Ancestry UK

Padcroft Boys' Home / Probation Home, Yiewsley, Middlesex

The Padcroft Boys' Home, in Yiewsley, was opened in June 1902 by the Police Court Mission of the London Diocesan Branch of the Church of England Temperance Society (CETS). It aimed to take in boys — first-time offenders — whose activities had resulted in them coming before a magistrate's court. It later acted as a Remand Home and a Probation Home.

The home was located in a former grammar school on Padcroft Road, Yiewsley. Part of a contemporary account of the home's opening is given below.

Some time ago the society purchased the freehold of Padcroft, Yiewsley, together with nearly four acres of land. The premises which have been renovated are capitally adapted for the purpose of a home. There is a spacious hall which will be used for educational purposes and drilling, a good dining hall, one large and one small dormitory and a small infirmary in case of sickness. In front of the house extends a nice well-stocked garden and beyond a field for recreation. At present the staff consists of a manager and matron, an assistant manager and cook, and there are already 14 boys sheltered in the home, but it is intended to accommodate 40 between the ages of 14 and 18. The entire cost with repairs amounts to £2,600. With regard to the objects of the home it should be stated that the London Diocesan C.E.T.S., Police Court Mission is making an earnest effort to check "Hooliganism" by providing an aim in life for the lads whose conduct is in danger of qualifying them for the term, and all it represents. At the shelter home, the lads will be provided with suitable employment, and will be trained, and as far as possible taught the rudiments of a handicraft; the great object being to provide them with an aim — to help them to realise they are human beings and not outcasts, and give them a chance to become a credit to the nation. The wandering boy, too, will be received; the lad homeless and friendless, whose only crime is that he has no known parents, and has felt the pinch of poverty, and who has learnt enough of the worlds cunning to know that the outcast must not flaunt his rags in the open, and who generally looks upon the policeman as his enemy instead of as really his friend, could he but realise it.

In 1904, Frank Alexander Green, who had previously been a carpentry instructor at the home, became its master. The following year, his new wife Alice joined him as matron.

In October 1904, the building was almost entirely destroyed by a fire, which was discovered by the matron at 2.30 a.m. by the matron Mrs Clements. The 40 sleeping residents were all roused and escaped without harm. A former resident of the home named Arthur Bull subsequently confessed to starting the fire. However, it was later revealed in court that he had actually been in prison at the time of the blaze.

The home was rebuilt, the boys in the interim being lodged at Stafford Terrace, High Street, Yiewsley, later a draper's shop. The new building, designed by Mr Pite of Ealing, cost nearly £3,000 and was opened in January 1906. Incorporating an old wing that had escaped the fire, it contained dormitories for the boys and masters, the latter overlooking the former; masters and matrons' apartments, sick ward, dining-room, etc., all lit with electric light. There was also a work-room, together with a large laundry.

Padcroft Boys' Home / Probation Home, Yiewsley, Middlesex, c.1910. © Peter Higginbotham

In 1926, the Chapel of St George was bought from the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley and put up in the grounds for daily prayers, A new carpentry shop and a gymnasium were also added.

The home was closed in February 1949, with Frank and Alice Green having been master and matron for almost the whole of its 47-year life. During that time, around 8,000 boys had passed though its doors. The building later became a community centre. The buildings no longer survive and the housing of Peplow Close now occupies the site.

Records

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  • None identfied at present — any information welcome.

Bibliography

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