Changing conceptions of the 'poor child': the Children's Country Holiday Fund, 1918-1939

Barron, Hester (2016) Changing conceptions of the 'poor child': the Children's Country Holiday Fund, 1918-1939. Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth, 9 (1). pp. 29-47. ISSN 1939-6724

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Between 1919 and 1939, nearly 600,000 holidays were organised for London’s elementary schoolchildren by the Children’s Country Holiday Fund (CCHF). This article uses the CCHF to explore changing conceptions of the “poor child” in interwar Britain. The charity’s membership was an eclectic mix of thousands of men and women who struggled to reconcile a sense of mission born in the 1880s with the very different social challenges of interwar London. They would also look forward, anticipating the developments of the post-1945 period and the creation of the Beveridge welfare state. Most importantly, the work of the CCHF carried through into practice a belief in the universality of childhood, and, crucially, a universal entitlement to it, which was gaining momentum throughout the interwar period. If the CCHF was determined to provide children with an “authentic” experience of childhood, however, the article also highlights the very different reactions of the young Londoners themselves. Despite the CCHF’s concern that an urban environment was stunting children’s emotional development, the comments of the children demonstrate a self-awareness and self-confidence that was ultimately grounded in an attachment to London and to their families.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > History
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA History of Great Britain
Depositing User: Hester Barron
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2014 13:00
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2021 14:48

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