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Extracts from Report in the Uxbridge & West Drayton Gazette 27 May 1899

Report Following Visit To Cottage Homes

By Uxbridge Union In 1899

Cottage Homes 1910

Cottage Homes 1910

In 1899 the Uxbridge Board of Guardians were sending boys and girls to Ipswich because they had no suitable accommodation in Uxbridge and were investigating an alternative solution.

Four members of the Uxbridge Board visited the Cottage Homes in Burton Latimer in connection with the Kettering Union. Visits were also made to a London association and the Willesden Guardians relating to the same subject. Some observations were made:

"The cost of working the following schools per child per week in scattered homes was ascertained to be as follows: Bradford Union, 7s 3d; Sheffield Union, 7s 9d. In the Burton Latimer School we ascertained the cost per child for food, clothes and necessaries to be 2s 9 1/2d per week: officers' salaries and rent and taxes. 1s 9 12d per week: total, 4s.7d."
The Uxbridge Board decided to continue to educate all the children at the Ipswich Schools.

The following is an account of the visit made by Uxbridge Board of Guardians to the Burton Latimer Cottage Homes on 6 May 1899:

"On reaching the Cottage Homes we were courteously received by the Master and taken into one of the rooms, where he gave us a great deal of information. We then went over the house, garden and playground, and inspected everything minutely.

The house is a 12-roomed one, which has been converted into a Cottage Home. It is three storeys high. The house is well-equipped with bathroom, all necessary offices, cooking power, etc, and the beds are almost of the same type as the new ones in our Infirmary. The Cottage Home has been in existence 18 months. The boys' room contains 16 beds, and the girls' 18 beds; a large landing can also be used for several beds. In the Cottage Home there are 32 children - 16 boys and 16 girls; the eldest girl is 12 years. They are only kept till they are 14. Two or three boys are 13. Several boys have been put to learn trades in the neighbourhood, such as shoemaking and chair-making. The health of the children is good, and there has never been a case of isolation. The Medical Officer visits them once a week, on Saturdays, when they are not at school.

The children attend the various schools in Burton Latimer. They are divided among three schools; the greater number attend the National School; some attend the Wesleyan school, and some attend the Baptist school. (The school names probably referred to the Church School, the Mission Room School and the Non-conformist School.) They all receive the same education as the ordinary children attending the same schools; they all mix together, and there is no separation of any kind during the school hours.

When the children return from school, shortly after four o'clock, they are not allowed to go out again to mix with the village children, as they have a playground of their own, and there is also a large garden in which some of the children have the privilege of cultivating a small plot, and the Guardians in some cases grant premiums of 1s 3d to some of the children for their garden work. The village children are occasionally allowed to come into the Cottage House playground after school time and play with the Cottage Home children, and this privilege is much appreciated by the village children. The majority of the children in the Home come from Kettering, but there are a few from other neighbouring parishes.

In the playground and in the dining hall there is no separation of boys and girls. They dine together and have their recreation together. Their diet is varied a good deal, and is somewhat as follows: - Breakfast, bread and milk, bread and dripping and oatmeal; dinner, meat (various), rice puddings, etc; tea, bread and butter. They are not bound by the same hard and fast rule as to the number of ounces of meat for each child as in the Workhouse; indeed, until lately they were not under a diet table, but Colonel Preston, who is the visiting Local Government Board Inspector, advised them to have the sanction of the Local Government Board to the diet arrangements. The amount of meat used is about 20 lbs. a week for the children.

The children go to bed at from 7 to 8 o'clock. The elder girls do work at night, such as boot cleaning. In each bedroom for girls there is a leading girl, who is taught how to act in certain emergencies, such as an accident or an outbreak of fire. The communication with the iron fire-escape stair is in charge of the leading girl.

The Cottage House does not provide sufficient accommodation for all the Union children. There are 28 in the Workhouse; we did not visit them. We visited the National Schools, where we found a bright and smart staff of teachers, an excellent suite of classrooms, and we saw all the children at their lessons together, and we spoke to a number of them. Among the number of children we found one boy of 13 years in the seventh standard, and one boy of 13 years in the sixth standard, a number of boys and girls of 12 and 13 in the fourth standard. The children looked generally bright; they were, in fact, just like the other children around them.

Officers: - Master, £25 a year; matron (his wife) as foster-mother, £23 a year; assistant foster-mother, £19 a year (with food and rations but no beer money), charwoman, three half-days weekly, say, £10 a year. The master is a carpenter by trade, and has a small workshop, in which the boys take some interest. The master has to keep a set of books, and he attends every meeting of the Guardians. The foster-mother and her assistant do all the cooking. The master, foster-mother, and her apartments are three rooms; washing is sent out to be done in Kettering."

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