Warley Council Homes
The Metropolitan Borough of Warley was created in 1966 by the amalgamation of the boroughs of Smethwick, Oldbury and Rowley Regis. The new Warley Borough Council took over the operation of children's homes previously by the Smethwick Borough Council. Warley was a short-lived creation and in 1974 became part of the new Metropolitan Borough of Sandwell.
Composite list of children's establishments run (at some time in their history) by Warley Council.
- 27 Tame Rise, Brandhall Estate, Oldbury
- 34 Pedmore Walk, Lion Farm Estate, Oldbury
- Astbury House Hostel for Mentally Subnormal Young People, 27 Little Moor Hill, Smethwick
- The Hollies, Coopers Lane, Smethwick
- Lee House, 139 Bearwood Road, Smethwick
- The Towers, 3 Sandwell Road, Handsworth, Birmingham
- 29 The Terrace, Cradley Heath
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 Warley Council homes may exist at:
- Sandwell Community History and Archives Service, Smethwick Library, High Street, Smethwick B66 1AA.
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.
- Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain s Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
- Urquhart, Gloria (2020) Nobody's Child: The True Story of Growing up in a Yorkshire Children's Home
- Cooke, Allan Institutionalized in a Children's Home: Skellow Hall 1950-1963 — a true story of a child and children in a home (2012, Authorhouse)
- Cummings, Les Forgotten: The Heartrending Story of Life in a Children's Home
- Limbrick, Gudrun The Children of the Homes: a century of Erdington Cottage Homes
Except where indicated, this page () © Peter Higginbotham. Contents may not be reproduced without permission.