Ipswich Walk Children's Home, Chelmsley Wood

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Date:1973 - 1981 (c.)

Description:In the early 1970s, six purpose-built children’s homes were built each of which could accommodate 18 children. Ipswich Walk was one of these, opening in 1973.

The idea for the 18 bed units came from the Williams Committee recommendations for larger units. Each home was two storey and had, originally, a dining room and kitchen, a quiet room and a play room, and staff sitting and dining rooms on the ground floor. On the first floor was staff accommodation, bathrooms and children’s bedrooms – two 4-bed rooms, two 3-bed rooms and four single rooms.

While it was built as an 18-bed unit, the capacity was reduced to 16 in 1974.

After the first of the six new homes were completed, the Residential Service Sub-committee expressed their ‘general dissatisfaction with the design of the present 18 bed homes’. Problems arose from the size of the dining room, heights of the corridors and other amendments to the original specifications largely because of the need to cut costs.

From February 1981, the home was no longer included as a children’s home within Birmingham City Council. It was at this time, or shortly afterwards, transferred as a children’s home to Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council.

The building is no longer used as a children's home in 2010.

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Image: The building in 2010.
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Source: This history was compiled by the Birmingham Children's Homes Project, an initiative to explore Birmingham City Council-run children’s homes between 1949 and 1990.