West Lulworth

a Registered One-Place Study and part of the Dorset OPC network

The Old Barn

The Old Barn, Main Road c. 2010

From around 1948 through to 1978, the Old Barn was a Children’s Home, one of the smallest Children’s Society homes. The building was purchased for £500 in 1953 and a year later it housed just seven children.

With a £100 donation from the Variety Club of Great Britain a games room was added in 1966. In 1968, the home was again housing just seven children, with the girls attending school in the village and the boys a school a few miles away.

An extension was added In 1972 providing a kitchen, lounge and two new bedrooms as the aim of the Children’s Society was to give each older child their own bedroom wherever possible.

The Old Barn has since become a guest house.

The Old Barn, Main Road c.1964

© The Children’s Society

Copy of message from Kenneth Coppard from Polegate, East Sussex posted in Your Messages:

I was a resident of The Old Barn in the childrens home at about 1948/49. Miss Candler was the matron and Miss Langley was the owner of the building - I think she had her own part of the building. We went to the school in the village and Miss Maltbery was the head mistress. When we were too big for the village school we used to have a bus every morning to take us to Bovington Camp school in some barrack rooms dotted about the camp and away from the main school building. We had eight children in the home - four boys in one bedroom and the girls in another room. We had one bedroom for any child that was ill and had to be kept away from all the others. The coal yard was just next door and coal was delivered by horse drawn wagon. I used to go and help on the farm of Mr May and out on the fishing boat of Jim the fisherman. Mrs Mayhew used to run one of the hotels down by the car park and restaurant that got burnt down one year. We were looked after very well and the wealthy villagers used to invite the children to a party in their homes every Christmas. I was in the choir and carried the cross on Sundays at the church. A Mr Chambers was the vicar and we had a Mr Stewart Hibbert on a radio service one year. Miss Langley had a holiday bungalow on the Durdle Door site and when they had to remove them she put hers in the grounds of The Old Barn. I spent some happy time at Lulworth Cove and with the people there.