19 April 2021,
Celebrating 200 years of The Sailor’s Children’s Society by Maritime Media Volunteer - Alison Keld.
A brief history about one of Hull’s oldest seafaring charities. The Sailors Children’s Society (you may know it as Newland Homes) continues to throw a lifeline to seafarers and their families in times of need, and is celebrating its bicentenary today, 19 April.
I’m proud to say The Sailors Children’s Society was my place of work until retirement in 2014. Working on the welfare side of the charity I saw first-hand the tremendous hardships families face following a tragedy at sea.
I also enjoyed being part of the many fundraising events that took place at Newland Homes in the past. You may have memories of living or working at Newland Homes. Maybe you learnt to swim in the pool or attended St. Nicholas School on the Estate.
Like many thousands of local people, you may have enjoyed the popular Whit Monday Carnivals, Bonfire and Fireworks Displays and Car Boot Sales, all held at Newland Homes for many years.
The Sailors Children’s Society has undergone several name changes over the last two centuries to reflect the varied work with children and adults who have connections to the sea.
The Port of Hull Society for the Religious Instruction of Sailors, as it was originally known, was founded in 1821 to minister to the spiritual and practical welfare of seamen. A sailing vessel 'The Valiant’ was transformed into a floating chapel and docked in the Humber Dock. It soon became a very popular meeting place for destitute seamen and their families.
The Port of Hull Society’s Sailor's Orphan Institute was established in Waterhouse Lane for clothing and educating the children of deceased seamen and rivermen in 1857.
The first Port of Hull Society’s Sailor’s Orphan Home was opened in 1863 in Castle Row. Moving to a larger home on Park Street in 1869, where a school was established.
Wanting to provide a larger healthier environment for its children the Society purchased a large plot of land on Cottingham Road to create a garden village. Taking 14 years to complete the first two houses opened in 1895, followed by ten houses bearing the names of the various benefactors who endowed money to assist with the creation of the garden village. The school and a sanatorium were added by 1904.
By 1950, there was a general decline in demand for residential care and the Society moved towards supporting families and children of seafarers in their own homes. This led to the Port of Hull Society’s Sailor’s Orphan Homes changing its name to The Sailors Children’s Society.
In 2009, the Newland Estate was sold and its new owners converted the former children’s homes into student accommodation. The Sailors Children’s Society still occupies an office in one of the houses on the Estate and a small dedicated team continues to assist families and children from The Royal Navy, Merchant Navy and Fishing Fleets Nationwide.
For more information visit their website at www.sailorschildren.org.uk
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