Real stories about real people

in real children's homes



These books are all based on the memories of people who lived in childrens homes. All proceeds go towards collecting more memories and maintaining this site so that more people can find out about what life was like in children's homes.



We are happy to report that we remain

able to fulfil

all your book orders as normal
through the Royal Mail.
We will advise you here if this changes and
will, of course, immediately refund you in full
if Royal Mail is no longer able to deliver.


Inside the gates of
children's cottage homes


Cottage homes were a type of children’s home so large
that they formed whole villages with their own schools,
farms and churches, each housing hundreds of children
and live-in staff. Some were just one or two buildings.


Up to 15,000 children were in cottage homes in England and Wales at any one time, and some of the buildings housed children right up to the 1980s. Yet they have been largely forgotten. Until now.


Based on the memories of people
taken into the Homes as children, this book tells
the lost story of what it was like to live in cottage homes.



ISBN 978-1-903210-25-3

£12.99 plus postage
(Please scroll down to find the right postage option for your country)

Price with postage




How to research childhoods spent in former children's homes, 

orphanages, cottage homes and other children's institutions   


 If you are trying to find information about

 a relative or distant ancestor who spent time in any form of children's home or orphanage, this is the essential guide to where to look for records and how to access them.


Includes useful sources, glossary, hints and tips and m more.


ISBN 978-1-903210-29-1

ONLY £8.99 plus postage


Price with postage


Also available for Kindle 



Victorian orphanages


The Victorian era and early twentieth century saw a phenomenal rise in the number of orphanages for children in England.  This remarkable period of philanthropy arose from religious leaders and businessmen wanting to do something to help children living on the streets or in workhouses—but was it always a positive move?


This illustrated short history runs through the story of the orphanages and tells what life was like for the children who lived in them. Revealed is an unexpected legacy of the orphanage era which still plays in social welfare in the twenty-first century.



ISBN 978-1-903210-26-0

JUST £8.99 plus postage
for this mini-encyclopedia of orphanages

Price with postage


The Children of the Homes:

 a century of Erdington Cottage Homes


The story of Erdington Cottage Homes, one of the largest and longest-lasting children's homes in the UK, told in the words of

the people who spent all or part of their childhoods there.

A moving and inspirational collection of memories and a detailed history of this institution from its beginnings as part of the workhouse to the 1990s.




ISBN: 978-1-903210-28-4

 £12.99 plus postage


Price with postage



Boy 31:

Reminiscences of

Mason's Orphanage, Birmingham


"When we arrived at Mason’s Orphanage in Birmingham, we were each given a number which was used to identify us throughout our time there. I was Boy 31.
"But far from being an impersonal, or harsh institution, as so many others were, I felt privileged to experience the legacy left by Sir Josiah Mason.
This is my memoir of being Boy 31 in his Orphanage during the Second World War."


ISBN 978 0 9931432 2 9

£10.99 plus postage


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Deeds of Love: The story of 

Mason's Orphanage in Birmingham 


This orphanage was started by the industrialist, Sir Josiah Mason, as an act of charity. The enormous building was demolished in the 1960s leaving virtually no trace of the hundreds of children who once lived there.


This history is based on extensive research of original documents, previously unpublished photographs and memories from people who spent their childhoods there.


This books identifies, for the first time, the children who were buried in the grounds and who have since been cremated with Sir Josiah Mason and his wife.


  ISBN: 978-1-903210-24-6

£12.99 + postage


Price with postage

 Double Offer

 with delivery within the UK                                            



 with postage to   Europe     




 with delivery   outside Europe




Family Fragments:
A childhood spent in care



Joan had little idea of the

details of her childhood. She had few

memories of her mother, none of her father

and she had no idea why she had spent her

childhood in care. Without even a birth certificate

to go on, her son Alan set about trying to find some answers

for his mother. He uncovered a fragmented family

and a history which included time at both

Marston Green and Erdington Cottage Homes.

Includes previously unpublished photos of Marston Green


ISBN: 978 0 993143 20 5

WAS £9.99 + postage
Now only £4.45 + P&P


Price with postage


The Homes on the Hill:

  the story of Cosham Cottage Homes, Portsmouth


 A comprehensive history of Cosham Cottage Homes

 based on the memories of people who lived there as children and contemporary news reports. Includes never-seen-

before photos. A genuinely fascinating story.


  ISBN: 978-1-903210-22-2

 £11.99 plus postage




Sorry, we have no remaining stock.If there is sufficient interest, I may be able to re-order, please email me. Thank you.


The Cottage Homes, Moor Street, Kirkham


Memories and reminiscences of former residents
of the Fylde Union Cottage Homes in Kirkham.


Sadly, we have now run out of copies of this book and are not able to reprint in the current health crisis. However, we are happy too send a booklet-style photocopy.

We ask for a £5 donation +P&P to cover our costs.


ISBN: 1898062172



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While we try to get all the orders out within two weeks, please allow up to 28 days for delivery.

Thank you.



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This website gets no external funding

even though thousands of people find it essential for researching their own past

or learning about the lives of their ancestors.

Every purchase you make - of books or photos - and every click on one of the Google adverts helps to keep the site going a little longer.


Thank you.