|Administrative / biographical background:
Built as a private residence in 1870, the 'Mansion House' was used during the 1914-1918 war as a home for neurasthenics. In 1920 Leicester Borough Council entered into negotiations with the Ministry of Pensions, owner of the house, for its purchase and subsequent use as a home for the mentally defective. Leicester Frith opened on 30 August, 1923, providing for 30 male and 30 female children and 60 female adults, half of whom were transferred from Cross Corners, Belgrave. The Matron Superintendant of Cross Corners, Miss Nellie Russam, transferred to the Frith, under the control of the Borough Mental Deficiency Committee. The Frith site was subsequently developed to provide villas, each for 60 patients, (Clephan, Swainston, Russam, Sheppard, Baldwin and Hill Villas).
With the inception of the NHS in 1948 the Leicester No.3 Hospital Management Committee administered Leicester Frith, the Towers Hospital, Mountsorrel Institution, Stretton Hall and hostels in Stoneygate and Billesdon. Except for the Towers, all of these were known collectively as Glenfrith Hospital. In the 1950s two further hospitals were added to the Glenfrith group, Glengate at Desford and Kibworth Hall.
For further information see J. N. Broad's A Brief History of the Development of Glenfrith Hospital, 1906-1982.
Sunnyholme and Cross Corners
The After-Care sub committee of the Leicester Education Committee, an entirely voluntary Association was started in February 1903 by Miss Annie Clepham, Miss Noble and Mrs L. Pochin. The Committee's aims were to maintain contact with the children who had passed through the Milton Street, Willow Street and Elbow Lane Special Classes, and to monitor their behaviour outside the care of these special classes. This was carried out by a system of home visits two or three times a year. After ten years of existance the After Care Committee handed over the work of dealing with Mental Deficiency to the care of the Local Authority.
'Sunneyholme', 155 King Richards Road, a small residential home for 12 girls was established in 1907 under the management of the After-Care Committee. The girls placed in this home usually came from Union Workhouses and were assessed as being unable to take rational responsible care of their own lives. From 1907-1916 the home depended upon support from payments from the Guardians and private subscriptions and donations.
In 1916 the home moved to premises in Belgrave known as 'Cross Corners' and came under the auspices of the Local Authority and in 1925 the majority of the residents were transferred to Leicester Frith.