Rossie House Home for Working Boys, London
In 1879, Rossie House, a home for working boys, was opened at 35 Lamb's Conduit Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1. The home accommodated 37 boys aged 13 to 17 years of age. Rossie 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.
In around 1898, the home moved to new premises at 16 Queen's Square, Bloomsbury, where 42 boys could be housed.
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.
In the 1920s, the home moved to 7 (later renumbered as 15) Champion Hill, Brixton, London SE5.
In 1967, HWBL merged with another charity, the Fellowship of St Christopher, to form the St Christopher's Fellowship. The Champion Hill hostel continued in use under the new management but, renamed Kinnaird House, provided accommodation for young men, aged 16 to 21, from all parts of the country who had come to work in London on apprenticeships, in the Civil Service or in industry.
None of the Rossie House premises survives.
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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)
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