1956 Hampton Manor Article - "They are the Peter Pans of the 1950s"

This article uses historical terminology which some readers may find upsetting or offensive.

Recently we were loaned a folder full of press cuttings about Hampton Manor by the Trustees of Hampton Manor Homes.

One of the earliest articles is from August 19th 1956, from Birmingham-based newspaper, the Sunday Mercury.

This was published 4 years after Hampton Manor opened in 1952.

It is titled “They are the Peter Pans of the 1950s - The Warwickshire manor house that is home for the forgotten few”.

“Peter Pans” refers to the belief stated in the article that children with learning disabilities “will never grow up in the normal sense of the word”, and that they will always be “children”, never adults. At Hampton Manor, the residents were long known as “the girls”, and at Middlefield Hospital, where the residents were mostly male, they were known as “the boys”.

The two parts of the article are in the images below. Click on them to make them bigger.

The article talks about:

  • why Hampton Manor was set up,

  • the numbers of staff (11) and residents (23) in 1956, 4 years after it opened in 1952

  • The yearly payment to live at Hampton Manor (£300, which would be about £7,200 in today’s money)

  • A normal day at Hampton Manor, starting at 6.30am and finishing after the evening meal at 6.30pm.

  • Activities ran at the Manor, including housework, cooking, crafts, weaving, pottery, music and gardening.

  • Sleeping arrangements (the residents shared dormitories, and had a cupboard each, often with family photographs on top).

Thanks to the Hampton Manor Homes trustees for sharing these articles with us!

Part one of the article from 1956 - copyright The Sunday Mercury

Part two of the 1956 article - copyright The Sunday Mercury