Harvey Goodwin Home For Boys, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
In 1896, the Waifs and Strays Society took over former Cambridge Industrial School which had been founded in 1847 by the Rev. Harvey Goodwin. The establishment, whose premises were on Victoria Road, Cambridge, was renamed the Harvey Goodwin Home.
Under its new management, the buildings were refurbished and provided accommodation for 20 boys aged from 8 to 14. The Society claims that home became a Certified Industrial School at this time but there seems no official evidence to support this. The home did continue its industrial training role, however, with carpentry becoming a popular skill.
The home was closed in 1919, possibly due to the expiry of the lease on the site. It re-opened five years later in new premises on land known as St Luke's Fields, about three hundred yards to the north of Victoria Road, accessed by a newly created road named Harvey Goodwin Avenue. The foundation stone for the new building was laid in July, 1924, and it was officially opened on October 1st, 1925, by the High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire, Mr H.E.M. Peatling. The home could now house 31 boys up to the age of thirteen.
The location of the home is shown on the 1926 map below.
Like many boys' homes run by the Society, the Harvey Goodwin home set up its own Boy Scout troop and Wolf Cub pack.
The home continued operating during the Second World War, taking in a number of boys evacuated from other homes that were considered in danger of enemy bombing.
After the war, like a number of the Society's other properties, the Cambridge home was converted for use as a nursery. On October 2nd, 1947, the Harvey Goodwin Nursery was officially opened by Lady Whitby. The nursery provided temporary accommodation up to 20 children, who were awaiting adoption or boarding-out. It also provided a training facility for nursery nurses.
In the early 1970s, the home began to focus on the care of older children. In 1972, after the closure of the Society's St Agnes Home at Pevensey, its residents moved to the Cambridge property, now renamed Harvey Goodwin House. The following year, Harvey Goodwin House was give Assisted Community Home status which made it eligible to receive government funding..
The home closed in 1980. The property is now in private residential use.
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.
- Index of the Society's first 30,000 children's case files ordered by surname.
- Index of the Society's first 30,000 children's case files ordered by date of birth.
- The Children's Society Records and Archive Centre is at Unit 25, Springfield House, 5 Tyssen Street, London E8 2LZ (email: firstname.lastname@example.org). Files for children admitted to its homes after September 1926 were microfilmed in the 1980s and the originals destroyed. Some post-1926 files had already been damaged or destroyed during a flood. The Society's Post-Adoption and Care Service provides access to records, information, advice, birth record counselling, tracing and intermediary service for people who were in care or adopted through the Society.
- The Society has produced detailed catalogues of its records relating to disabled children, and of records relating to the Children's Union (a fundraising body mostly supported from the contributions of children).
- Bowder, Bill Children First: a photo-history of England's children in need (1980, Mowbray)
- Church of England Waifs and Strays' Society [Rudolfe, Edward de Montjoie] The First Forty Years: a chronicle of the Church of England Waifs and Strays' Society 1881-1920 (1922, Church of England Waifs and Strays' Society / S.P.C.K.)
- Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain s Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
- Morris, Lester The Violets Are Mine: Tales of an Unwanted Orphan (2011, Xlibris Corporation) — memoir of a boy growing up in several of the Society's homes (Princes Risborough, Ashdon, Hunstanton, Leicester) in the 1940s and 50s.
- Rudolf, Mildred de Montjoie Everybody's Children: the story of the Church of England Children's Society 1921-1948 (1950, OUP)
- Stroud, John Thirteen Penny Stamps: the story of the Church of England Children's Society (Waifs and Strays) from 1881 to the 1970s (1971, Hodder and Stoughton)
- Hidden Lives Revealed — the story of the children who were in the care of The Children's Society in late Victorian and early 20th Century Britain.
- The Children's Society
Except where indicated, this page () © Peter Higginbotham. Contents may not be reproduced without permission.