OUR 200 YEAR HISTORY
1821 On the 19th April 1821, a meeting convened by public advertisement in the Boys’ Schoolroom to organise a Society, the designation of which was to be “The Port of Hull Society for the Religious Instruction to Seamen”. The floating chapel “Valiant” opened for worship in the Humber Dock.
1823 Ship’s library facility formed in the floating chapel which continued though to the 1970’s in conjunction with the British Sailors’ Society.
1824 Marine School opened for the purpose of improving sea apprentices in writing, reading, arithmetic and navigation.
1837 Sailors Orphan Institute established in Waterhouse Lane for clothing and educating of deceased seamen and rivermen.
1862 First orphan house opened in Castle Row.
1867 Society purchased Thanet House, Park Street for £4,500 to accommodate one hundred orphans.
1868 First Royal Patronage – HRH Rear Admiral, the Duke of Edinburgh.
1892 Six acres purchased at Newland on which to erect a model village.
1897 School opened for primary school teaching of the Society’s children.
1914 First children of Royal Navy casualties received into the Society’s care.
1919 Society incorporated under the Companies Act.
1936 The inaugural meeting of the Old Scholars Association.
1939 Opening of the first residential Seamen’s Institute.
1941 Children evacuated to Brighouse and Pateley Bridge.
1946 Re-occupation of Newland by the children.
1950 Society name change to “Sailors’ Childrens’ Society”.
1953 Beginning of subsidisation of children in their own homes.
1961 Six thousand children supported since our work began.
1963 Opened first house for elderly seafarers.
1965 Homes for elderly seafarers in Lowestoft, Goole and Grimsby.
1983 Introduction of “halfway houses” for adolescents.
1991 Society name change to “Sailors’ Families’ Society”.
1996 Advance child care programme at Newland, strengthen support for seafaring families throughout the country and continue with the care of our resident retired seafarers.
2003 Following the death of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, patron since 1937, HRH The Princess Royal agrees to become the patron of the Society.
2004 The last child leaves Newland and the Family Support Scheme looking after children in their own homes becomes the Society’s primary focus.
2009 Newland estate is sold to student accommodation provider.
2011 Society celebrates its 190th Anniversary of care and currently supports nearly 400 disadvantaged children of seafarers. Help provided includes child welfare grants, clothing grants and caravan holidays.
Re-enactment of the very first public meeting organised on 19th April 2011 as a mark of respect to all those people who have helped the Society over the years.
2016 to the Present Day The Society currently supports over 450 children and young people throughout the United Kingdom on our Child Support Scheme. During the pandemic in 2020/21, these numbers rose to 750 children. Family Support Officers provide a little steps programme to help families move forwards and have service links to other specialised organisations. Our aim during this time is to allow children to be children as they adjust to the new circumstances and encourage the family to become more independent again.