Catalogue description Liverpool Juvenile Reformatory Association

This record is held by Lancashire Archives

Details of DDX 824
Reference: DDX 824
Title: Liverpool Juvenile Reformatory Association

Including Red Bank School, Newton-le-Willows; Heswall Nautical School; Girls' Reformatory, Liverpool; Nile Street and Grafton Street Industrial Schools, Liverpool


Many of the admission registers include progress reports as well as dates of admission and release. Each register normally includes an index.


Summary of pupil records held (general)


Records containing details of individual children cover the following dates:


Akbar/Heswall NTS 1904-57


Girls' Reformatory 1892-1921


Grafton St, Nile St 1920s-1930s


Liverpool Farm School/Red Bank School 1893-1988 (see below for more details)


Summary of Red Bank pupil records post-1955


This summary concentrates on recent pupil files and related records:


Training Unit:


case files 1955-64, boxes 37-129; registers 1955-70, boxes 13,17-18,36,52; indexes 1955-70, boxes 17-18,52


Assessment Unit:


case files c1966-c1988 acc 8547; registers 1955-65, 72-73, 77-82 boxes 13,28-29,36,53, acc 8547; indexes 1955-c1988 acc 8547


Special Unit:


case files c1966-c1988 acc 8547; registers 1967-73 boxes 53,55; indexes c1966-c1988 acc 8547


Other records containing information on individual pupils in all three units cover the period 1955-85 and are found in boxes 21,32,40,42-43,52-53 and 66, and in acc 8547.


Pupil numbering system


Heswall and Red Bank (Training School) each have simple number series eg 1 - 7954.


Numbers for the Classifying School are preceded by S, I, J or V (for Senior, Intermediate, Junior and Vardy House) eg J1457 or S957.


Numbers for the Special Unit are preceded by SU.

Note: "
Date: 1875-1980

The records have not been sorted and have been boxed as found.

Related material:

Some pupil files for Red Bank Training School 1964-73 are held by the DSS in Nelson and are subject to a 75 year closure. Requests for access should be made to Steve Jones at the Public Record Office, Ruskin Ave, Kew, Richmond TW9 4DU (tel 020 8392 5262).


See also managers' minutes 1973-92, held at Lancs RO (ref: LCC 3/8).

Held by: Lancashire Archives, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Liverpool Juvenile Reformatory Association

Access conditions:

75 year closure

Immediate source of acquisition:

Combined list of accessions 4400 and 4607, uncatalogued. (Acc 4400 comprises boxes 54, 56a, 56b, 58-61 and 64-65; acc 4607 comprises boxes 52- 53, 55, 57, 62-63 and 66).

  • Liverpool, Lancashire
  • Correctional education
Administrative / biographical background:

The Liverpool Juvenile Reformatory Association was established in 1855. There were three main elements: a training ship for boys (the 'Akbar', which later became Heswall Nautical Training School); a reformatory for girls in Liverpool; and a farm school for boys (called Liverpool Farm School but actually in Newton-le-Willows, later renamed Red Bank School). In addition, there appears to have an association with the Holy Trinity Industrial Schools at Grafton Street and Nile Street, Liverpool.


Akbar/Heswall Nautical Training School


The hulk 'Akbar' began use as a reformatory ship in 1855, moored in the Mersey. It ceased to be used in 1907 and the school transferred to Heswall in the Wirral, later to be called Heswall Nautical Training School. It closed in 1956.


Girls' Reformatory


This was opened in Mount Vernon Green, Edge Hill, Liverpool in 1857 and closed in 1906. Associated with it was another Girls' Reformatory in Toxteth Park which came under the control of the LJRA in 1897, closing in 1921.


Liverpool Farm School/Red Bank School


The LFS was established in Newton-le-Willows in 1858 with a new building opening nearby in 1868. The reformatory was renamed Red Bank School in 1950. By now it was a Home Office Approved School but was still operated by the Association (which had changed its name to Liverpool Training Schools Association). In 1948 a Classifying School was opened as part of the school, to provide assessment facilities for boys for a few weeks. The main part of the school meanwhile became known as the Training School. In 1969- 70 the two were renamed as the Assessment Unit and the Training Unit respectively.


A third part (the Special Unit) was added in 1966 to provide secure accommodation for a limited number of boys. The three parts each had their own headmaster and staff, under one Principal for the whole of Red Bank.


In 1983 Vardy House was opened as part of the Assessment Unit to provide secure facilities for the assessment of 8 boys.


Lancashire County Council took over control of Red Bank School in 1973; in 1992, the institution passed into the authority of St Helens Metropolitan Borough.


Holy Trinity Industrial Schools


The connection with the LJRA is not clear but some records are to be found in this archive. There was a school in Grafton Street for boys and a school in Nile Street for girls.


Useful information about the history of the Liverpool Juvenile Reformatory Association and its schools can be found in Yesterday's Naughty Children by Joan Rimmer (1986).

Link to NRA Record:

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