Primitive Methodist Orphanage

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Old Alresford, Hampshire

By Brian Archer

My father's family, the Archer family one of a couple of Archer families, in Bermondsey, were Anglican and attended St. James Anglican Church in Bermondsey. He was Thomas Charles Archer and his father was Charles William Archer.When Thomas was about four years old, which would be about 1908, his father, Charles William Archer, died. His mother, maiden name Cawley, could not cope so had to put Thomas into an orphanage. The orphanage Thomas was put into was the Primitive Methodist Orphanage in Old Alresford. My father told a story that they were marched over a bridge across a river, on Sundays, to attend a Primitive Methodist Church in New Alresford. The orphanage was built out of flint.He had all his schooling at the Orphanage.

This page was added by Brian Archer on 03/03/2013.
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The Orphanage opened in 1889, due to the initiative of Joseph Peck. According to a tablet in the hall he was the 'Founder and First Secretary 1889-90, "He went about doing good".' The Trustees of the PM Church bought the house in 1886 from Arabella Onslow, whose sister Charlotte Onslow died in 1885. The Onslow family had built the house on their estate about 1838, as a home and school for training girls in domestic service. When it re-opened as the PM Orphanage it consisted of one house for 15 children, with a room attached which was used as a school. Later the numbers increased to 30 boys and 30 girls, who attended the village school. In 1932, at Methodist Union, it became a National Children's Home. See more here.  A slightly different account is given by HB Kendall in Origins and History of the PM Church, p.121.

By Jill Barber
On 02/10/2015

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