St Luke's Home for Boys, Burgess Hill, Sussex

St Luke's Home for Boys was established by the Waifs and Strays Society in 1901 at 2 Crescent Road, Burgess Hill, Sussex. The house taken for the purpose was the property of Mr W. Meeds and had previously known as Freshfield. It was converted for its new purpose under the direction of Mr S. Peach, architect. The official opening took place on October 18th, 1901, with a ceremony of dedication performed by the Archdeacon of Lewes, Robert Sutton. The master and matron were Mr and Mrs Pugh, with Miss Barton as assistant matron. The home initially accommodated 24 boys aged from 8 to 12, but its capacity was increased to 33 after building work in 1909.

The location of St Luke's is shown on the 1910 map below.

St Luke's Home for Boys site, Burgess Hill, c.1910.

St Luke's Home for Boys, Burgess Hill, c.1901. © Peter Higginbotham

Schoolroom at St Luke's Home for Boys, Burgess Hill, c.1901. © Peter Higginbotham

St Luke's Home for Boys, Burgess Hill, c.1905. © Peter Higginbotham

St Luke's Home for Boys, Burgess Hill, c.1922. © Peter Higginbotham

Boys at the home were expected to help with the household chores such as washing the dishes.

Dish-washing at St Luke's Home for Boys, Burgess Hill, c.1926. © Peter Higginbotham

They also turned their hand to culinary crafts such as jam-making.

Jam-making at St Luke's Home for Boys, Burgess Hill, c.1928. © Peter Higginbotham

Outside activities such included football and cricket. The home had its own team that played other local sides.

Football team at St Luke's Home for Boys, Burgess Hill, c.1929. © Peter Higginbotham

Exercise Drill at St Luke's Home for Boys, Burgess Hill, c.1905. © Peter Higginbotham

Gardening was another popular pastime.

Gardening at St Luke's Home for Boys, Burgess Hill, c.1929. © Peter Higginbotham

Falling numbers of children entering residential care, together with the threatened loss of the home's grounds for housing development, led to the home's closure in 1971. The staff and some of the boys were then transferred to the Hawk's Lease home at Lyndhurst.

The Crescent Road property no longer exists.

Records

Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.

Bibliography