Help for programme needed

CAN any of your readers help me with a programme I am making for Radio 4? It’s called Children of the Scattered Homes, and aims to tell the story of children taken from the Sheffield Workhouse (and their parents) from the 1890s through to the 1950s (and po

Victorian social reformers thought that growing up in the workhouse kept the children poor and disadvantaged.

So the Sheffield mayor, John Wycliffe Wilson, asked the Board of Sheffield Guardians to “adopt” them.

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They were housed in foster homes in Abbeyfield Road, City Road, Grimesthorpe Road, Heeley Bank Road, Upperthorpe, among others, and sent to ordinary schools where nothing would distinguish them from other children.

Some of the children were reunited with their parents when they managed to leave the workhouse.

Others entered service, were sent to work on a merchant navy training ship, or sent abroad to Australia or Canada.

Others may well have moved away from Sheffield to places like Rotherham, and started their own families.

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We believe the last homes closed in the 1950s, though there are records in the Sheffield Archives of them still being mentioned into the early 1960s (under the heading Children's Homes) and as late as 1970 (under the heading Family Group Homes).

We would like to hear from anyone in your area who thinks a family member or friend may have been brought up in one of these “scattered homes” or may have been part of the family that fostered them.

They can contact [email protected] or [email protected], or ring me on 07901 917920.

Clare Jenkins, Pennine Productions, Crimicar Lane, Sheffield, S10 4FA

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