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Dubonnet lady
02-10-11, 17:30
This is a general question I hope someone can help with.

A chap has come on our local Forum desperately trying to find any info about a Children's Home that he was put into (apparently by either his parents or local authorities) when he was 5 or 6 in the 1950s and where he lived until 14. This place was in the local town of Reading. He now lives in N.Lincs so is hoping someone can assist him with memorabilia/info with a view to visiting after about 40 yrs.

One or two of the older forum members have a variety of memories of it ranging from an Orphanage to a Borstal, more by ''local chat'' than fact. As it was closed down in the 70s there's just an apartment block there now.

He's tried online local resources and has commented that it's almost as though the records have been ''wiped clean'' - is there a central website or resource I could recommend to him?

Christine in Herts
02-10-11, 17:39
It might be worth creating an alert on the Adoption/Reunion board, in case there's anyone frequenting that more than here and who could help. It sounds a bit like the topics that appear there more often.

Christine

Caroline
02-10-11, 17:39
Have you/he tried the Reading Local Studies Collection?

http://readingimages.epixtech.co.uk/extra/test3.html

Olde Crone Holden
02-10-11, 17:39
Not even the worst child in the world was sent to a Borstal aged 5 or 6, so forget that avenue of enquiry.

A good place to start would be Social Services local to the Home. They will (should) know what happened to the records.

OC

Dubonnet lady
02-10-11, 17:49
Oooh that was quick :) thank you.

Christine - OK I'll do that - I did wonder about that Forum.

Caroline - yes we know of that site, which is great for photos but not a lot of info on there.

OC - No, it's generally agreed by those who do remember it that because it was a sort-of 'closed' establishment, it was more by Mum/Dad's threat of 'If you're not good, we'll put you in......'', although there is also some comment that possibly at some later stage it did become sort of punishment establishment - but no-one knows.

Social Services have denied all knowledge of it - and other local resources, such as the Central Library (which is usually excellent for resource) has apparently stated 'all records have been destroyed' .

Olde Crone Holden
02-10-11, 17:56
I think a lot of these places were "closed" in the 1950s and did not encourage any interest from the locals or anyone else.

All records have been destroyed. Oh, how I wish I had a £ for every time I've heard THAT statement. 9 times out of 10, it turns out they haven't actually been destroyed at all. Local authorities etc are utterly terrified of being sued by ex residents.

An approach to the local MP asking to know, under the FOI Act, when the records were destroyed and on whose orders, might produce something. also, maybe a letter to the local press?

OC

Dubonnet lady
02-10-11, 18:31
All records have been destroyed. Oh, how I wish I had a £ for every time I've heard THAT statement. 9 times out of 10, it turns out they haven't actually been destroyed at all. Local authorities etc are utterly terrified of being sued by ex residents.

OC


In view of what he's said about the beatings etc. when he was there I suspect there'd be some relevance in that OC.

I could suggest he follows the next alternative, but he's a bit far stretched to pursue that - and he already seems to have ''understood' why he was placed there as apparently his Mother has 'mental problems in looking afyer him and his siblings - although he doesn't say where his siblings went:confused:

Thank you

clematised
02-10-11, 19:13
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/a2a/records.aspx?cat=074-ake&cid=9-4-5#9-4-5

Check through this list A2A it tells you where they are stored

Edna

Dubonnet lady
02-10-11, 20:09
Thank you Edna - I'll do that :)

Dubonnet lady
02-10-11, 21:09
I've looked and sadly the one he's researching, which is Mockbeggar House in Reading is not listed.

clematised
02-10-11, 21:51
These are from the Kellys Directory 1937

Children's Homes,
23&25 Milman Road, Reading, the County Borough of Reading Children's Homes.

109 London Road, Reading,
Children's Homes (headquarters); W. Foxcroft, supt.; Mrs. B. Foxcroft, matron.

Edna

Dubonnet lady
03-10-11, 10:21
Thankyou once again Edna

I've passed the 2nd one on to him, if it's an 'headquarters' someone there may know something more. The Mockbeggar House was actually in Whiteknights which is/was (as an area) about 2 miles from that one. :)