Wednesday, 5 April 2017

The archives of the Remand Home

We’ve spoken before on this blog about the Remand Home that was set up in 1910 as part of the Children’s Shelter on Chatham Street. The archives reveal separate admission books for the Remand Home from this date, although magistrates were using other homes belonging to the charity from 1896 to house boys who had been convicted of a crime.

Railings on the roof top of the Remand Home
There is an interesting selection of material that has survived in the archives for this particular service. The Remand Home itself is one of the last services to close in the city centre. The main Central Refuge was sold in the 1920s, most of the Orphan Homes were also disposed of at this time along with Rosen Hallas and the William Stevenson Emigration Home. The Children’s Shelter and Remand Home survived until 1945 to cater for the children in the city who needed emergency short term care. 

Along with the admission books, which detail name and age of the child as well as the felony committed, there is also a Medical Book, Night Book, Visitor’s Book, Previous Residents Visitor’s Book and Log Book. This last entry is one of the most interesting of the collection. It records all activities and notable events in the home on a day-to-day basis, includes visits made to the Home and details of any religious instruction received by the boys. From August 1940, the book also includes details of all air-raid warnings and movement to the air-raid shelter. 

Railings on the roof top of the Remand Home
The charity also retains a number of correspondence and articles about the Remand Home making it an excellent resource for researchers in this area. During the Second World War the Remand Home was fully occupied, causing concern for the Refuge, and resulting in the Home only admitting boys under the age 14 for no longer than 28 days from 1 May 1942. The Home was closed on the 13 January 1945 and its premises sold for £9,000. This was due to the increasing number of Remand Homes being established by Local Authorities, which provided facilities that the charity, with its limited income, could not provide.

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