Prior to the Second
World War the children were treated occasionally to day trips, often organised and paid for by one of the Police Forces
whose members contributed to St George's, these included the Counties
of: Chester, Cumberland, Derby, Durham, Lancaster, Lincoln,
Northumberland, Nottingham, Salop, Stafford, Westmorland, York, Anglesay,
Caernarvon, Denbigh, Flint, Merioneth and Montgomery.
Children enjoying an
outing on 1920 Daimler Charabancs.
A day trip to
...and a trip to Belle Vue to enjoy a ride on the Rollercoaster
Miss Knocker (the tall
lady left front) with some of the Staff and children of St George's,
waiting to see the Duke & Duchess of York (later to become
King George VI and Queen Elizabeth), who were passing through the
village of Beckwithshaw, probably on their way to Harewood House, circa
The photo on the right shows Miss Knocker talking to the Duchess and
Duke after they had been presented with a bouquet of flowers by the little
St George's girl. The Duke & Duchess had stopped their car to talk to
the children and thank them for coming.
In September 1947, all of the older
travelled by coaches to Sunderland, via the
Great North Road, a journey enjoyed by
The afternoon was spent at Seaburn
the children paddled,
swam, played sand cricket
and rode horses
and donkeys on the beach.
Exploring Brimham Rocks,
Two St George's boys
(left) Reg Taylor and (right) Peter Taylor
near Pateley Bridge.
with their cousin, David Wickens, enjoying a penny ride on
Bradford City often
'gifted' all of the children with a visit to their city to see a
Pantomime, other Forces too arranged visits to see Concerts, always
arranging transport and organising the day's event, a not insignificant
effort given the number of children involved.
Other typical outings were visits to Fountains Abbey, Harewood House, near Leeds, the
home of Princess Mary, the Princess Royal, who was Patron of St
George's, another treat was to see Ripley Castle, the home of Sir
William and Lady Ingilby.
Harewood House, Leeds, Yorkshire.
Ripley Castle, Ripley, North Yorkshire
Visits to farms were always a treat, the girls
stacked hay and picked apples from orchards, enjoying a lunch
often of lemonade and sandwiches or similar.
Haymaking in the 1940's
The Royal Hall, Harrogate, Yorkshire.
On a more serious note were the visits to the Halle Orchestra in the
Royal Hall, Harrogate, by Elsie Gale, child number 541, there she met and made
friends with members of the orchestra and Sir John Barbirolli who became
known to them as JB. These visits kindled a life long love of
Classical music in it's various forms for Elsie.
The children of St
George's usually travelled home for the Summer holidays, from around the
end of July until the first week in September, a period of about 6
weeks. Christmas holidays were generally spent at St George's.
Packing the suitcase ready for the holidays,
Dennis Grist 363 on a days outing with his mother,
always an exciting time.
grandmother and an unknown St George's friend.
Each of the children had
a leather suitcase embossed with N.P.O. (Northern Police Orphanage) or
S.G.H ( St George's House).
Stuck on the inside of each suitcase lid was a typed list of contents:
shoes, socks, underwear, outerwear etc, all items were part of the
uniform of St George's and as such had name tabs sewn into each item of
The day before going on holiday a Prayer Meeting was held in the
Assembly Room, the closing hymn of which was always ' God be with you 'til
we meet again'. The older children usually walked in small groups to
Harrogate Railway Station with their suitcases. They, along with the
younger children, who were taken to the Station by car, were
always supervised by St George's staff members.
The children would be put onto their different trains, after being
handed over to the Railway Police who were made aware of their travel
and safety needs. Mothers (sometimes Fathers, if the mother had
passed away) always met the children at their destination, so the whole
operation must have been a logistical challenge, particularly as the
entire procedure re-occurred in reverse on the return journey.
One of the traditions of 'Going Home Day' was that each child was given
a buttonhole of sweet pea flowers, something that was appreciated at the
time more by the girls than the boys, perhaps.