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Report - St. Edwards Home for Boys, Coleshill - 8/6/09

Discussion in 'Other Sites' started by Adders, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. Adders

    Adders living in a cold world
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    Originally founded in 1902 as the Birmingham Diocesan Rescue Society, Father Hudson set up an outreach project to help children born unto single catholic mothers. Based in his parish of Coleshill it went from strength to strength and by 1925 there was numerous homes set up to house boys and girls.

    St. Edward's Home for homeless boys was opened at Coleshill (Warwickshire), 6 November, 1906, with branch houses for boys and girls, similarly situated, in various centres, besides a Home for Working Boys and a NightRefuge, both in Birmingham.

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    Father Hudson

    Fr George Vincent Hudson (later Mgr Canon Hudson) was appointed parish priest of Coleshill in 1899 and it was his enterprise which built and developed the many acres of buildings and grounds, under the care of the Sisters, for the upbringing and education of boys and girls who for one reason or another were deprived of their own parents’ care. Fr James Connor assisted Mgr Hudson for his last 17 years. Fr Connor, however, died in 1935 and just over a year later was followed by the death of Mgr Hudson in 1936. Father Walter Bunce (himself an old boy of the homes) came to Coleshill as administrator of the homes to succeed Fr Connor and Mgr Hudson, but died himself only one year later in 1937. Mgr Hudson, Fr Connor and Fr Bunce were all laid to rest in a grave at the rear of St Edward’s Boys Home. Their bodies have since been exhumed and reburied in a grave to the north side of the present church to facilitate the construction of the new St Joseph’s Care Home, which was recently blessed and opened by Archbishop Nichols on 18 September 2002.

    Over time, the birth rate dropped, and the stigma of being a single mother lessened. Also, the experience of the evacuation of children over the war years encouraged childcare workers to try and keep children with their families. These factors, together with the more recent advent of the Children's Act and other legislation, meant fewer and fewer children were being taken 'into care' and the need for large children's homes receded. By 1988, all the homes had closed as residential units for children.

    The full history of ‘Fr Hudson and his Society 1898-1998’ is amply and admirably set out in a book by Sylvia Pinches, published by the Archdiocese of Birmingham Historical Commission (1998).

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    (source 1: http://www.coleshillparish.co.uk/assets/pdf/ParishHistory.pdf)
    (source 2: http://web.archive.org/web/20061024062201/http://www.fatherhudsons.org.uk/index.php?pageid=3)

    A recent photo of the site from the air;

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    And as of now...

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    The chapel.

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    The main hall.

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    What was the rear courtyard and garden area.

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    Second floor / attic space

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    One of the bedrooms, complete with lovely period wallpaper!

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    The building is FULL of colour. Seriously, it would have been impossible to get any more in.

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    What I assume to be the dining room. Service hatch through to a small kitchen where I was stood, and just down the corridor from the large kitchen.

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    The large kitchen.

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    From the east wing attic.

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