themes

Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day

Kibble’s archive contains numerous references to boys leaving Kibble and enlisting in the armed forces.  Many went on to see active service in both world wars.  We have now compiled a roll of the boys who enlisted from Kibble during WWI.

Kibble 150 Anniversary
Old School building, Kibble

Old School building, Kibble

This is one of the oldest surviving pictures of the old Kibble school building.

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Kibble Summer Camp, 1899

Kibble Summer Camp, 1899

Restored image of a Kibble summer camp from 1899.

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Purpose/Aims of the Study

The purpose of the project is to research Kibble's origins and development since its establishment in 1859, charting continuities and change in the centre's ethos and operation. The aim is to form a comprehensive history of the centre within the wider contexts of Reformatory, Approved and List D schools, as well as the contexts of national historical events, e.g. major legislation relating to residential childcare, the world wars and social and economic change.

The project continues to evolve and develop as new sources and information emerge. There are three main strands to the research: written archive research, based on Kibble's own records; oral history, recording the personal Kibble memories of former and current staff, associated professionals and pupils; a database of admission and discharge records from 1859 onwards.

Archive History

This is organised around key themes such as Education, Vocational Training, Sport/Leisure, Child Emigration, and Enterprise. So far record books up to 1950 have been researched. In addition to Admission and Discharge Registers, minute books of, for example, meetings of the Approved Schools Association, Kibble Education Committee and Kibble Industrial Committee have been explored.

Oral History

This has been one of the most interesting and enjoyable aspects of the research, recording interviews with current and past staff and former pupils of the school. The interviews give different perspectives on similar issues over time, allowing the identification of patterns, trends and themes. Staff interviewees have dated from as far back as the late 1950s/early 1960s. Former pupil participants in the research date back to the late 1940s and we have now recorded the stories of a former pupil from each decade up to the 1980s.

Database

The data is all taken from Admission and Discharge Registers from 1859 onwards. To date, records up to the mid 1940s have been entered into the database. As well as preserving these records in case of any future loss or damage of books, the database holds a wealth of information on factors such as perceived causes of delinquency and how these have changed, literacy rates, the effects of war on parents and children (e.g. poverty and bereavement), periods and levels of child emigration, housing conditions, and pupils' duration of contact with the school after leaving. The database currently holds over two thousand individual records.

Key Findings

Current main reception building, Kibble

Current main reception building, Kibble

This is the current main reception building at Kibble.

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Initial findings suggest that the school has always been innovative in its approaches and methods. Perhaps the most significant conclusion reached, based on the research so far, is that the school has never deviated throughout its history from Miss Kibble's original aim and mission of helping young boys who have broken the law or are simply in need of care and protection.

Dissemination of Information

This will take the form of web-based information and sound clips from interviews, themed booklets and an exhibition. It is also hoped that some of our current pupils will be involved in making a drama/documentary video about the school's history.