Middlesbrough Council Homes

In 1930, following the abolition of the Middlesbrough Poor Law Union, the Middlesbrough 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 homes initially operated by the council are listed below.

LocationPlaces
141 Grange Road15
402-404 Linthorpe Road30
2-5 Broomlands, Cambridge Road61
Broomlands Receiving Home, Cambridge Road20
Holgate Institution, St Barnabas Road14

Former Broomlands homes site, Middlesbrough, 2006. © Peter Higginbotham

Very soon, however, Holgate Institution (the former workhouse) ceased to be used for the accommodation of children. By 1935, only the Broomlands homes on Cambridge Road remained in use.

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.

As well as taking charge of Broomlands, the new Children's Department also gained responsibility for a Remand Home on Farndale Road. In around 1951, a new family group home known as Beechwood was opened at 13 Sanford Close and, in line with the new recommendations, provided accommodation for just ten children. By 1955, this had been followed by the 10-bed Berwick Hills home at 50 Darenth Crescent. By 1959, further family group homes were in operation: Whinney Banks, 40 Whinney Banks Road; Park End, 4 Roxby Avenue; and Thorntree, 6 Greenford Walk. Three additional homes were in operation in 1964: Croft, at 64 Croft Road, and Easterside, at 54 Caversham Road, Easterside.

In 1968, Middlesbrough became part of the new Teesside county borough, which took over the administration of all the city's children's homes.

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