Fred Barnes became a Barnardo child from a very early age. Fred was born in Northampton on the 5th July 1929, and
was taken into Barnardo’s in 1937, and he still remembers his Barnardos number 174303 ! and to think I still struggle
to remember my Goldings number ! He was at a small number of Barnardo’s homes before he finally settled in
Corris House, Much Wenlock, Shropshire, or as he commonly calls it “The House on the Hill” as he says it stood
“On the top of the hill”
Fred left Barnardo’s in 1944 to work on the building close by to the “Spurs” ground in London for as he said “6d a
day” (old coinage) He was later called up to do his National Service in the Royal Air Force, and was made a storeman!
and as Fred said “It was just the job for me after my learning curve at Barnardo’s !! You go in to the store’s wearing one
shirt, but come out wearing two!! Yes it was just the job for me, and still to this day when we contact each other his
parting comment is “Hey anything going don’t forget me” to which I reply “Your second after me” Yes our Fred is
quite a character even though he now approach’s 80, his wit and humour is outstanding. It was in the R.A.F. That he
met his wife via her brother. She was a Birmingham girl so that’s were they settled in Bearwood. Another little story
He told me was when he was in Corris House if it was your birthday you got “ A boiled egg” truly very lucky kids!!!
In later years Fred decided as a project to compile the history of Goldings, Watts Naval College, Lilleshall Girls Home,
and his former home at Much Wenlock. This research was to take him over seven years to compile, and put in book form.
along the way Fred was to make many contacts and friends from all parts of the world to help him with his research.
I feel without Freds initiative, the history and experiences of these homes would have been lost forever in the sands of
time, so I am sure there is lots of Barnardo’s children out there who thank you for reminding, good or not so good of
there time spent in these homes!
His books entitled “ Victims of Circumstance” are well worth a read!!
Fred recalls that on leaving Barnardos he was given a Prayer book, A Bible, and a picture of Dr Barnardo, and was
reminded by Mr Tucker (Barnardo Superintendent ) that if he ever came do do well financially to remember
Dr Barnardo’s !!!