Ancestry UK

Ever Open Door, Hull, Yorkshire, East Riding

On August 25th, 1902, Dr Barnardo opened an 'Ever Open Door' receiving house at 39 Beverley Road, Hull. It was the fourteenth of the sixteen or so such establishments to be set up in Britain's provincial towns and cities and followed on from those already opened in Bath, Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Portsmouth, Plymouth and Southampton. The Ever Open Door houses, with their slogan 'No Destitute Child Ever Refused Admission', were open twenty-four hours a day and provided short-term shelter for homeless youngsters while consideration was given to their future, which would generally be in a long-term Barnardo home or emigration to Canada.

The Beverley Road Ever Open Door could hold up to twenty children, with 15 being the upper age limit for admission.

39 Beverley Road, Hull, early 1900s. © Peter Higginbotham

One day's admissions, c.1906. © Peter Higginbotham

The property still survives, now much altered, as part of a social club premises.

39 Beverley Road, Hull, 2013. © Peter Higginbotham

By 1920, the Ever Open Door had relocated to nearby premises at 48 Beverley Road, again with the capacity for twenty children.

48 Beverley Road, Hull, 2013. © Peter Higginbotham

During the Second World War, the home was evacuated to Sawley Hall.


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  • Barnardo, Syrie Louise, and Marchant, James Memoirs of the Late Dr Barnardo (Hodder & Stoughton, 1907)
  • Batt, J.H. Dr. Barnardo: The Foster-Father of "Nobody's Children" (S.W. Partridge, 1904)
  • Bready, J. Wesley Doctor Barnardo (Allen & Unwin, 1930)
  • Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain's Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
  • Rose, June For the Sake of the Children: Inside Dr. Barnardo's: 120 years of caring for children (Hodder & Stoughton, 1987)
  • Wagner, Gillian Barnardo (Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1979)