Dark memories of Sheffield children’s home for Marjorie

A woman has shared the heartbreaking story of her late mum’s childhood at a Sheffield children’s home.

Tuesday, 19th February 2019, 18:57 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th February 2019, 19:02 pm
Mount Pleasant House, Sharrow Lane, Sheffield, pictured on June 29, 1974

Barbara Moore is hoping that someone can help her to piece together some more of the story of Mount Pleasant School for Girls, or Girls’ Charity School, which was based in the 18th-century mansion in Sharrow Lane, Highfields.

Barbara, who lives in North Wales, wrote: “My mum Marjorie Fane was put into this Mount Pleasant Girls’ Home, Sharrow Lane, aged five with her two sisters, Gwen and Hazel, aged seven and three, after her mum walked out on them and left their dad, who couldn’t cope. 

“The girls’ home is now part of Sheffield City Council. Not long before mum died, I arranged a tour of the building for her with all her children. I could see everything she told us as we were growing up. 

“On the walls were items like hair grips and bits and pieces in frames on the walls. They were items from when it was the girls’ home, found when the builders were in.

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“In the hallway was a black and white tiled floor.  She told us she had to scrub that with a toothbrush if she had done something wrong after having had a pasting with a hairbrush.

“At one particular time, we went up to the first floor and when we opened a door, behind it was  a very dark stone stairway. 

“Mum just broke down and had to go outside and be sick as that was the worst punishment when they were made to stand for hours on that cold, dark stairway with the door locked after having had a beating.

“She was five years old when she went there and 15 when she eventually got out. She was traumatised and it haunted her all of her life.”

Barbara said that the visit took place not long before her mum died. She hopes that Retro readers may have memories to share and possibly some of Marjorie.

The council last year decided to dispose of the building and it is due to be turned into an old people’s home.