Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Children's Receiving Home, Mill Hill Lane, Leicester


After my explorations of North Evington last week I wrote:
Maybe it is snobbery or an exaggerated fear of appearing racist - both faults endemic to the British left - but you rarely hear the question of what happened to the white working class who used to occupy these streets debated.
But I have found one website that is interested in the history of this part of Leicester. Highfields Remembered (taking a broad definition of Highfields) has history, reminiscences and old photographs of the area. And it has solved one mystery for me.

For as long as I have worked in Leicester I have been struck by this building in Mill Hill Lane. Today split into flats, it looks as though it was once a public building. But of what sort?

The Highfields Remembered site has the answer. A page "Highfields Now as seen by Hazel Jacques" has a photograph of the building with the caption:
This is the Recieving Home, Mill Lane, Leicester. A terrible frightening place for children who were just taken away from their parents. We arrived one week before Christmas. We were kept in the dayroom, which had bars on the windows, for 2 1/2 months.
And The Workhouse page on Leicester says:
On 20th July 1908, a new receiving home for sixteen boys and sixteen girls was opened in Mill Hill Lane. Its construction cost £1,916 plus £1,000 for the site. The building also contained officers' quarters and sick rooms.

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