History of the..
National Children’s Homes Orphanage
Dr Thomas Bowman Stephenson, a Methodist Minister from the East End of London had been involved in the creation of a children’s shelter from 1869. However, he longed to move the children away from the smoke, dirt and vice of London. In reply to an advertisement placed in the Methodist Recorder he received a message from Mr James Barlow of Edgworth to the effect that he would offer them the Wheatsheaf Inn at Edgworth, a notorious den of iniquity which he wished to close, along with 80 acres of land and a sum of £5,000. The first children arrived in 1872.
“Eventually the home would have its own farm with cattle, a dairy, bakery, laundry, blacksmiths, carpenters and a clog maker’s workshop. The stone-built houses where the children lived would span outwards from the Wheatsheaf building down Moorside Road and Broadhead Road. The houses still stand and from the outside are recognisable to returning children.” [www.theboltonnews.co.uk/news/2245611.0/]
The home became residential accommodation for children with Special Needs and was closed in 2002. Records are in the archives of Action for Children.
Further information can be found in Edgworth to Crowthorn – the Story of a Lancashire Children’s Home by Anita D Forth, available from Bolton library.
"I believe that one of the comforts to us all out here is that we know we shall always be honoured in the old village."
Gerald Ainsworth, died Ypres Salient: 27th March 1918
The Great War
Men from Childrens Homes
History of the Childrens Homes
FRIENDS OF THE BARLOW
Blackburn with Darwen Council handed over the running and upkeep of The Barlow to the community in 2013. Since then The Barlow Charity has relied upon the generosity of benefactors and income from users of the facilities, plus the efforts of volunteers to sustain this much valued community facility. Significant improvements have been carried out to help ensure a long-term future, including a new roof, replacement windows, new hygienic worktops in the coffee shop kitchen and a new hot water & heating system. Most recently (summer 2022) the renovation of the outdoor veranda has been completed and a new adjacent decking area has been installed. In addition the snooker room has been restored to its former splendour by a small group of volunteers.
An important source of funding that has contributed to the above mentioned improvements is The Friends of the Barlow scheme. By becoming a Friend you can contribute to a fund that is used for repairs and renovations to the structural fabric of the building and pathways etc, and to upgrade, refresh and improve facilities e.g. now that the building is once again weathertight there are plans being drawn up for the main hall can be deep-cleaned, re-decorated and refurbished and other water-damaged areas such as the main stairway & its beautiful large, stained glass window to also be restored to their former glory.
As a Friend of The Barlow, your regular donations provide a much appreciated, steady income stream that to date (summer 2022) has raised in the region of over £40,000, which has been mostly used contributing towards paying for the roof, windows and heating system.
We intend to soon publish the overall list of improvements/tasks and from that you will see that there is a significant amount of expenditure still needed to achieve all of the identified tasks and improvements. We would welcome donations/sponsorship for specific items that may be of particular interest to individuals or families or groups, but the regular donations by Friends of The Barlow are also crucial. Therefore, we welcome any and all new donors and are grateful for whatever amount you choose to donate.
We are of course also very grateful to all of our existing Friends of The Barlow and if you are able to increase your monthly donation by any amount, that would be hugely appreciated – you can either make the increase to your standing order directly with your bank or you can complete a new form and send it to your bank or give it to us to process.
Please also consider increasing the value of your donation at no extra cost to you by using Gift Aid – as an example, an £8 donation from you becomes £10 with the Gift Aid add-on!
If you wish to donate please click on the link below, complete the form and either send it to your bank with an email copy to our email address firstname.lastname@example.org or return the completed form to the Barlow’s office in a sealed envelope addressed to Friends of The Barlow. Paper copies of the form are available from The Barlow.
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