Bradford Council Homes

In 1930, following the abolition of the Bradford Poor Law Union, the Bradford Corporation took over responsibility for the administration of poor relief in the city. This included the children's homes previously run by the union, which now came under the management of the council's new Public Assistance Committee.

The council inherited a 22-bed reception home at 93 Park Road, Bradford, plus 23 scattered homes as listed below (all in Bradford unless otherwise indicated).

LocationPlaces
85-87 Park Road44
52 Rugby Place8
25 Bishop Street8
385 Killinghall Road8
15 Farcliffe Place8
13 St Leonard's Road8
80 Lower Rushton Road8
22 Ellercroft Terrace8
131 Killinghall Road8
40 Woodroyd Road8
86 Lister Avenue8
7 West View8
20 Cumberland Road8
151 Kensington Street8
32 Marsh Street8
4 Lapage Street8
58 Leamington Street8
132 Lilycroft Road8
15 St Margaret's Terrace8
168 St Leonard's Road8
57 Paley Road8
Cavendish House, Idle 16
5 The Grove, Idle16

Former scattered home, 86 Lister Avenue, Bradford. © Peter Higginbotham

Following the passing of the 1948 Children Act, councils were required to provide care services for all needy children in their area, especially those who lacked a normal family home. In common with other local authorities, the council established a new Children's Committee, whose responsibilities had previously been spread across separate Health, Education and Social Welfare Committees. Under the new regime, residential care was seen as the least desirable option for children in care, but when it was employed, the recommended size of home was eight children, or twelve at most. Since Bradford's large collection of scattered homes largely fell within these guidelines, the council continued to use many of its existing properties. The stock was also added to by a number of similar properties and several larger houses.

A rare new-build development, opened in around 1945, was Springfield, a group of four cottage home style houses plus a reception and observation centre, located at the south side of Duckworth Lane, opposite Bradford Royal Infirmary.

Like many other councils at this period, Bradford provided residential nursery accommodation. By 1952, this included the High Park Nursery, Haworth Road, and the Moorville Nursery, Killinghall Road.

In addition to its children's homes, the Children's Department also had responsibility for the Moorland House Approved School at Ilkley.

The children's establishments in operation in 1969 are listed below. Those marked with an asterisk are premises inherited from the workhouse authorities.

Central Home and Hostel, 93 Park Road*
22 Ellercroft Terrace*
385 Killinghall Road*
4 Lapage Street*
86 Lister Avenue*
52 Rugby Place*
15 Farcliffe Place*
13 St Leonard's Road*
15 St Margaret's Terrace*
Cavendish House, Idle*
Ashcroft, 440 Killinghall Road
489 Barkerend Road
20 Bell Dean Road
20 Ellercroft Terrace
85 Halesworth Crescent, Holmewood
2A Hall Road Road
Hazel Hurst, Leeds Road
High Park Nursery, Haworth Road
56 St Leonard's Road
151 Kensington Street
11 Makin Street
26 Mayfield Terrace, Clayton
Moorville, Killinghall Road
2 Northfield Road
51 Old Park Road
48 Saxton Avenue
29 Woodroyd Terrace
Reception/Observation Centre, Springfield, Duckworth Lane
2-5 Springfield, Squire Lane
Moorland House Approved School, Westwood Drive

Composite list of children's establishments run (at some time in their history) by Bradford Council.

* indicates link to pages on www.workhouses.org.uk.

Records

The involvement of local authorities in the running of children's homes dates from 1930, when they took over the running of the poor relief system previously administered by Boards of Guardians. Surviving records for council-run children's homes may be held in each council's own internal archives. Prior to 1991, however, when a legal requirement was introduced for councils to retain records of children leaving their care, the survival of such records is very variable. Contact details for local authorities in the UK can be found on the website of the Care Leavers Association (CLA). The CLA also provides guidance on accessing childhood care files, which are normally only open to the individuals they relate to.

Locating local authority records has been complicated by the various local government reorganizations that have taken place in recent times, such as the abolition of the London County Council in 1965, and the major nationwide restructuring in 1974 in which many administrative areas were created, amended or eliminated.

Older records may sometimes be placed with the relevant county or borough record office. Many of these repositories have online catalogues of their holdings and also contribute to the National Archives' Discovery database. Note that records containing personal data usually have access closed for a period of fifty years or more.

Older material relating to Bradford Council homes may exist at:

Some records relating to council-run homes, for example inspection reports (though not resident lists etc.), are held by The National Archives (TNA). A closure period may apply to these records.

Bibliography