The Martha Frew Childrens Home
Children are remarkable for their intelligence and ardor, for their curiosity, their intolerance of shams, the clarity and ruthlessness of their vision.
Creating an Archive for a Children’s Home in Scotland 1951- 1978
Almost forgotten today in local history, the Martha Frew Childrens Home lives in the memories of those many children and infants now grown. This archive is created in part for those who spent some of their young lives within these walls and played in the wooded grounds.
A more defined presence in local history is taking place in Scotland but many of the social issues of Childrens Homes in those days still do not have their place within the local collective record .
For others who are researching Institutional Child Care in Scotland during these times it will provide a much needed journey in words and experiences, backed up by documentation.
This is a singular, ambitious archive regarding a Scottish Childrens Home that provided care to many children in Fife, Clackmannan and at times other counties. It will form a baseline for those who are aware that there is very little information of other Childrens Homes of that time.
A few old records still exist, some are missing, and even fewer reports, but the minutes still can be found. A file now redacted is at last open for scrutiny, but the full report is unavilable until 2060 under FOISA personal information rules. Images are few, in fact – none have surfaced yet for the 27 years the Martha Frew Home existed.
A long wooded lane arches around open farmland, some distance away from the local village of Crossford in Fife. This fine old house, well set in mature planned grounds became a Childrens Home through the vision and drive of the redoubtable and much respected Baillie, Miss Martha Frew’s efforts. Her contribution will also be part of this archive in time.
The Martha Frew Childrens Home has since reverted back to its previous name – Keavil House and at present is an upmarket hotel of distinction. New houses have been built alongside the driveway. The total privacy has now gone.
This once beautiful retreat, became a Childrens Home between the years 1951 to 1978.
Memories, information and photographs are much sought after to provide the history of this Scottish Childrens Home archive.
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