St Vincent's Home for Roman Catholic Crippled Boys, Clapham Park, London
St Vincent's Home for Roman Catholic Crippled Boys was established in 1907 at Park Lodge, 2 King's Avenue, Clapham Park, Balham, London SW4. On 22nd October, 1907, the Home was accredited as a Certified School, allowing it to receive boys boarded out by Boards of Guardians.
In 1910, the Home moved a short distance to a property on Clarence Road (now Avenue), Clapham Park, where it was renamed St. Vincent's Hospital and Home for Crippled Boys. The establishment's Certified School accreditation was renewed on 23rd March, 1910. A few weeks afterwards, on April 11th, a revised certificate was issued under the name of St Vincent's Surgical Industrial Home for Crippled Boys (Roman Catholic), which incorporated a second and almost adjoining property on King's Avenue. Just three days later, on April 14th, the Home was also certified as an Industrial School, enabling it to receive boys committed to detention by the courts, and with accommodation for 50 inmates.
A inspection report in December, 1911, recorded that the total number of boys in the home and temporary annexes was 85, all sent by Boards of Guardians and other local authorities; no Home Office cases were under detention at that date. The home was said to be managed by 'an influential Roman Catholic Committee', and was under the immediate care of the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. There were eight sisters in residence, three of whom were trained nurses, plus two probationers, and five lay helpers. The surgical home, where the open-air treatment is carried out, comprised a house and some seven acres of land, with the industrial home located in much smaller grounds. An open-air hospital shed, erected two years earlier, was situated in the grounds of the surgical home. The buildings were old family residences that had been adapted, and the open-air sheds were temporary constructions. Bootmaker's and tailor's shops were attached to the Industrial Home where an attempt was made to train boys to earn their own living. Woodcarving, basket-making, and knitting are also taught. The Home provided active curative treatment by specialists, and constant skilled supervision by a staff trained in the special sort of nursing required by the work, combined with prolonged after-care, continued in many cases for months and even years. All types of deformity and of diseases giving rise to deformity were admitted, when treatment was likely to improve the patient's condition and make him more fit to earn his living. All forms of surgical tuberculosis, all chronic infective disease of hones and joints, all types of infantile paralysis, cerebral paralysis of children (except where the child was mentally deficient), all congenital and acquired deformities, such as club-foot, deformities due to rickets, spinal curvature, and deformities from accidents, were received.
In 1912, the Home moved to larger premises near Pinner, Middlesex.
The Clapham Park buildings no longer survive.
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- None identfied at present — any information welcome.
- Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain s Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
- Mahood, Linda Policing Gender, Class and Family: Britain, 1850-1940 (1995, Univeristy of Alberta Press)
- Prahms, Wendy Newcastle Ragged and Industrial School (2006, The History Press)
- None noted at present.
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