The Webb Orphanage, Crewe



Francis William Webb was a British engineer responsible for the design and manufacture of locomotives for the  London and North Western Railway (LNWR). 


When he died in 1906, his will dictated that much of his estate go towards various charitable causes. He also left the sum of £53,857 to form the Webb Orphanage Fund with a view to building an orphanage for the children of railway workers employed by LNWR who had lost one or both parents due to an accident at work.


The foundation stone of the orphanage was laid just three years after his death and the orphanage was opened in 1911 in Victoria Avenue by Queens Park.


The orphanage was large main block with an isolation block (in case of infectious illnesses), covered play houses, a covered yard, a kitchen garden and two lodges - one for the gardener and one for the nurse.


The orphanage tended to be small - with up to 40 children living there in any one year in the 1930s and 1940s.


The orphanage closed in 1961.




 A booklet has been written about the orphanage:




New copies are generally available from ebay with all proceeds going to the Railway Benevolent Fund. [external site]