Therefore, a certificated teacher was appointed as Headteacher and a school, recognised by the Board
of Education as a Day School attached to a Home was opened in 1901.
This was the first school in the country to be recognised for the education of physically defective
children. In 1905, the Board of Education recognised the school as a Boarding School. During 1918 the
Home received children from London, Lincolnshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire and Yorkshire, as well
as from the local area. Various Education Acts had been passed which recognised the growing
importance of Special Education. During the war, of the 3,424 children admitted, a high proportion of
the medical cases were admitted under the Emergency Hospital Scheme. The discovery of Penicillin
treatment by antibiotics and other factors resulted in the improvement of the general health of children.
So there became less demand for places. The significance of change and the importance of education
were recognised by the change of title of the establishment. The new title adopted in 1959 was the
‘Children’s Convalescent Home and School.
The 60’s brought great changes. The number of convalescent children continued to decline but the
number of school children increased. The Department of Education raised the approved accommodation
to 160 children and plans for further extensions to the school were made in 1970. The Warnock Report
published in 1978 indicated that all children should be seen in terms of their individual needs, many
would benefit from being transferred from special schools to mainstream schools, though there would
always be the case of retention of some special schools. During this decade there was consolidation of
the education services at West Kirby and with an ever-widening curriculum to children with a wide
range of disabilities. Successful examination results were recorded and outdoor activities flourished.
Much attention was paid to the preparation of school leavers in order that they would be fitted to meet
the challenges of life after school. In 1979 the Childcare staff were brought under the control of the
Headteacher. Consequently the Term ‘Home’ was to be no longer used and was replaced by the
present title of ‘West Kirby Residential School’
In recent years Trustees at Hoylake Cottage have decided that day care facilities for older people
should be provided in a purpose-designed, new building. After several months of deliberation including
consultation with local residents, staff and service users, the charitable trust board decided that
refurbishing the existing old building was not a viable option.
"This has been a very difficult decision for us as we have heard strong views from members of Hoylake
Civic Society and several other local people who would like to keep this old building for heritage and
nostalgia reasons," said Mr Taylor the Trust Board Chairman.
A survey was carried out during the summer to gather the views of the local community on how to
redevelop the day care centre. A total of 100 forms were returned, of which 17 asked for the frontage
of Hoylake Cottage to be retained. No one currently using Hoylake Cottage asked for the old building
to be preserved. Respondents were asked which features would be most important in designing a new
centre and most put open spaces with lots of natural light at the top of the list.
Mr Taylor said: "We have seriously considered the possibility of keeping the front façade of Hoylake
Cottage and building new rooms behind it, because some people feel very strongly that they don't
want to lose the look of the building. But our architects and other professional advisors tell us we
would need a large contingency budget for all the structural problems which you only discover once
dismantling work gets underway. It has become clear that we would be paying more for an inferior
building if we tried to retain part of it, and that seems almost immoral. In the end, the decision came
down to identifying what matters most and that has to be the people who use Hoylake Cottage.
"With a brand new design our architects will be able to give us ideas for creating the best possible
environment for care where staff can continue to do the excellent work for which they are renowned."
And so the old building was demolished for creation of a contemporary building. In homage to the long
history of Hoylake Cottage, the shape of the building drawn up by the architects retained the circular
driveway and roundabout, setting back the new building in a similar position to the existing one.
The prevalence of children
suffering from the effects of bad
housing, neglect, debility and
diseases such as tuberculosis,
rheumatism, rheumatic fever,
rickets, typhoid, bronchitis, in the
1880’s it was recognised by the
founders of the Home who
provided the first accommodation
in the Hoylake Cottage. The
present site was acquired and
the hospital block was built in
1899, which was ultimately to
benefit many thousands of
children, by co-operation with the
founders of a hospital. Children in
the hospital block at the
Convalescent Home, who were of
longer stay than the majority of
the other children, created
pressure on the voluntary
teaching which was first provided.
|Construction of Hoylake Cottage
|Construction of Hoylake Cottage