Ipohworld's World

Saving Yesterday For Tomorrow

blog_27 Dec

Our donor Alan Steel shared the following story with us: “Xmas day, we entertained the children from the local Dr. Barnados home. Staff Battersby turned this jeep into a train to take them on a tour.” According to Alan, the one dressed as Santa (in picture) was Battersby himself!   

  1. Ngai C O says:


    Was the contraption trying to emulate Thomas the Tank Engine?

    The founder of Dr. Barnados had a controversial history of deception.

    It is still operating as a charity with a revenue of about £200 million.

    I think it stopped running children’s homes many years ago.

    • IKA says:

      You are quite right Ngai C O. Barnado was born in Dublin to John Barnardo and Abigail in 1845, he passed away in 1905, leaving behind the charity he founded and 96 homes caring for more than 8,500 children.

      Eventually Barnardo’s ran hundreds of children’s homes across the UK from Thomas Barnardo’s day until the 1970’s. Theye don’t run orphanages and children’s homes anymore.

      Thomas Barnardo was a pioneer. He believed in helping the most vulnerable children and that no child should be turned away. This vision is something that Barnardo’s still carries today.

      • Ngai C O says:

        HI IKA,

        Thank You very much for the additional information.

        It has definitely done a lot to lift the plight of disadvantaged children.

        I now recall reading the papers about a famous fashion designer, who was raised in a Barnados orphonage.

        • Raymond NG says:

          Hi Readers

          I used to visit the Dr Barnardo Headquarters site on many occasions in Barkingside Town, Essex, UK when working at the Claybury Hospital (1971-1974).

          The Building was at the back of the 16 acres Hospital Orchard which is now an expensive private Housing Estate.

          I left Claybury Hospital on 9 August 1974 and started work at the Princess Alexandra General Hospital Trust in Harlow, Essex till I fully retired on 31 March 2017.

          • IKA says:

            Hi Raymond, thanks for your memories.

            I don’t know why they charity stopped running orphanages as, to me there are still far too many children sleeping under bridges in London and elsewhere that need a safe home. Any thoughts on that?

  2. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear IKA

    You asked:

    I don’t know why they charity stopped running orphanages

    The change from running “homes” for orphans to working with a larger population of impoverished, disabled, and abused kids came in the late 1980s. Partly it was because the idea of orphanages itself had become less popular; and as a result of that, there was less government funding available.

  3. Ngai C O says:


    I think Barnados stopped playing the roles they used to due to the following events.

    The Welfare State (from cradle to grave) came into being in 1948, whereby the local authorities took over the responsibility of caring for children in residential homes.

    Very crude tools were used to justify residential care for children. For example, children born out of wedlock were often taken into care. Children born out of prostitution met the same fate.

    Their birth certificates would bear words like illegitimate or bastard.

    I have seen case files with subhuman descriptions like ‘imbecile’, ‘idiot’, ‘low grade’ and ‘mentally retarded’ written by doctors and other professionals.

    By the 1960’s, Barnados was getting less and less referrals.

    The emphasis of care was beginning to shift from residential provision to fostering and adoption.

    Many scandals began to surface from residential homes. Homes run by nuns and monks were equally implicated. They ranged from physical and sexual abuse, pedophilia, missing children, unexplained deaths etc.

    Inquiry after inquiry was ordered to be followed by legislation.

    The outcome was that many children’s homes were closed.

    The current practice is to keep people within the home environment to prevent the break up of the family setting, with peripatetic support unless abuse has occured.

    Fostering, adoption and respite care may be options in the pipeline.

    Residential care is practice of last resort.

    By the time long term residential care is provided, there would already be underlying serious issues of truancy, mental health, substance abuse and other forms of anti social behaviour.

    Many articles have been written about Barnados over the years, which one can find by googling.

    Two of which




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