15 mins.): col.

THE CHILD AT THE CENTRE 2005 (10 min).
Presented by Pam Rhodes.
Short video celebrating and acknowledging the strength of the partnership between NCH and the Methodist Church. Outlines the history of NCH including the significant contribution made by the Methodist Church over the years and explores three areas of NCH''s current work, namely early years, young carers and homelessness. The video aims to encourage NCH supporters to leave a legacy in their will.


Select Committee on Home Affairs


The NCH is pleased to contribute to this important inquiry. We currently run 460 projects, 57 of which are residential. In total we work with 89,000 children every year.
As our name suggests, NCH, previously known as The National Children's Home, has a long history of offering residential care services to children and young people.
Unfortunately, as we now know that child sex offenders successfully infiltrated children's homes run in all sectors during previous decades, it is not surprising that NCH has also been affected by this phenomenon. In all, NCH has been and currently is involved in eight Police investigations regarding allegations of past abuse in England and Wales relating to 11 homes, only one of which is still open. To date these investigations have resulted in 17 convictions of ex-members of NCH staff and 259 civil claims against NCH, as identified by our insurers.
The NCH has always cooperated fully with Police investigations and, generally speaking, we have found the Police forces with which we have engaged to be committed and professional in their work in this most sensitive area.
1. NCH thinks it is important to recognise that the issue of how to respond to allegations of past abuse is not restricted to England and Wales. There have been large scale investigations of abuse in both Canada and Ireland. Both these countries have accepted that these issues are difficult to deal with within the usual criminal and civil legal processes and that these unfairly disadvantage those making allegations.
They have developed other, more appropriate means of seeking justice in these cases, from which we believe we have much to learn in England and Wales. The investigation of these cases has relevance to child protection today as well as in the past, since how allegations are dealt with gives clear messages to children and young people today about whether their complaints are likely to be heard and listened to.
If the Police do not consider all possible allegations these cases will invariably rest on the word of one person against another. Often, those who are alleging abuse are from disadvantaged backgrounds and are not perceived to be good witnesses. It is also clear that the experience of abuse in institutional care can in itself hamper a person's ability to be a good witness.
The NCH would urge that any proposed changes to the ways in which the Police investigate allegations of past abuse should take into account the difficulties that ex-residents have in making allegations, and the affects of institutional abuse on their abilities to be perceived to be good witnesses.
2. NCH's experience is that the Crown Prosecution Service does not draw a consistent line in regard to these cases across England and Wales, so it is not possible to say whether, as a whole, the line is a sensible one. However, it is still the case that most sexual offences against children are not reported and of those that are, few ever reach court. Some of those making allegations today state that they did speak out when the abuse was happening, but professionals took no action as at that time it was not accepted that abuse of this nature took place.
These issues need to be addressed when setting thresholds and, once set, the thresholds should be consistent throughout the different offices of the Crown Prosecution Service across England and Wales.
3. NCH would not be in favour of a time limit for these types of allegations because, as we have suggested, we already believe there are barriers in the way of people making these types of allegations and we would not wish to see them further disadvantaged. When the offence takes place the person will be a child or young person who may very well not be aware of the process for making a complaint, or may feel intimidated by the alleged abuser or the Police investigation and court process. As we have said, the impact of the abuse itself often makes it difficult for people to go through the legal process and ex-residents may need support in doing this, as it causes them to relive the experience of having being abused. Other factors in their lives may also affect when they feel able to do this.
4. NCH is not aware that large compensation awards for those abused have been advertised. Before any ex-resident can successfully claim compensation they will have to undergo a lengthy and challenging civil process, very possibly in addition to the criminal process. Often this will involve them giving their account in open court with the alleged abuser present. NCH is concerned that the present system for dealing with past allegations of abuse does not adequately meet the needs of any of the parties involved. We would welcome a debate about how justice can be achieved more efficiently and with less distress to all involved, informed by information about how these issues are dealt with in other comparable jurisdictions, such as Canada and Ireland. Finally, above all, NCH would urge that any changes in the process of investigating allegations of past abuse should take into account what is now known about survivors of institutional abuse and those who abuse, as well as taking into consideration the difficulties that the criminal and civil processes can pose for the welfare of all involved.
February 2002.

The Barnardo Rule Book
This is a rule book for the staff of Barnardo's. It was issued in the early 1940’s. This is an edited version of the book. Although it is not the one for the NCH staff, their rule book would possibly be of a similar format, but hopefully might show a more pleasant view of childcare. If anyone has a copy of the NCH rule book could they please let me know. CONFIDENTIAL For private circulation only THE BARNARDO BOOK ADMISSIONS Applications from parents, relatives or friends of a child, or from persons or bodies otherwise interested. Cases where an Order of Court will be available. Applications coming under the first heading above can be made personally or by letter to Headquarters in London. Applications are investigated by specially appointed Officers. The decision upon them is made at Headquarters. Applications under the second group above will be directed to Headquarters. If a Branch Home Superintendent receives an application for the admission of a child he should refer it to Headquarters. Cases admitted fall into two main groups. (a) Where there is destitution. (b) Where a child is in moral danger or seriously neglected. Children who are mentally defective or epileptic are not bars eligible for admission. Subject to these exceptions the physical condition of a child is, in itself, neither a barrier to nor a ground for admission. It is an offence for a parent to abandon a child. Children are not eligible for admission on the ground that they have been deserted. Should a child be left on the doorstep at any Home or Office of the Association. The police must be informed so that they may proceed according to law. There are no barriers of creed to admission, but before a Roman Catholic child is admitted reference is made to the authoritative Roman Catholic bodies in accordance with a long standing agreement. A similar practice is followed in the case of children of Jewish faith. At the time of investigation the enquiry officer will enquire what is the religion of the parents and whether the parents have any wishes in regard to the religious upbringing of their children. The decision of Headquarters will be communicated to the officer making the investigation. All children received first at a Regional Reception Centre, where they will stay for one month or until they are out of quarantine. As soon as possible after the quarantine period is over Headquarters will issue instructions for the children to be transferred to the Central Reception Home On arrival at the Regional Reception Centre the child will be examined by the medical officer and a note made on the dossier card of any defects requiring attention. Normally any medical, surgical or dental treatment that may be required will be given to the child at the Central Reception Home. Children who offer behaviour problems or are in need of psychiatric attention will receive treatment at the Central Reception Home. The child's permanent location will thereafter be determined by Headquarters after consideration of the reports. The Council feels that to enable the public to realise that these Homes are a real asset to the nation in saving many lives which might otherwise be wasted, every encouragement should be given to members of the public who support our funds so generously to learn at first-hand something of the inside of our work. The Council is confident that Superintendents and members of staff will do everything in their power to make visitors welcome and that they will realise that the impression their Home makes on a visitor will have a considerable influence on that person of future goodwill and support. In due course the child will leave this Home for a destination carefully selected according to his age and mental and physical requirements. Babies and toddlers are sent to a Nursery Home, with a trained staff and nursery school on the premises, where they remain until five years old. They are then transferred to a Boys' or a Girls' Home. In some Homes a brother and sister are able to stay together until the age of eleven: this is not possible in every case, and it will sometimes happen that at the age of five the boy will go to a Boys' Home and the girl to a Girls' Home. Some Branches are for juniors up to the age of eleven, and are specially planned for children who at the age of five are not strong enough to cope with numbers of children considerably older than themselves. The normally robust boy or girl will, go to a Home from where he will be able to attend the local elementary school until he has reached school leaving age. Such is the normal course for a normal child, but there exist as well special Homes for special purposes. These include residential schools where special instruction can be given to children who need bringing on, Nautical Schools and, for older boys and girls, the Trade School and the Housecraft School. There are also Hospital Homes and Homes for the physically defective. Each child will be instructed in the Bible and brought up in the Protestant Evangelical Faith. Where the parents' wishes cannot be ascertained and the child is too young to make so important a decision for himself, as well as in the case of Roman Catholic or Jewish children admitted to the Homes in special circumstances, the decision will be made at Headquarters regarding the child's baptism or dedication and his consequent religious upbringing. Superintendents are responsible for the Home and for the physical, mental and spiritual welfare of the children in it, and are answerable ultimately in the discharge of their duties to the Council. There are, however, many matters in which action can only be taken in accordance with instructions from Headquarters. These instructions will be found in this book and in letters of instruction issued from time to time. In all matters of children's upbringing, education, play, discipline, comfort, holidays, as well as of the day to day management of the Homes, Superintendents communicate with and receive instructions from the Secretary to the Managers and the Chief Executive Officers, who themselves act under the general control of the General Superintendent. In matters of health, sanitation, and diet, Superintendents communicate direct with the Chief Medical Officer.

Every money gift to the Homes must be paid into the local Bank with instructions that it is to be transferred to Font Barclays Bank, Bow, London. Where this is not possible, money should be sent direct to the Chief Cashier at Headquarters by money order. Money gifts must not be retained longer than a week. Collecting boxes must be emptied at least once a month and the contents remitted in the manner described above. Superintendents and staff should use their influence with Gift visitors to a Home to discourage undue favouritism being shown to particular children. All gifts for individual children should be handed to the Superintendent. Any gift received expressly for the benefit of a particular child must be earmarked for that child. The donor should receive a letter of thanks as soon as possible. Gifts should not be withheld from children except in their own interests, and when withheld, the Superintendent should use his discretion as to the advisability of telling the child concerned. If a gift is withheld and the child is not informed, the Chief Executive Officer should be made aware of the facts. No child should be allowed to have in his possession a sum equivalent to more than two weeks' pocket money. Small money gifts which are in excess of that amount should be placed to the child's credit and a proper statement kept. Should this credit amount to more than ten shillings in the case of a particular child, arrangements should be made for the money to be deposited under the child's name in the Post Office Savings Bank. Gifts of clothing for individual children may occasionally be obviously unsuitable for the children for whom they were intended. In such cases the donor should be notified and permission sought to use them for other children in the Home. While it is appreciated that it gives children much pleasure to give to Superintendents and other members of staff small presents such as models they have made or samples of needlework where the monetary value is negligible, the Council do not approve of organized presentation of gifts to Superintendents or staff on any occasion which necessitates contributions from the children's pocket money. Private Prayers. Sufficient time should be allowed for Home! private prayers, and children should be encouraged in the habit of saying them. Housework. While the training of children from a comparatively early age to be useful about the house is helpful to their normal development, care must be taken to see that no child is given work beyond his or her capacity or which cannot be done properly in the time allowed. Meals. All children must be in to grace at every meal. Punctuality should be insisted upon, and lateness must be explained by a genuine excuse. Discipline in the Dining Room. Supervising meals is not easy, complete silence is not desirable and savours of " Institution " rather than " Home." Yet in a large dining hall talking often produces so much noise that something has to be done about it. The great thing is to get what you want, and if on occasion it is necessary to demand silence for a short period, then have it. Table Manners. If children are to grow up with good manners, meals must play an important part. The use of table cutlery, the way children sit and how they eat, form an important part of their training. Superintendents should see that the table looks attractive, with clean cloths or mats, and that the table equipment is complete. Children should also be taught to look after each others' wants. Surgery. Dressings should be done daily before School. Leaving for School. The duty of seeing that children start punctually for school and are properly dressed should be assigned to a member of staff. On Return from School. Outdoor things should be put away tidily and clothes inspected. A watch should be kept for late comers. After changing into play-clothes, all children should clean their boots or shoes. Quiet Room. It is most desirable to provide an opportunity for any children who want it to have the use of a small quiet room. Evening Routine. After play, the younger children should bath first, and* then other juniors. Seniors later. Children with work to do should complete this first and then bath. Surgical dressings should then receive attention. After - the younger children have gone to bed, seniors should go into the play room for recreation. Tooth powder must be available and staff must see that children clean their teeth. Before Bed. All children should develop the habit of going to the lavatory before getting into bed. Discipline in the Dormitories. Talking should be subdued until "Lights out." After that, complete silence should reign. Offenders, or offending dormitories, should be penalised, as, for instance, by being sent to bed early the following night. Enuresis Cases. Staff in charge of dormitories must see that these children are sent to the lavatory at 10 p.m. This applies to persistent cases mainly, but those apt to have an accident should also go. Where the lavatory is some distance from the dormitory, a chamber or night commode should be provided where it is easily accessible. Every child should have his own Bible by the age of nine. These can be indented for to Headquarters. Superintendents are allowed to spend each year up to is. per head on religious books for the children, or in the case of the staff, on religious or educational books, permission having first been gained from Headquarters, who will also gladly advise. All children are interested in magazines, and each Home can order " The Children's Newspaper," and a copy of a suitable daily newspaper for houseboys or trainees. One daily newspaper may be provided for the Staff common room. Parents and relatives may visit children. The Homes reserve the right to limit these visits to once a quarter. The first visit must in every case have been approved from Headquarters ; no reference need be made to Headquarters for subsequent visits unless instructions to the contrary have been given. A refusal to allow a parent to visit will always go from Headquarters. Children are not allowed to spend a night away from visit their Home except by permission of Headquarters. Summer holidays are encouraged on the invitation of a parent or relative, who will be expected to pay the necessary railway fare. Permission for the first visit to parents or relatives must be obtained from Headquarters. Such permission is not necessary for a subsequent annual holiday with the same people if at the same address. The case of a child who for a period of twelve months has not gone away for a holiday should be placed before Headquarters for special consideration. A register should be kept of all letters to and from the children in the Home. The letters children write, as well as the letters they receive, should be read by the Superintendent or an official deputed by him before despatch or delivery. Any letters likely to have an unsettling effect upon a child should be referred to Headquarters before being handed to the child. Children may receive any number of letters and should be encouraged to write in reply. We cannot undertake to make children write more than once a month, but stamps will be provided for one letter a week. Gifts should always be acknowledged promptly. Children with brothers and sisters in the Homes are to be encouraged to write to them, particularly on birthdays. Correspondence about children dealing with the policy of con the organization or the management of a Home must invariably be sent to Headquarters. It is only in this way that it is possible to avoid inconsistent statements of policy being given to the public. The Council does not wish that simple inquiries about a particular child shall be regarded always as involving a question of policy. It is realised that there is a wide field where the discretion of the Superintendent should be exercised, a point of doubt always being referred to Headquarters. Pocket money is allowed to boys and girls after their fifth birthday.

MEDICAL SERVICES The efficiency and success of a Home depends largely on the maintenance of a high standard of health amongst the children. This can only be secured by the prompt and effective treatment of illness and by constant attention to dietary, daily routine, clothing, and other matters of general hygiene. Chief Medical Officer. The Chief Medical Officer is responsible to the Council for the general medical policy of the Homes and for the administration of the medical services. His duties include the supervision of the health of the children and the inspection of the sanitary conditions of the Home, the dietary of the children, and such matters as may affect their general health. Every child will be fully examined at least once a year by one of the Headquarters' Medical Officers. A Visiting Doctor is appointed to each Reception and Branch Home. His duties include: (a) A complete medical examination of every child as soon as possible after its arrival. (b) Periodic routine visits to the Home. (i) A quarterly inspection of each child. (This does not apply to Reception Homes.) (d) The treatment of sick children. (e) Such vaccinations and immunizations against diphtheria as may be required. (/) Advising as to dietary and hygiene. (g) The supervision of medical records. (h) Medical attention to members of staff not covered by a National Health Insurance Panel. Not more than a week should elapse between the doctor's periodic visits. On these visits he will see such cases of illness as have not required a special visit, and new children admitted to the Home during the week. At the quarterly medical inspection, all medical dossier cards must be ready for the doctor, duly entered up and with the latest recordings of height and weight. The children Should be completely stripped, with the exception of one loose garment, such as pants, and should be barefooted, so that no time need be lost in preparing for the examination. It is important that feet should be examined and the presence of chilblains, sores or commencing deformities noted. The examination should take place in the "surgery" or an adequately warmed room, and on a wood or carpeted floor. The Superintendent should have a list of the children's names so that he may check off each child as seen, and make such notes as desired by the doctor. For children of school age advantage should be taken of the School Medical Officer's routine examinations, and these may take the place of one of the quarterly inspections in the Home. The appointment of a visiting doctor does not divest RC Superintendents of their general responsibility for the children's health. The Superintendent will ensure that all sick children and newly admitted children are brought to the notice of the doctor; that weights and heights are taken and recorded on the dossier card, and that the children are prepared for the quarterly examination. He is responsible for the correct keeping of medical records and reports, and sending such reports as may be called for to the Chief Medical Officer. A Medical Record Book must be kept in each Home. In it will be entered a permanent record of the health of each child on admission, his or her medical history while in the Home, and the state of health on transfer to another Home or situation. At the same time the child's individual medical dossier must be kept constantly up to date, showing the latest records of height and weight with the important items of his or her medical history. A Daily Record Book must also be kept showing the names of all children given treatment of any description, as well as a record of those seen by the doctor. The Chief Medical Officer requires the following R reports: i. A short monthly report on the health of the Home. A quarterly report on the health of each child, including trainees, in the Home with a record of its height and weight. iii. An immediate report on any accident that has occurred, iv. Immediate notification of infectious diseases. v. Immediate notification of cases of serious illness, including all cases requiring removal to hospital, vi. Notification of deaths, with a report from the doctor, and the findings of any post-mortem examination or inquest that may have been held. On arrival, the Superintendent, or other member of the staff appointed by him, should ascertain that the child is entirely free from any appearance of eye, skin, or other infectious disease. If any infectious disease is suspected the child should be isolated at once pending the visit of the doctor. Immediately following the reception of a new child the doctor must be notified, and the complete examination of the child must take place within forty-eight hours. Where for any reason this is not possible, a special note of the circumstances must be made in the medical record book. The doctor at his examination will fill in the child's medical dossier card, noting any defects which may require treatment, and any marks or evidence of previous injury. After a quarantine period of four weeks, children will pass from the Regional Reception Centre to the Central Reception Home. Before such transfer, they must be seen and passed by the doctor not earlier than forty-eight hours before departure. At the Central Reception Home. After arrival from the Reception Centre children will be given a detailed physical and psychological examination. Treatment for any defect already noted on the dossier card or found at this examination, will then be carried out. On the findings of this examination, and after a period of observation, children will be allocated for either boarding-out, Branch Homes, or special Homes. Before transfer from the Central Reception Home each child must be seen, not earlier than forty-eight hours before departure, by the medical officer and passed as fit. If, after allocation, cases of serious behaviour or psychological problems arise in children sent boarding-out or to Branch Homes they may be recalled to the observation centre for reconsideration or treatment. At a Branch Home. Children will normally be received from the Central Reception Home and will be accompanied by a detailed medical report. Their arrival must be notified to the doctor who will see them at his next routine visit, when their dossier cards and medical reports will be available; he can then issue instructions as to any special care or treatment required. Before transfer to another Home or to Headquarters for a situation or restoration, and not earlier than forty-eight hours before departure, all children must be examined by the doctor and certified by him as fit for transfer. Slight cases of sickness or indisposition frequently occur among children and in many cases can be dealt with by the Superintendent or the staff, especially if this includes a trained nurse. It must largely be left to their discretion to decide which cases require the attention of a doctor, but in any case in which it is found necessary to keep a child in bed, not more than twenty-four hours should be allowed to elapse before he is informed of the details and no case of sickness or indisposition, however slight, should be allowed to continue for more than a week without being brought to his notice. In the case of skin complaints, it must be emphasized that the main and elementary duty of the staff, whether they are trained nurses or not, is to recognize at the earliest possible stage that some form of skin disease is present and to bring the case promptly before the doctor for diagnosis and treatment. This is especially important where "scabies, impetigo or ringworm of the scalp are concerned. The aim of anyone undertaking nursing duties, whatever her qualifications, should be the early recognition of the need for medical advice, prompt reference of the case to the doctor and strict adherence to his instructions. In cases where the doctor considers that a second opinion should be obtained, and recommends reference to a consultant, Superintendents will make the necessary arrangements for the child to be seen either at the Home or at a convenient General Hospital, acting on the advice of the doctor as to the most suitable place and person to whom to refer the patient. A full report should at once be sent to the Chief Medical Officer. Permission must be obtained from the Chief Medical Officer before any surgical procedure is undertaken, except in cases of emergency when the Superintendent of the Home may give the necessary consent to the Hospital Authorities. In normal cases Superintendents must notify the Chief Executive Officer at least seven days before the operation to enable him to communicate with the child's relatives. The weighing and measuring of children is a most important means of estimating their physical progress, and must be carried out at regular intervals—every three months. This should be done shortly before the doctor's quarterly inspection and the names of any children who have failed to make progress should then be reported to the doctor. To ensure uniform results, heights should be taken in bare feet or in stockings, and weights in a single garment. It is also important that weights should be taken on each occasion at about the same time of day. The best time to weigh is after breakfast—say on a Saturday morning. It is not necessary to arrange to weigh each child quarterly as from his or her birthday; the better plan is to weigh all children on the same day and thereafter quarterly, paying due attention to the results both for individuals and for the group as a whole. It must be recognized that an apparent satisfactory gain in weight and height is not sufficient if poor stance and a slouching gait evidence a muscular tone below normal. Attention must be paid to the physical side of recreation (see Chapter VIII) ensuring for each child an adequate amount of outdoor and wisely directed muscular activity. A Dentist is appointed for each Home. He will make a six-monthly examination of all teeth. Children reported by the Dentist at these examinations as requiring attention should be specially noted and brought up to him for treatment in accordance with his instructions. A record of all dental work done, including inspection of teeth should be kept. Each Home should set aside separate quarters to which sick children can be admitted for observation and treatment, or for isolation in the case of infectious diseases. In the control of outbreaks of infectious or contagious diseases it is the early recognition, and prompt and effective isolation, of the first case which counts. For sick rooms in the smaller Homes two or three well spaced beds should suffice; in larger Homes five beds for 100 children, preferably in two rooms, would be required, and so up to ten beds for 200 children in two or three rooms. These rooms should be located close to a bathroom and lavatory, which can in cases of infectious disease be devoted entirely to their use. Provision should be made for the storage of milk and essential foods near by, and all crockery and cutlery should be kept, washed and if necessary, disinfected close to the sick room. Baths and lavatory in sick quarters are to be reserved exclusively for their purpose. A room should also be allocated for use as a " surgery " for daily dressings and examinations. In it should be kept, in a properly locked up cupboard, all supplies of medicines, lotions and ointments ; and it should be provided with means for boiling water for sterilizing the simple instruments in use, and for the preparation of fomentations, etc. This room need not be large, but should be well lighted and warmed; it will be used by the doctor and all his routine examinations will be conducted there ; therefore it should have provision for the storage of all medical records. A clearly defined and regular routine must be adhered to both in regard to the custody and issue of all medicines. Only such medicines as are ordered by the doctor should be given to the children, and his instructions must be strictly followed. The custody and issue of all medicines should be the duty of the Senior Matron or Nurse; this duty should in no circumstances be delegated to unqualified junior assistants or probationers, unless they are under personal supervision. Poisons must be kept in a separate locked cupboard. In the planning of sleeping accommodation, 40 sq. ft. Gene per bed is the minimum requirement which can be accepted as reasonably effective in limiting the spread of infectious diseases. In irregularly shaped rooms this standard may be difficult to and1 apply ; a satisfactory alternative is to allow a minimum distance Vent of 5 ft. between bed centres, irrespective of age. Beds must be so placed as to allow each child easy access to the doorways and fire exits. Adequate ventilation at night must be assured, care being taken to see that the children are warmly covered. Each child should have an under-blanket and a minimum of three top-blankets. During the day full ventilation should be obtained and blankets and mattresses brought out, as opportunity offers, for thorough airing and sunning. Dust rapidly accumulates in the dormitories, much of it from the blankets, and soon tends to become heavily infected with organisms ; it is very necessary therefore that all blankets should be regularly shaken, and sent for disinfection at regular intervals. Children will not thrive unless they have ample sleep at regular hours. A late night now and again will not matter if you see that the child makes up for it at other times. Remember that the quality of sleep is just as important as its quantity. Sleep that is restless and disturbed is of very little value. The great disturbers of sleep are noise and anxiety. Keep the house as quiet as possible when the children have gone to bed and do not have the wireless turned on louder than necessary. Do your best to see that the home atmosphere is one of security and avoid conversations which are likely to alarm or worry children.

HEALTH All water-closets and urinals must be kept in good order and repair, and defects promptly repaired. They must be inspected daily by the Superintendent or his deputy to ensure a high standard of sanitation. Children must receive early training in the proper use of closets, and in habits of regularity. Toilet paper must be provided, and should be placed in receptacles outside the closet where it can conveniently be obtained. In Homes for toddlers strict attention must be paid to the conditions under which chambering of small children is carried out. This should be done in a room conveniently close to sluicing facilities, so that prompt and thorough cleansing of the vessels may be carried out. Children must be taught a high standard of personal hygiene, and a pride in clean hands, teeth and nails, developed. Face flannels, towels, tooth brushes and mugs, must not be used in common, and strict attention must be paid to their cleanliness. Combs and hair brushes must also be for individual use only. Each child should have a daily strip wash, and at least two baths per week. Where long baths are installed every child should be bathed separately and have fresh water, the bath being thoroughly flushed out before being refilled. In no circumstances must a child be bathed in water which has been used for bathing a child suffering from any skin complaint or giving grounds for suspecting that it has some skin infection. Between the ages of two and three a beginning should be made in training children to wash themselves, and to attend to their own daily needs. Hooks for towels and flannels must be so spaced that each towel and flannel hangs completely clear of its neighbour. Teeth should be cleaned night and morning with a simple carbolic tooth powder, and regular inspection carried out by those in charge to ensure that this is being properly done. An inspection of heads should be made weekly. This is especially desirable in the case of children attending an outside school. RELIGIOUS TRAINING These notes have been written for the general guidance of our Superintendents, particularly those recently appointed. They are intended primarily for children of elementary school age. Where the children are older they will need some adaptation. Responsibility for religious instruction rests with the G<& Head of the Home. Family prayers should be taken by the Head. In the few cases where there is a resident chaplain, religious training must be regarded as one of his- special duties. Where older children are concerned, special stress should be laid on their private devotions. It must be remembered that for the majority, once they have left the Home, private prayer will be their chief source of strength. Family prayers should be held daily in all Homes. They Fan should be attended by everyone staff, trainees and children and should consist of a short simple prayer, a few verses from the Bible, and a verse or two of a hymn. Where it is not convenient to hold family prayers in the morning, a short prayer should be used when the children are assembled for breakfast, asking God's guidance and help in the work and difficulties of the day. On Sunday evenings, prayers should be a little longer sun with perhaps two hymns and a little informal talk by the Head of the Home or some outside friend. In the former case this will be valuable as it will provide a natural opportunity for bringing up points in connection with the religious life in the Home and kindred subjects without having to summon children and staff specially for the purpose. For children under twelve, one Church service each Sun Sunday is sufficient, normally in the morning. The afternoon Ser or evening is a suitable occasion for religious instruction. This may take many forms—Sunday School, Bible stories, reading from suitable books, informal talks, lantern service, religious films, etc., with hymns or carols to keep it cheerful. With the over-twelve children, any evening service should be informal, though in the large Homes it will normally be held in the chapel. Care must be taken not to fill up the day with religious activities as a convenient way of keeping the children occupied. Definite religious instruction should be given to children in small groups. This again is the responsibility of the Head of the Home. If it is delegated to some one else, care must be taken that this person is really competent to do it. Special emphasis should be placed on a thorough knowledge of the Old and New Testament stories. We owe it to the children that they do not leave the Homes without a real familiarity with these so that they become part of the very fabric of their lives. On application to Headquarters, an up-to-date bibliography will be supplied. Advantage should certainly be taken of any suitable Sunday School or Bible Class which exists outside the Home. Great emphasis should be laid on the development of regular habits of personal religion. All children over seven should make use of the Bible Reading Fellowship. Those over twelve might have their own leaflets and read the portion for themselves, those under twelve are better in groups and reading it (perhaps a verse each) with a member of staff who can help and explain. There should be a definite quiet time in the dormitories morning and night for private prayers. Children should be taught to pray and to kneel by their beds to pray. Private prayer presents many difficulties to children (and others). Each child might be advised to use at night a routine somewhat on the following lines. (a) Say over the Lord's Prayer. (b) Thank God for His goodness—for health, work, friends. Remember any special event that he or she is looking forward to. (Always dwell on the privilege of the personal approach.) (c) Conclude with saying over the verse of a hymn. Never mind if the hymns are simple and naive. They should be used as an act of worship to round off the individual prayer. On getting up in the morning, the children might be taught to say a little formal prayer, or the verse of a hymn, or the Lord's Prayer. A list of helpful books of prayers will be supplied by Headquarters on request. These should be used by the Superintendent rather than given to the children. Children often find real difficulty in using printed prayers—they should be taught to pray, as other children are, at their mother's knee. Only then will it be a real prayer and not just something some one else has written. The personal aspect of prayer must be familiar to the children if they are to be helped by prayer when they leave the shelter of the Homes. There should be one or two really good religious pictures in each Home—probably in the room where the library is—and one bookshelf for religious works. It is not infrequent for children of all ages to be baptised after admission to the Homes. The question of god-parents for Church of England children often presents a real problem. Superintendents or members of staff are frequently willing to act. Suitable trainees should also be encouraged to volunteer for this purpose. All Church of England children should be encouraged to cone be confirmed before leaving the Homes. It is difficult to lay down any particular age, but it is usually inadvisable to confirm any child under the age of fourteen. An exception might be made for a child likely to leave the Homes before the age of fifteen. Care must be taken that only Church of England children are prepared for Confirmation. Should a child not of that denomination particularly desire Confirmation, the matter should be referred to Headquarters. Do not leave it all to the clergyman. It is the duty of the Superintendent to help the child in every possible way to appreciate the significance of Confirmation. Free Church children should be similarly encouraged to prepare for full membership of their Church. A New Testament is presented by the Council to every child presented for Confirmation, as well as to every Free Church child who becomes a full member of the Church. These Testaments are obtainable from the Chief Executive Officer. With smaller children a sung Grace is preferable; with older ones the spoken version is best. In both cases fairly frequent changes in the Grace used are desirable. The Grace should be real to the children, and not become a matter of routine. Especially in war-time it should be easy to enter into this form of thanksgiving with sincerity. The local Clergyman, and the local Free Church Minister should be asked to visit the Home, and the children should be introduced to them individually.

SEX EDUCATION It is now a commonplace to say that every child has a right to proper education in regard to sex development and hygiene. This places upon the Superintendents of Homes a great responsibility. The art of sex education depends on the outlook of the teacher. If he has a clean and healthy attitude, free from false shame, and able to think and talk naturally about sex without a sense of guilt, then, with some factual knowledge, he can help children to possess the same healthy mind. If the teacher looks upon sex as a disagreeable and regrettable necessity, no amount of knowledge will serve to help him to educate a child. The attitude of mind of the teacher is, therefore, of paramount importance, but it is by no means an easy matter for those who are embarrassed by talking about these matters to overcome their handicap. The essential step is for them to re-educate themselves so that they may be freed from the influence of a conception of sex that is largely a physical one, and seek to get a vision of sex as a great creative energy that flows throughout life. Then they will, with .ease of mind, be able to take a part in guiding boys and girls to a similar conception that will enable them to Harness these vital forces for the enrichment of life. If sex education is to be successful, the teacher must have a clear idea of what he wants to accomplish. Not until then can he properly decide what should be taught and when the instruction should be given. The aim of sex education should include the following things : i. The satisfaction of the natural curiosity of children regarding sex. ii. The presentation of the subject in its relation to the whole of life and the healthiness of sex. iii. The foundation for moral and social responsibility in the relationship of the sexes. If the above principles are accepted, it is obvious that instruction must be both positive and constructive. Warnings about bad habits, such as masturbation, should find a very small place in sex education, which should be concerned with the formation of g5od habits. These will do much more to prevent bad habits than any amount of threats about evil consequences that will probably never mature. At what age should teaching be given? A common answer is, "Whenever the child asks." This is only partly right. It is right when it means that whenever a question is asked it must be answered (no matter what the question may be), but wrong if it means that we must not give instruction until a specific question is asked. There are many questions that children cannot ask, but to which it is necessary that they should know the answers if they are to grow up with healthy minds and bodies. Some children refrain from asking questions because of doubtful information gained from undesirable sources ; in such cases we must give knowledge to correct wrong impressions and create right ones. Under the first heading we have to deal with such questions as " How was I born ? " In the young child's mind this involves the question, "How did I grow before I was born ? " but it does not necessarily include the process of birth. Teaching on both these points must be clear and definite. While it may be convenient to use illustrations taken from the lower forms of life, they must illuminate and not obscure the human facts the child is seeking to learn. Evasive replies merely bewilder the child and give it an impression that something is being withheld from it, which may end in it losing all confidence in the teacher. It is when seeking to achieve the second of our aims that we may have to give children knowledge for which they have not asked, but which it is necessary they should have. So far it has been assumed that children have asked questions about fatherhood and motherhood. If by the time they are about twelve to thirteen years old they have not done so, then we must volunteer the information. It is round about this age, too, that they will need instruction about the physical changes that will soon begin and about the special hygiene necessary for their health. If this education is delayed, it will coincide with the changes and probably lead to emotional stress and psychological difficulties, besides causing physical stimulation. The old-fashioned practice of threatening boys with T.B., insanity, heart disease, etc., if they indulge in self-stimulation is absolutely wrong. Such results do not follow this undesirable habit though the fears created frequently lead to psychological ill-effects of a serious nature. Work in Child Guidance Clinics shows how serious are the consequences of these threats and their resultant fears. Nothing must be said that may create fears or perpetuate fears already existing. Where, but only where, they are known to exist, one of our aims must be to dispel them by positive teaching. Every boy and girl must understand the elementary facts of bodily development. A background of general hygiene and a knowledge of the normal functions of the body must be understood if we are to form a basis on which to build a healthy understanding of sex, without which the emotional development of the adolescent child can be very difficult. Growth must be shown to be the result of many factors : food, sunlight, exercise, etc. In particular the influence on growth of various glands must be known by the child and so the idea of the relationship of sex glands and growth becomes a normal one. At puberty these glands start working and take over much of the promotion of growth previously done by other glands. Boys need special guidance to understand these changes, which are not only physical but affect the whole of their nature. Sex is a form of creative energy which can be turned into wrong channels. It is the task of the teacher to see that this does not happen. Girls also need special help during this transition period from girlhood to womanhood. They frequently suffer fears through hearing ignorant talk, fears that lead to mental and physical suffering. Where girls have adequate guidance and understand the creative aspects of these changes, they are spared these pains and the foundation is laid for a stable emotional life. The third aim of sex education relates to the moral and social responsibility of the individual to society. Much of this is taught by implication when giving much of the instruction suggested above, particularly when speaking about parentage. A simple explanation of the effect of individual conduct on society still further makes sex a much wider subject than it is usually thought to be a very important idea to get into the young mind. Also, by giving these lessons to groups of boys or girls, we develop both the social aspects and avoid the unhealthy secrecy that has worked such mischief in the past. It is also necessary to develop a sensible attitude towards boy and girl friendships and this forms a vital part of the sex education of children.

MAINTENANCE OF DISCIPLINE Control of Very Young Children. The guiding principle in all matters relating to the control of very young children should be to prevent a situation arising where punishment becomes necessary, This is more difficult obviously when dealing with groups than with individual children. Actual numbers give rise at once to possibilities of friction ; but even so, a very great deal can be done by diversion, to prevent a difficult situation crystallising, or a conflict of wills ever developing. Johnny is going to bang Charlie on the head ; Johnny is diverted by an errand to be run, a job of work to be done. The moment of tension passes, and Johnny is free from the necessity of punishment. Children should not be slapped. The following methods of control are suggested: (a) If a child is disobedient, it is best to stop him from playing with the other children. He can be put in the corner of the room, or made to sit in a chair and look on. He must never (1) be shut up in a room; (2) be put in the dark, (3) be left alone anywhere. (b) If the child is nervy, or tired, or out of sorts (factors which often are the cause of disobedience) he may be put to bed (this is applicable to small children only; it is not considered advisable for " over-sevens "). If put to bed, he must not be left in a room alone. Arrange for someone to be occupied in the room. (c) Respect of other people's belongings must be inculcated. Small children are, by nature, acquisitive. Nursery School methods advocate that every child should have his own locker where he may accumulate his store of treasures. This, it is believed, is the best way to teach a respect for private property. Never search or empty a little child's pockets at night; it only tempts him to make up losses from other people's belongings. Stealing a cake round about tea-time may be punished by deprivation of cake at that meals but threats of cakeless and jamless teas are deprecated. The little child cannot connect two separate incidents divided by a space of hours. (d) Noisiness. The only way to combat noise in the nursery is for the teacher herself never to raise her voice or shout. Noisiness is highly infectious and it is essential for the habit of speaking quietly to prevail in the nursery. (e) For persistent unkindness and bullying, if the methods indicated above fail, advice should be sought from the Chief Executive Officer or Chief Medical Officer. Never punish for enuresis, masturbation, nail-biting, or other nervous affections. The physical or psychological root of the trouble must be sought. Encouragement here can work marvels, and definite rewards should be given for a bad habit overcome. It is essential that confidence be established in the child's mind. Care must be taken not to comment on a child's misdemeanours before the other children, or the child's feeling of insecurity will be intensified. In conclusion, infinite patience, humour, a sympathetic understanding, great ingenuity in finding suitable diversions, these, and not a code of punishments, are the essentials for the happy control of little children. The ideal home is a place where each member feels secure in the kindliness and affection of the others, and willingly co-operates in the duties to be done, taking a full share in the activities and pleasures of the community. Such a home is a happy place, and in an atmosphere of happiness and security serious difficulties of discipline rarely occur. No community can be run completely without rules, but they should be those of courtesy and common sense; children readily grasp the reasons for such rules when they are explained to them, and when they understand, are willing to co-operate in their maintenance. In planning our corporate life, we should try to arrange matters so that children find it better to do what is right than to do wrong ; praise and approval for duties well done achieve far more than constant nagging about those badly performed. Encouragement is far better than chastisement. While it may temporarily lessen efficiency, it is better not to keep the same children always at the same jobs; a rota of groups can be made, and the variety thus introduced will give greater zest and interest to their performance. It is specially important for our children that each individual should feel himself to be loved and wanted in the home to which he belongs and that he should feel that he makes a contribution, however small, to the corporate life. No healthy child is "good" (in the sense of not annoying adults) all the time, and it is important to distinguish between different kinds of naughtiness: (a) Pranks which result from animal spirits done to attract attention or powers of leadership which have not sufficient outlet. The way to deal with these is to find some useful and constructive channel into which this energy can be diverted, e.g. becoming a member of a voluntary youth organization, starting a hobby, taking on some responsible task, such as looking after a younger child. (b) Misdeeds which spring from some physical or psychological cause such as unhappiness, discouragement, ill-health, the emotional disturbance of adolescence. Here it is vital to find out what lies behind the child's actions —a process which may take much time and trouble, but is immeasurably worth while. The school teacher can often help if consulted, and frequently a talk with the offender will deal adequately with the difficulty. It is well to try and ascertain the strong point in a child and build on that. Difficult cases may call for special treatment, and should be reported to the Chief Executive Officer. To do this should not be thought by the Head of the Home to be an indication that he has failed in his handling of the case. On the contrary. (c) Nervous disorders, like nail-biting, masturbation and enuresis and cases of uncontrollable temper, should receive very careful treatment as punishment would not only be unjustified but definitely harmful. In serious cases the advice and help of the medical officer should be sought. (d) The problem of lying should be dealt with carefully and may want quite different treatment according to the reason which led to it, e.g. to get out of a difficult situation or for romantic purposes. In every case the root of the difficulty should be sought. The inclination to steal could be lessened by children having their own possessions which they can use as they like. Each child should have his own locker and his property should be respected. It is then easy to make him realize that he must do as he would be done by in this respect. (e) Noise is best dealt with by the example of the staff ,who should never shout at the children or raise their voices in an attempt to get silence. Quietness is far more effective. (f) Discourtesy or rudeness depends so much on the attitude of the staff to the boy or girl that it can only be dealt with individually. An expression of surprise may help with some children, and impressing on them that if they adopt such speech, they cannot expect to do well in life. (g) The telling of-unpleasant and silly stories can be best combated by filling the child's mind with new ideas and giving him interesting and exciting stories of deeds of adventure and heroism to read. When dealing with large groups of children, and particularly in the case of boys, it is not always easy to choose the right course between the extremes of laxity and severity, but it is undeniable that the maintenance of a proper standard of discipline depends upon the personality of whoever is in charge, and it is also true that the best disciplinarian finds it least necessary to employ punishments. Though it must needs be that offences come, yet the Head of a Home would do well to consider in his own mind whether the need to punish a child may not be to some extent a confession of his own failure. The first requisite is to build up in a Home a good tradition. This is not always an easy task for there will be and must be in our work occasional difficulties in the case of those boys and girls who are admitted to the Homes in their "teens," and who come from a previous environment of vice or neglect, and yet these are the children who most need our sympathy and help. When once the boys or girls realize that their offences are anti-social acts which injure their own community and themselves, much has been done towards the creation of a standard of public opinion, and this will do more than any system of punishments to decrease the number of such acts. In some schools it has been found that this sense of corporate responsibility has been helped by the institution of some form of House competition, be it for the holding of a "Good Conduct Shield" or for the award of special privileges. The essence of it, of course, is that the child's behaviour reacts not only upon the individual, but upon the members of his House or Group. It is important that children should learn that they cannot share the privileges of a community unless they share its duties and responsibilities. When some form of punishment is necessary, the first essential is that the offender, and the other children in the Home, should realize the fairness of it. Any punishment which leaves a sense of injustice has definitely failed. For this reason it is right that there should be sufficient interval of time between the offence and the punishment for tempers to cool down. An angry child should never be scolded until the anger is past, although it may be well to separate him temporarily until he has regained his balance. The previous history of the child should also be very carefully considered so that it should be quite certain that the punishment is suited to his or her particular case. This interval, however, must not be too long, particularly in the case of small children who may fail to associate the punishment with the previous offence. All this sounds very obvious, but there is reason to think that it has not always been observed. For example, a man who boxes a boy's ears or cuffs or shakes him, or inflicts any other form of unauthorized physical pain, is not merely forfeiting the respect which the boys would hold for himself, but is doing definite harm to the discipline of the Home and adding to the difficulties of his colleagues. It should be clearly understood that actions of this kind are absolutely forbidden. The Council of the Homes will not tolerate them and will not keep in their employ anybody who uses such methods. Though a printed list of positive instructions as to conduct (" Do this ") may possibly be justifiable in that it gives children something constructive to aim at, a printed list of negative instructions ("Do not do this") is not wise. Such a list cannot be complete and an omission might be used to provide an excuse. In all cases, a child should be given a chance to state his case—his delinquency may be due entirely to ignorance or error. On occasions when punishment is necessary, it is permissible: i. to withdraw temporarily some privilege (of which there should be as many as possible) or withhold the right of using pocket money for a short period; or ii. to substitute extra work of some useful type for a period of recreation. This would include detention classes if there were several offenders. "Punishment drill" is not recommended; " lines," if set, should be a very small number, and should not be cumulative. It is more effective to set a passage of ten or, at most, twenty lines to be done in a child's very best handwriting than the mechanical task of hundreds done anyhow. Such cumulative impositions not only injure a child's handwriting, but create a feeling of resentment, and he or she is apt to forget altogether the breaches of discipline which caused the punishment. Alternatively a child may be made to learn a passage of similar length by heart; or iii. in cases where children appear tired and fractious—to send them to bed earlier than the others. This should be used only with discretion, and a child should never be left in a dark room or dormitory alone. Means of communication with a member of staff should be provided and some form of occupation allowed, and an early opportunity taken by the Superintendent to visit the child and talk over the difficulty. This punishment should not be used for older boys. There are obvious dangers in leaving a boy for any length of time alone in bed unless he is asleep. On no account must a child or children be left locked in a room; or iv. to use the " probation " system of reporting two or three times a day to some member of the staff who may be on duty, and once a day to the Superintendent, as a reminder to the boy that he must behave himself; or v. for misbehaviour, rowdiness or greediness at meals—a day or two at a Defaulter's or " Silence " table; or vi. wilful damage to the property of the Homes, of other children or of neighbours, might be punished by some system of small fines to be paid from pocket money for two or three weeks ; or vii. in normal times, to substitute a less for a more attractive part of a meal, e.g. bread and butter for cake. During the war period, however', this is not permitted.

Corporal punishment. Boys. It should be remembered that corporal punishment, which in our Homes means caning and the use of no other instrument, is to be regarded as the final resort and should therefore be very seldom employed. It is probably a good thing that the boys should know that there is a cane in the cupboard, but the more that caning is used as a punishment, the more it loses its efficiency as a deterrent. A cane should only be used when all other methods have failed, and when it is quite clear in the mind of the Head of a Home that it is absolutely necessary. These conditions are the rules of the Homes : It must be administered by the Head of the Home or by an officer of the Home in his presence and under his direction. If the Head of the Home is away on holiday or sick leave, it may be administered by the second-in-charge to whom such authority has been specifically delegated for the period. It must not be administered in the presence of other boys. It must be administered in the presence of a third person who should be the second-in-charge (or other senior officer) and of nobody else. A record of every case must be fully entered, dated and signed at once in the " Punishment " book. The reason for the caning must be stated. It may not be done under any circumstances to boys under seven years of age or those who are physically or mentally afflicted or temporarily in a Hospital or Convalescent Home. The boy must be wearing his ordinary clothes, and must not in any circumstances be tied down. Generally two or three strokes should be sufficient, but the maximum shall not exceed six for boys under fifteen or eight for boys of fifteen and over. In no circumstances may sentences be consecutive. No punishment should normally last for more than one week, except a fine, which in extreme cases may run for three or four weeks. Such punishments as head cropping, wearing labels or entering offences on a placard placed above a child's bed, are not permitted. A child should not be unduly humiliated before his fellows. Under no circumstances should the punishment be of such a nature that a boy or girl finds difficulty in regaining self-respect. A list of specific punishments for specific misdemeanours is not desirable, since a punishment should fit the character of the child rather than the misdemeanour. It is useful to have regular staff meetings to ensure that members of the staff understand and co-operate in the maintenance of discipline. It may be found helpful to ask each member of the staff to keep a " Remark " book in which comments on the behaviour, good and bad, of each child are recorded. This should be submitted weekly to the Superintendent, as in this way he gets a picture not only of the child but also as to how the member of staff is dealing with any difficulties. The Superintendent should be responsible for the imposition of all punishments as distinct from the natural correction of any childish misbehaviour. A record of every punishment, except quite trivial ones, together with reasons for it, should be entered at once in a "Punishment" book, dated and signed by the Superintendent. A copy of this must be attached to each week's report to Headquarters. Humour, patience, and understanding affection for growing children are the indispensable qualifications for those whose work lies with them. In our Homes we have a unique opportunity of training for our nation some thousands of children in happy self-control, by providing an environment in which they can feel loved and secure and which is "home" in the fullest sense of the word. Girls. Corporal punishment, striking, cuffing, shaking and any other form of physical violence, should never in any circumstances be inflicted on girls or threatened.

THE LEISURE TIME OF SCHOOL-CHILDREN When children come home from school in the evening and during the school holidays, there will be free time to be spent. Even in the best regulated families and Homes this time is not always happy. The children may lack facilities or toys, they may quarrel with one another or get difficult or out of hand; in other cases they may dawdle aimlessly about, apparently with no desire to do anything at all. Those who have had much experience of children are now able to tell us something of the way in which their minds and bodies work and how they can be occupied, not only to keep them happy but to develop their growing powers. Those suggestions which result from that experience may seem rather difficult to attain and no doubt, at first, the collection of material and the making of plans will take time and trouble but that initial care and labour are amply rewarded when useful and happy leisure time is finally achieved. General The child is born into a family and normally every child has a home, a father and mother, and very often brothers and sisters, too. Nowadays we know that every one who is running a Home for children has to ensure that everything possible is done to avoid the atmosphere of an Institution and to make things like a real home. Not always however is care taken to arrange any or all of the following : Do the walls of the playrooms, hall, stairs and passages look bright and cheerful with suitable pictures like a really well-appointed nursery? Posters, pictures from books and pictures for children of varying ages can still be bought from the educational supply shops. These can be hung at various heights for different ages. They should be changed at fairly frequent intervals and the children would love to assist in selecting them and hanging them, too. Most children as they grow older are given or acquire a number of their own possessions. Children who grow up in a group in a " Home " are likely to suffer from the lack of something of their own. Some personal possessions are vitally necessary to the development of every youngster. If possible arrange that each child shall have a cupboard or locker or part of a shelf, or a bag on a peg in which to keep things of his or her own. A large number of toys and books may be difficult to obtain in war-time, but it is still possible to beg some and to make others. Each toy or book should be distinctive (or labelled) and each child should learn to respect the property of the others. Each child's store of possessions should be added to continually by things he or she makes. Not only do children need possessions—they also need parents. Many of the temperamental difficulties which arise among a group of children in a Home may be due to the lack of the affection and attention of one particular person by each child. Of course, no one can really take the place of the father and mother under those circumstances, but if there are a number of assistant workers in a Home or voluntary helpers available, something can be done. Try to arrange that a particular helper is responsible for a small group of the children either at certain times or for certain purposes—so that each child in the small group feels that he belongs to that helper and she to him. In the average home the small child spends much time following mother about and seeing what she does. Great is the child's delight when he or she is allowed to help with the cooking or washing or scrubbing or dusting or even gardening. ' In a Home in which the staff is busy the tendency often is to keep the children away when work has to be done. If, however, it can possibly be arranged for groups of them from time to time, even when they are only five or six years old, to assist in cooking or washing or housework or gardening—while it must not delay the staff unduly, it will give great pleasure to the children and promote this element of family life which they need for normal growing-up, Leisure-Time Activities In planning leisure-time activities it is desirable to divide children into age groups. The needs of the children will vary as they grow older. A suitable grouping is as follows : 5- 7 years, 7-11 years, 11-14 years. If and when there are two or more members of a family in a Home, they should be given ample opportunity for meeting and playing together—so that the older ones of the family can mother the younger ones. Such mothering should not be allowed to become a drag on the older members of a family and for certain times and games the various members of the same family should mix with their own age groups. These younger children are still really at the Nursery The School age and there are many possible occupations for them both indoors and out of doors. They need considerable space for movement and, like their older brothers and sisters, should be allowed to " make a bit of a mess." They can usually help to clear the mess up fairly easily. They need supervision so that they do not harm themselves and in order that they may be assisted and encouraged in their efforts. Play for this age group can be described under four headings : (a) Physical Activities. Indoors they can have a swing fixed to a beam in the ceiling. Balls and small wooden bats can be used for a variety of games. Skittles and small jumping stands are also useful. Outdoors they can have the same equipment as indoors but this time the swing needs the stout branch of a tree or a strong frame. A wooden slide with no splinters gives endless delight, and so does a climbing frame or jungle gymnasium. Hoops, skipping ropes, tricycles, trucks and barrows to push also provide much interest and exercise the growing muscles. (b) Imitative Play. The small child of this age group loves to play at what he has seen adults doing. A small house can be made, if necessary of wood and hessian. It needs to be long enough for the children to play in and should be furnished with small beds, chairs, a table and tea set. (If space is limited the hessian can be put round clothes horses and the whole thing folded up when not in use.) Other requisites for imitative play are: prams, dolls, dolls* beds, brushes, brooms, dustpans, tea sets, pastrymaking sets, cloths for polishing. (Dolls' bedstead can be made out of tomato boxes and the bedclothes can be made from odd pieces of material.) Dressing-up clothes cause much excitement. Boys like particularly boxes of soldiers and engines. Out of doors in the garden, boys and girls like to garden with small spades, trowels and forks. (c) Constructive Play. All sorts of materials can be provided with which the young child can experiment and attempt to make and do. A box of padlocks and keys will cause much interest. Wooden blocks size 3 in. by 6 in. can be used to build all sorts of erections. Plasticine, coloured paper to cut and stick, paints, chalks, crayons, a simple printing set, simple jig-saw puzzles, hammering toys, are all essential. Outside, pieces of wood, nails and hammers can be used without harm if there is some supervision. All sorts of odd materials like match boxes, cotton reels, etc. can be used to make a variety of exciting things. Sand provides an excellent play material. A sand pit in the garden (which is well drained and has a wire netting cover to exclude cats, etc.) is a constant source of joy. A sand tray about 4 ft. by 4 ft. on legs can be filled with damp sand and used indoors. Spades, spoons, buckets, pastry tins, etc., can be used as toys. Individual sand trays can also be furnished. Seed boxes can be lined with American cloth and filled with dry sand. These can be placed on tables at which the children sit. Bottles, cosmetic pots and tea spoons are needed as toys. Water play is most important and need not be difficult. A tin bath or two and some bowls are necessary. Bottles, funnels and rubber tubing are used as toys. Clay pipes for blowing bubbles are much enjoyed. (Each child needs an apron which can be made from American cloth or balloon fabric.) Clay is also admirable play material. Ordinary potter's clay is required. It should be kept moist and rolled in balls in a tin. Each child needs an apron and a slab of linoleum on which to do the modelling. Sticks, blunt knives and small rolling pins are helpful for the modelling. A bowl of water in which the children can wet their hands frequently is also necessary. (d) Organised Play. Indoors small children love singing games. The Oxford Nursery Song Book by Buck. Gramophone Records and the Wireless are indispensable in any playroom. Out of doors small children like chasing games, jumping and easy racing. Children of this age group will enjoy some of the activities described for the younger age group, but they are growing older and as they do, their interest broadens and they are able to make things as well as experiment. On the whole it is better to stimulate a child by encouraging him to beat his own record rather than to enter into competition with others. In certain games and activities some competition is inevitable, but it should not be overdone, because it tends to destroy co-operation which is one of the important things to foster during this period. During this stage boys and girls desire to collect and hoard. Such things as conkers, marbles, cigarette cards, silver paper— and later, picture postcards, stamps, butterflies or wild flowers. This collecting should be encouraged. Sex differences become marked during this period, and boys tend to make friends with boys and girls. Girls enjoy mostly: Family and school play. Dressing up and acting. Sewing, decorating, designing and painting. Fairy stories up to nine years. Myths and legends and adventure stories and school stories. Animal stories, from nine to eleven years. Boys like especially: Carpentry. Constructive activities like Meccano. Model trains. Both boys and girls like : Puzzles and games such as ludo, snap, snakes and ladders. Potato and lino printing. Books of all kinds. Both boys and girls like active outdoor games with balls, hoops, skipping ropes, tops. Team games and athletics, if well taught, with a good referee not only give much enjoyment but teach the particular skill required and team spirit and fair play. At this stage a Brownie Pack for the girls and Wolf Cub Pack for the boys are both excellent. The girl and boy are now growing into early adolescence. They tend to become more independent and will probably develop some attachment to an older person, i.e. " hero-worship." Close friendship with a member of the same sex is common. At this stage the child wants a certain amount of freedom with his capabilities. A small amount of pocket money to be spent as he or she chooses is desirable and if possible some choice in the clothes to be worn. Only by exercising these limited choices can responsibility for personal possessions and appearance be learned. Again much of the same material used for occupations with the seven to eleven year olds can be used for this age group, but more advanced books and games will also be required. Indoors.—Halma, chess, patience. More advanced jig-saw puzzles. More advanced carpentry, if possible directed by a carpenter for the boys. Sewing and embroidery, possibly making their own clothes, for the girls. Darts, deck-quoits, table tennis. Outdoors.—Cricket, football, netball, tennis, swimming, hiking. Sometimes a party at which there can be round party games, a " beetle drive," a fancy-dress parade, a treasure hunt. From time to time a concert with some community singing and a few first dancing lessons. At this stage a Guide Company for the girls and a Scout Troop for the boys will provide much interest and give them not only good training but an outlet for their sense of adventure and a love of the country and all things out of doors.

Notes on punishments in Children’s Homes, at Nottingham in the 1970’s Caning of children aged over six in Nottinghamshire County Council's Homes and other Children’s Homes in use by Nottingham Council for the care of children. It is being recommended to the social services committee of the reintroduction of the cane to all their community homes, this was discussed during a session of the council's young persons committee. The Children’s Home’s care for children aged 5-17. It has been decided that other methods of punishment that have been in use should stop. These have been found to include cuffing and shaking, this can cause serious injury, and must never be applied, the other method of slapping was less serious, but should not have be allowed on the head, neck, hand, or soft parts of the body. The decision to allow only the cane as the method of physical punishment, was agreed upon during the meeting. The new rules will take force as soon as senior workers can be informed of the committee’s decision. The only form of corporal punishment that will be allowed, will be up to six strokes of the light cane on the buttocks, over normal clothes. The permitted reasons for canings are to include: Stealing, bad language, bullying, general house disruptions, bedwetting, school truancy and other disruptive behaviour. It will be impressed on all staff that no other form of physical punishment will be permitted. If for any reason the child is not in a fit state for punishment due to illness, the punishment should be given at a more suitable time. If a child is disabled and the cane could not be applied to the buttocks, a decision to permit the caning on the hand will be made by a senior staff member. Children that are physically fit will not have the choice over this matter.



A wide range of postcards were printed at the PTS (Printing Training School) at both the London and Harpenden branches.

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1. Harpenden

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3. Harpenden Sanatorium

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6. Harpenden Sanatorium

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8. Alverstoke

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9. Edgworth

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10. Harpenden

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11. Harpenden Sanatorium

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12. Frodsham

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13. Alverstoke

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14. Edgworth

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17. Frodsham

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18. Alverstoke

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19. Birmingham

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21. Newquay

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26. Oxted

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28. Chipping Norton

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P29.  Penarth Nautical Approved School

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32. Birmingham

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33. Hamilton - Canada

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34. Farnborough Approved School

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37. Harpenden

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38. Penarth Nautical Approved School

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39. Sherringham

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42.  Harpenden

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43. Harpenden

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44. Harpenden

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46. Harpenden

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50. Harpenden

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51. Harpenden

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52. Harpenden Sanatorium

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54. Harpenden Sanatorium

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59. Harpenden Sanatorium

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62. Harpenden

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63. Harpenden

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