Ancestry UK

Pelham House Home for Working Boys, London

In 1870, Pelham House, a home for working boys, was opened at 30 Spital Square, Bishopsgate, London E1. The home accommodated 80 boys aged 13 to 17 years of age. Pelham House was one of a number of such establishments run by the Homes for Working Homes in London (HWBL), a charitable organisation founded in 1870 by three old school friends — Tom Pelham, Arthur Kinnaird and Quintin Hogg. The home was 'for boys employed in situations and earning wages, who are without homes or friends to care for them.' Each boy made a weekly payment for his board and lodging — in the mid-1890s, this comprised a flat rate of 4s. 6d. for food, and if earning over 6s. a week also paid 2d. in the shilling of his wages for lodging.

At the home, a library, reading room and gymnasium were provided free. Each boy had to be be home by 9.30 p.m., attend some place of worship on Sunday and, on some nights in the week, classes for instruction. Temporary assistance was given to inmates out of work to enable them to maintain themselves until they found employment.

On July 9th, 1915, the establishment was accredited to operate as an Auxiliary Home, allowing it to accommodate boys licensed out from Certified Industrial Schools. The certificate was resigned in September, 1921.

In the 1920s, the home moved to 78 Thornton Road, Streatham, London SW12. The home is thought to have closed around the time of the Second World War.

In 1967, HWBL merged with another charity, the Fellowship of St Christopher, to form the St Christopher's Fellowship.

Neither of the Pelham House premises survives.


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  • None identfied at present — any information welcome.