Barrington Boys' Home was in New Town. When it opened, it had a capacity for 40 boys. In 1951, a new wing, named Purdon Wing after its chief benefactor, increased its capacity to 53 boys.
In the 1960s, about one third of the boys entered the Home through the children's courts. The rest were either wards of state or had been admitted by their relatives. It was a policy of the Home to restrict the number who had committed an offence in case they disrupted the others. The nature of that offence was confidential. According to Mary Daunton-Fear, only the Superintendent knew what it was unless the boy told members of staff or other boys about it.
There were 10 members of staff. They were a Superintendent and Matron, who were a married couple, a male and female Salvation Army officer, a cook, a seamstress, and a laundress. Another woman looked after a group of 10 younger boys who lived on the grounds in separate accommodation. They had a different timetable to the older ones. In addition, a group of seven boys of different ages lived in an adjoining Home with a married couple. In 1967, there were plans to move some girls in with them to make it more like a family. It may also have been an attempt to keep siblings together. The Home already had a policy of admitting brothers for this reason.
According to Mary Daunton-Fear the routine of the Home was as follows:
On Sundays, the boys attended the Salvation Army Citadel unless they had another strongly held religious belief.
The Home was open and boys could walk around Hobart if they wished. Daunton-Fear said that they were not locked up for punishment and seldom caned. Punishment usually meant having to do an unpopular job. The staff did not withdraw privileges in case it caused resentment.
A local doctor provided medical attention. For more specialised medical care, the Home used the outpatients at the Royal Hobart Hospital. The schools provided a dental service.
In 2012, the original house, which was built in the 1850s, is listed by the Tasmanian Heritage Council. It is used as an aged care facility known as Barrington Lodge. The Salvation Army continue to run it.
11 February 2019
Cite this: http://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/tas/TE00035
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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