Children's Country Holidays

315 children from inner London parishes

St Giles-in-the-Fields, a Hawkesmoor church in the midst of slums, later cleared to open up New Oxford Street
Pevsner, Buildings of North London
St George's in the East: bombing cleared the slums of this parish near Cable Street
Pevsner, Buildings of North London

During July, August and September 1890, a large number of scholars belonging to National School and Board Schools in London, had the pleasure and benefit of a fortnight’s holiday each in Harpenden.  The first party of 33 children arrived on July 12th, and the ninth and final party returned to London on September 13th.

From the slums to the fields

St James’s, Ratcliffe, and St George’s in-the-East, and neighbouring parishes, sent 191 children;  St Giles and St Georges’, Bloomsbury, sent 62; and Notting Hill also sent 62.  The total of 315 included 167 boys and 148 girls.  Six children stayed an extra fortnight, at the sole expense of their friends.

For the accommodation and care of the children the sum of £162.10s was paid to the cottagers.  As usual, many of the cottagers have received grateful letters of thanks from the parents, and not a few have had substantial presents as well as letters.

The general supervision of the children while in Harpenden was undertaken by the Rev. C. Paterson, the Rev F. Moulton-Barrett, Mr H.H. Stewart B.A. and Miss C. Healey.  The Harpenden Station Master (M.R.) and his subordinates, and the guards of the several trains, rendered valuable assistance on all occasions with the utmost goodwill.

Comments about this page

  • Revd Frank Moulton Barrett must have been a very interesting character. He was a young Curate in Harpenden (under Canon Vaughan, the Rector) and baptised all eight of the children of my great grandparents, Edmund and Harriet Halsey, in one ‘go’ on a Friday afternoon in August 1889. The children were from nearly 14 years down to two years and included my 8 years old grandmother Effie Marian Halsey. (See my book ‘Bowling Alley Boyhood’, pub 2009).

    By John Seabrook (24/06/2011)

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