Ancestry UK

Springfield and Southbank, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

Springfield, a hostel branch of the National Children's Home (NCH), was located at The Crescent, Alexandra Park, Nottingham. The property, the result of a gift to the charity by the late Sir Arthur Black, a local lace manufacturer and Member of Parliament, was officially opened on July 1st 1936.

Springfield, Nottingham, 1930s. © Peter Higginbotham

Springfield, Nottingham, 2013. © Peter Higginbotham

Springfield, Nottingham, 2013. © Peter Higginbotham

Springfield originally accommodated 30 boys who had lost the chance of secondary education through family bereavement. Likely candidates sat a school entrance examination with those successful being able to reside at the home during their five years at Nottingham's High Pavement School.

The NCH received another property when Sir Arthur died in 1947. This was a house called Southbank, located at 28 Magdala Road, Nottingham, about two miles from Springfield. Southbank and Springfield operated as a single branch, with the children living in 'family groups' each under the supervision of a 'house mother' — an NCH Sister.

Southbank, Nottingham, 2013. © Peter Higginbotham

Southbank, Nottingham, 2013. © Peter Higginbotham

Springfield is now in private residential use. Southbank is occupied by a family support agency.


Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.

  • Action For Children (formerly the National Children's Home). Can provide access to their own records for individuals who were adopted through the charity or who resided in one of its homes. Help also for those searching for family history information.


  • Bradfield, William The Life of the Reverend Thomas Bowman Stephenson (1913, Kelly)
  • Curnock, Nehemiah The Story of the Children's Home (C.H. Kelly, 1901)
  • Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain's Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
  • Horner, Francis Shadow and Sun (Epworth Press, 1920)
  • Howard, Philip J Philip: a Strange Child (Dalkeith Publishing, 2007)
  • Philpot, Terry Action For Children (Lion, 1994)
  • Walpole, Cecil F. Golden Links (Epworth Press, 1941)