Our History

Check OUT OUR HISTORY

We're very proud of our 120+ year history. Take a look at how it all began.

1895

First mention of a holiday by the sea for poor children when the Kyrle Society’s Samuel Ellicock, HMI for Technical Education, proposed a summer camp for poor boys somewhere on the coast. Ellicock led a committee that investigated but when the report was presented to the Kyrle Society it concluded that such a camp was impractical at that time.

1895

1895

Mrs Rolleston, later Lady Rolleston, invited some poor boys over to her home at Glen Parva Grange, where she had a team of helpers, for instruction and encouragement to become self-respecting citizens, to love God and to read the Bible.

1896

Leicester Boys’ Club opened at 22 Newarke Street with Edward Wood as president, Sir John Rolleston as vice-president, Lady Rolleston as honorary secretary and Samuel Faire as treasurer. A second club opened on Lead Street.

1898

1898

Alderman Wakerley, the mayor, called a public meeting which was promoted by Lady Rolleston, to discuss a week’s holiday by the sea for boys who attended the clubs. Leicester Poor Boys’ Summer Camp Association was founded. At the Bank Holiday in early August, the first group of boys went camping in

1900

1900

Girls joined the holidays for the first time, in a purpose built wooden building. The boys continued to sleep in tents.

1901

The clubs in Leicester moved to new premises at 53 Highcross Street.

1903

The charity was renamed Leicester Poor Boys’ and Girls’ Summer Camp and Institute. The premises moved again to 77 High Street.

1908

1908

Shaftesbury Hall built to house the classes and games of the Institute and offices of the charity.

1908

1908

Boys’ Home built in Mablethorpe, next to the Girls’ Home.

1915 to 1918

The Holiday Homes were occupied by the military. Children went on country holidays to Manor House at Little Stretton.

1910

Open Air School for weak and sickly children opened by the Education Committee in the holiday homes in the autumn, after the summer season ended.

1919

1919

Holidays recommence at Mablethorpe and Shaftesbury Hall reopened for the children in Leicester.

1935

Lady Rolleston laid the foundation stone for a new, modern holiday centre at Mablethorpe.

1937

1937

The permanent holiday centre for both boys and girls opened on the sandhills at Mablethorpe.

1940

Holidays were arranged at Bufton Lodge, Botcheston for a short time, until it was taken over for use by evacuees.

1951

Children from the county of Leicestershire began to go to Mablethorpe.

1953

The Great Flood on the East Coast caused huge damage and loss of life although the Holiday Centre escaped damage because of its high position on the dunes. Rescue and reconstruction workers, including Leicester Firemen, were housed in the Centre which delayed its opening for children’s holidays by two weeks.

1966

Shaftesbury Hall was rented out, Ruthella was the first tenant. The charity’s office moved into the adjacent former caretaker’s accommodation.

1990’s

1990’s

The charity was renamed Leicester Children’s Holiday Centre (Mablethorpe).

1998

The charity celebrated its centenary.

2017

2017

The last season of children’s holidays in Mablethorpe. Around 67,000 children had enjoyed a special time there over the years.

2018

2018

In August the first party of Leicester children are taken by the renamed Leicester Children’s Holidays charity on an exciting adventure holiday at Hilltop, Sheringham.

2018

2018

During this year’s Civic lunch, a new modern website, logo, and branding is unveiled completed by local design agency Nifty Thinking.

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