These two houses were used for a number of years as a children’s home. The Derby Board of Guardians owned the house and used it as a “scattered home” for a number of decades. Scattered homes or the isolated homes system was first introduced in Sheffield in 1893 by the Board of Guardians led by J Wycliffe Wilson. It was felt that the practice of placing children in cottage homes isolated them from the real world in which they would have to live as adults. Scattered homes placed small groups of children in ordinary houses around a town or city and the children attended local board schools – many cottage homes had their own schools. Homes were placed so there were never more than 30 children from scattered homes attending any one school.
In the 1911 census, six girls between the ages of 4 and 9 and eleven boys aged 3 to 7 were living in the home on Park Grove cared for by a Foster Mother and two assistants. All the children’s birth places are recorded as unknown. We know from listings in local directories that the houses were used as a children’s home from before 1903 to at least 1950.
One former resident Georgina Dawes (renamed Jean by the authorities) spent some years at the home in the 1930s. Born in Burton-on-Trent, she spent most of her childhood in care, and was moved to the home at 42 & 44 Park Grove when she was old enough to go to school. She recalled in a interview, given in the Derby Evening Telegraph in 2005, that the children at the home helped with the chores, including scrubbing shelves and floors, polishing the brass stair rods and black-leading the kitchen stove. Punishment for misdemeanours, such as fighting, could include a hairbrush across the backside and being locked in the dark cold cellar of the house. Georgina/Jean (born about 1928) attended Ashbourne Road Junior School and then Kedleston Road Senior School. Most of the time, she felt the staff in the homes did their best to make the children have a good life "but we never had cuddles or any love shown us, although we did have a lot of freedom".
This row of semi–detached houses was added to Park Grove in about 1927. After the main part of the Parkfields estate was sold for housing in 1900, the house and gardens were bought by Edward Hulse, a clothing manufacturer. He lived there until his death in 1925 and the house was sold and divided into two.
Images reproduced courtesy of Derby Local Studies Library
At the same time the gardens were split into building plots and this part of Park Grove and Parkfields Drive were built. These house plans for Park Grove were submitted to the Borough for approval and still survive in the archives of Derby Local Studies Library.
32 and 34 Park Grove, along with 27 and 29 Park Grove, were built on the site of a large pond, which was a feature of the Victorian park, and not far beneath ground level in this area is concrete infill which allowed the houses and road to be built.
1882 OS map -Reproduced courtesy of Derby Local Studies Library