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.


Anonymous said...

We 3 Westgate children, David, Trevor and Shirley were dumped in Mill Hill Lane in 1942.
David was 10(?), I was 8 (80 years ago) Shirley was just 2.
Our stay was short but memorable.
Eventually we were moved to Countesthorpe Cottage Homes.
David legged it very quickly,
Shirley and I were there until 1945

Anonymous said...

At Countesthorpe I was in No 5 home, under the care of a Mr & Mrs Jackson, he was the tailor.
Going to school in Leicester we all looked like prisoners, our clobber was all cut from the same bolt of cloth

Anonymous said...

We stood out like sore thumbs
and got some flak, we quickly learned to form a square and chastise the enemy.

Anonymous said...

Highlight of the day was maths with Miss Coleman, she was the original DDG (Drop dead gorgeous) at least we boys thought so !!!

Jonathan Calder said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave your memories.

It sounds like David had the right idea!

Anonymous said...

David was the tough one, I think it was the day after we arrived that he was on his toes and away. They never got him back!
We didn't meet up again until
1950 at HMS GANGES, The naval training establishment.
We went our own ways and met again in 1953 and again in 1967.He was a forester , passed away in 2018 aged 86.
One of a kind.

Anonymous said...

We lost our beautiful mum Hazel Jacques last year, but how wonderful that her story, as painful and heart breaking as it is, lives on. I tried to find the Countesthorpe Cottage Homes in the National Archive, alas it is sealed until 2044. One can only imagine what accounts are in it, and those responsible. I will take a walk up Mill Hill Lane myself one day to see this ominous building...... Hilary Jacques