St George's House,
Northern Police Orphanage. 1898-1956  Harrogate, Yorkshire, England.

 

 

 

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Outings & Holidays

Prior to the Second World War the children were treated occasionally to day trips, often organised and paid for by one of the Police Forces whose members contributed to St George's, these included the Counties of:  Chester, Cumberland, Derby, Durham, Lancaster, Lincoln, Northumberland, Nottingham, Salop, Stafford, Westmorland, York, Anglesay, Caernarvon, Denbigh, Flint, Merioneth and Montgomery.

         
Children enjoying an outing on 1920 Daimler Charabancs.

        
A day trip to Newcastle 1929.                                               ...and a trip to Belle Vue to enjoy a ride on the Rollercoaster

 
Miss Knocker (the tall lady left front) with some of the Staff and children of St George's, waiting to see the Duke & Duchess of York (later to become King George VI and Queen Elizabeth), who were passing through the village of Beckwithshaw, probably on their way to Harewood House, circa 1933.
 
The photo on the right shows Miss Knocker talking to the Duchess and Duke after they had been presented with a bouquet of flowers by the little St George's girl. The Duke & Duchess had stopped their car to talk to the children and thank them for coming.

 

 

  In September 1947, all of the older children
  travelled by coaches to Sunderland, via the
  Great North Road, a journey  enjoyed by
  everyone.
  The afternoon was spent at Seaburn beach
  Sunderland, where the children paddled,
  swam, played sand cricket and rode horses
  and donkeys on the beach.
 

 
 

 
 Exploring Brimham Rocks,                          Two St George's boys (left) Reg Taylor and (right) Peter Taylor
 near Pateley Bridge.                                with their cousin, David Wickens, enjoying a penny ride on
                                                            Seaburn Beach. Sunderland. 
                                                                            

Bradford City often 'gifted' all of the children with a visit to their city to see a Pantomime, other Forces too arranged visits to see Concerts, always arranging transport and organising the day's event, a not insignificant effort given the number of children involved.
Other typical outings were visits to Fountains Abbey, Harewood House, near Leeds, the home of Princess Mary, the Princess Royal, who was Patron of St George's, another treat was to see Ripley Castle, the home of Sir William and Lady Ingilby.

            
    
Harewood House, Leeds, Yorkshire.                                         Ripley Castle, Ripley, North Yorkshire

Visits to farms were always a treat, the girls stacked hay and picked apples from orchards,  enjoying a lunch often of lemonade and sandwiches or similar.

               
    
Haymaking in the 1940's                                                         The Royal Hall, Harrogate, Yorkshire.

On a more serious note were the visits to the Halle Orchestra in the Royal Hall, Harrogate, by Elsie Gale, child number 541, there she met and made friends with members of the orchestra and Sir John Barbirolli who became known to them as JB. These visits kindled a life long love of Classical music in it's various forms for Elsie.

Holidays
The children of St George's usually travelled home for the Summer holidays, from around the end of July until the first week in September, a period of about 6 weeks. Christmas holidays were generally spent at St George's.

                     
         Packing the suitcase ready for the holidays,                                    Dennis Grist 363 on a days outing with his mother,
       was always an exciting time.                                                        grandmother and an unknown St George's friend.

Each of the children had a leather suitcase embossed with N.P.O. (Northern Police Orphanage) or S.G.H ( St George's House).
Stuck on the inside of each suitcase lid was a typed list of contents: shoes, socks, underwear, outerwear etc, all items were part of the uniform of St George's and as such had name tabs sewn into each item of clothing.
The day before going on holiday a Prayer Meeting was held in the Assembly Room, the closing hymn of which was always ' God be with you 'til we meet again'. The older children usually walked in small groups to Harrogate Railway Station with their suitcases. They, along with the younger children, who were taken to the Station by car,  were always supervised by St George's staff members.

                               
The children would be put onto their different trains, after being handed over to the Railway Police who were made aware of their travel and safety  needs. Mothers (sometimes Fathers, if the mother had passed away) always met the children at their destination, so the whole operation must have been a logistical challenge, particularly as the entire procedure re-occurred in reverse on the return journey.
One of the traditions of 'Going Home Day' was that each child was given a buttonhole of sweet pea flowers, something that was appreciated at the time more by the girls than the boys, perhaps.

                                                                                                       


 

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Deus vult

                                         Email contact: stgeorgesharrogate@gmail.com