Memories of a Moorland Children’s Home, compiled by Colin Mather, tells the story of The Davison Children’s Home in Danby from the events leading up to it being built in 1915 until its closure in the 1980s.
An estimated 16,000 needy children, mainly from Middlesbrough, benefited from respite care at the home.
The book will be launched in the Reference Library of Middlesbrough Central Library on Saturday, November 7 at 2pm with Colin Mather giving a talk on the tales contained within.
The proceeds from the sale of this book will go to The Davison Trust for Children, which is the charity that still carries on the work of the original home by helping the sick and disabled children of Middlesbrough.
Colin said: “Memories of a Moorland Children’s Home provides a touching insight into the lives of people from two very different worlds: the smog-laden streets of back-to-back houses, lacking in sunlight and polluted by the industry of the early twentieth century, and the contrasting wide open spaces of the moors and dales of North Yorkshire with green fields, sunshine and keen invigorating air.
“Many had disabilities, ill-health or were experiencing difficult family circumstances. For most the move to the home was well-considered and planned, but for some it was the result of a family crisis and these children had to make rapid adjustments.
“Coming from the urban areas of Middlesbrough to a small country village in the rural Esk Valley was challenging for young children. For some it was an adventure; for others it was traumatic.”
The authors have gathered many first-hand accounts and personal testimonies of people who stayed at the home as children and those who worked there.
Colin added: “These human stories and reminiscences are at the heart of this important social history and include many people from Danby and the Esk Valley.
“These memories would almost certainly have been lost over time were it not for the painstaking and laudable efforts of the authors in publishing this book in the centenary year of the founding of the home.”