Miss Sharman's Childrens Homes, Sydenham
Standard 8mm film Colour;Black & White Silent 1937 25:04
Summary: A mixture of black and white and colour film showing the girls of Miss Sharman's Children's Home, an orphanage for girls in Newlands Park, Penge. From the variation in weather it seems the film was made over more than one day. Towards the end of the film there is some text encouraging the audience to donate money to the children which gives the impression that the film was made in order to raise funds.
Title number: 126
Description: Opening Title: Miss Sharman's Homes Newlands Park S.E. 1937.
Opening scene of large Victorian terraced houses, to the side we see a smaller building which looks like a school and is presumably the home .Outside this building we see a number of younger children playing ball, or carrying a teddy bear or a doll. Children talking with others over a gate, probably outside the premises either in Venner Road or Newlands Park.
Various scenes of young girls performing a number of domestic jobs such as scrubbing the steps leading inside the Home, washing cloths,pegging them onto a washing line,washing crockery,watering plants in a border using a small watering can.
A young girl prepares a table, putting a tablecloth on and adding dishes and cutlery. Several children sit at the table and are waited on by the young girl. It looks rather like pretend food!
Other scenes of the children at play,playing with building bricks,drawing,and a line of young girls bounce and catch balls outside the home,they have their own play mats and are playing in a very orderly fashion.
A young girl washes up very studiously even if there is no water!
(9.05- becomes colour)
A line of young girls pose outside the home, pose for the camera and bounce and catch balls outside the Home.
Intertitle: 'Time Marches on' Learning to be useful appears.
Older girls are shown folding cloths, and sweeping outside the building. Younger children watch from the doorway.Older girls are shown reading what looks to be newspapers, others play. Some are skipping, others play piggyback.
A line of children run and jump, one after the other, while some children watch, others sweep, shake doormats and use brush and pan.
Group of children, reading, writing, and perhaps, sewing. Scenes of children playing with hoops,prams,dolls and teddies, and have a race with the prams!
Older girls cleaning exterior windows and another polishes the door knob, and then lead the large group of girls in a race across the yard.
A group of girls are interacting, holding hands, then perhaps playing head, shoulders, knees and toes or a game where they copy each other
Four Girls taking part in a dance routine, perhaps a May dance?, they join a much larger group for an impromptu tug of war game! A few girls give a demonstration of shoes being cleaned and polished.
21.54 - film is in colour
Scenes of Girls playing piggyback, leap frog and skipping, and trying to organize themselves for a group picture!
Intertitle: This is Mary collecting on behalf of the children.
We see a girl in a green dress with a white collar standing against a wall, smiling.
Intertitle: Wont you help by adding to the collection on Leaving? Thank you.
(24: 23) The film returns to black and white. Three girls wearing coats (suggesting a different season) are in the yard picking flowers from the bushes near the house wall. People can be seen walking down the road over the boundary wall and a boy looks to be about to climb over the wall.
They run around and then a group are gathered around a large watering can one carries a camera.
Credits: filmmaker: Cyril Rickert
cameraman: maybe Cyril Rickert, resident near Ridsdale Road, Penge
Further information: Miss Sharman's Home moved from Southwark to no. 9-31 Newlands Park (just behind Penge East Station) in 1930. It was situated at the junction with Venner Road (00.14 shows the building and roads). The film depicts exterior views of the buildings, with children learning and playing. There are no interior views. All the children are girls aged between approximately 5 and 15 years and appear happy. There is a mixture of black and white and colour film.
According to Kelly's Street Directories, Miss D.J. Hacking was honorary superintendent in 1937 when this film was made. Mrs Dorris Ferris, a resident of the home 1947-1952 has informed Bromley Archives that Miss D.J. Hacking was still in charge at the time she was in the home. Mrs Ferris was in St John's house, which was one of four houses. Each house had about 27 girls in it and was looked after by a matron and a cook. The four houses were converted terraced houses - each one of Miss Sharman's houses was originally two terraced houses. A large room on the ground floor was created as the play room. There was a large yard at the back on the site of what was originally the gardens of the eight terraced houses.
Brief history of Miss Sharman's homes can be found here: http://www.childrenshomes.org.uk/LondonSharman/
Keywords: Charities; Orphanages; Residential child care
Locations: United Kingdom; England; London; Bromley; Penge
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Jennifer ( Buchanan at my time in the home) wrote on January 16, 2019:I was in the home from the age of five until nearly ten. The pictures are very evocative, especially the…I was in the home from the age of five until nearly ten. The pictures are very evocative, especially the uniform haircuts! I have photos of myself with it, taken after adoption.
Caroline Sharman wrote on December 3, 2017:Charlotte Sharman was one my late husband’s ancestors.
Marilyn kavanagh nee Ball wrote on June 7, 2017:I had a friend there in 1954 her name was Carol Dowle I lost touch when they moved .would love…I had a friend there in 1954 her name was Carol Dowle I lost touch when they moved .would love to hear from anyone that knew her we went to Alexandra school
Jane Honey-Green wrote on March 7, 2017:My sister and I were in the home from 1946 to 1952 while our mother was in hospital with TB.…My sister and I were in the home from 1946 to 1952 while our mother was in hospital with TB. My sister then had TB and polio in 1947 and was moved to a home in Broadstairs. i cant remember much about my time there because I was only six months old when we went there. Sadly my sister died two years ago but I would like to know lf there are any records about our stay in the home.
bernadette Keane wrote on January 18, 2017:My mother was a child in this wonderful home and said it was a caring place with so many fond…My mother was a child in this wonderful home and said it was a caring place with so many fond memories she leanrt great domestic skills which served her well for the rest of her life ,after watching this I felt i understood my mother more ,sadly she passed away 6 years ago ,her name was Barbara Mary Ward born 1936 ,She shared such great memories of the staff matrons etc with us and Im truley grateful for her attending here as she passed on to her children such good morals and teachings.
Damian Fowler wrote on December 12, 2016:My mother Doreen Warwicker along with 3 of her sisters were brought up at Miss Sharmans homes after 1938, her…My mother Doreen Warwicker along with 3 of her sisters were brought up at Miss Sharmans homes after 1938, her friends at the home were Ellen Fisher & Joy Pearce
Tessa Yvonne Walsh I was called Jackson then . wrote on November 15, 2016:I was a girl in miss sharmans Homes. I am now 81 years old can't remember the year . I…I was a girl in miss sharmans Homes. I am now 81 years old can't remember the year . I was very pleased looking back lovely
Denise and Philip wrote on September 28, 2016:My husband and I were reminiscing about our schooldays at Alexandra Junior School Sydenham/Penge some 60 odd years ago (good…My husband and I were reminiscing about our schooldays at Alexandra Junior School Sydenham/Penge some 60 odd years ago (good Lord!). We remembered two classmates who came from Newlands Park Children's Home and believe that they were Jewish. This would have been circa 1954/1955 we think. We remember them as troubled souls who didn't get the care and sympathy they deserved from the post war teaching staff. We are very curious to know how they came to be in Sydenham - obviously much later than the Kindertransport children. We can remember their names but don't think it appropriate to post them here. The premises were later taken over by the privately run Cherry Tree School (Headmistress Mrs Brown) in about 1957. My husbands younger brother attended here for a short time.
pat harvey wrote on September 27, 2016:My mum and her two sister's were in the home, does anyone know where I can obtain records from?
Anon wrote on January 9, 2016:I attended Sydenham High School from 1948 to 1954 and remember we had to attend one Saturday afternoon as we…I attended Sydenham High School from 1948 to 1954 and remember we had to attend one Saturday afternoon as we were holding a party for the children of the local Miss Sharman's Home. I don't remember much detail, but I think everyone enjoyed it, but with hindsight feel it might have been seen as rather patronising and may have "rubbed in" to our guests the difference between their lives and our (by comparison) "privileged" ones. I suppose the staff who organised it hought they were "doing good"!