What is Smith Cottage now was built as a Nursery Training School to train young girls to look after the orphan babies that very often came to the Homes. As the years went by and less and less orphan babies came to the Homes, the building has been turned into a cottage for children of Stds. I, II and III. The foundation stone of Smith Cottage was laid by His ExcellencyLord Erskine C.C.I.E., Governor of Madras on 2nd November 1936. Smith cottage can accommodate up to 70 children. There are 3 dormitories for the children. Two dormitories for the boys and one dormitory for the girls.
Dorm A has 14 double decker beds, Dorm B has 13 double decker beds and Dorm C has 17 wooden single beds. The dormitories are kept neat and clean. Each dormitory has shoe racks, towel pegs and lockers. There is a washing machine to wash the under linen and socks. The uniforms, home clothes and night clothes and games clothes go to the ‘dhobi’ to be washed and ironed. Smith cottage has its own computer room, music room and a big dining hall where the children have their meals and watch television.
At meal times the warden, matrons and ayahs see that the children use their forks and spoons in the proper manner, observe table manners and silence. We have a playground where the children play during their free time. The teaching staff, warden and matrons see to the discipline in the cottage.
The children of Std. IV wake up at 6:30am, get ready and go for study at 7:00am. The other children wake up at 7:00am, brush their teeth, wash, get dressed, make their beds, tidy their lockers and shine their shoes. The matrons supervise and the ayahs help the children.
The children come for breakfast at 8:00am. Breakfast is from 8:00am to 8:25am. After the breakfast the children get ready for assembly which is from 8:40am to 9:00am. In the morning the classes start at 9:00am and go on to 11:00am. There is a break from 11:00am to 11:15am. From 11:15am we continue classes till 1:15pm. There is a break for lunch from 1:15pm to 2:15pm
The children have their lunch and go to the Smith House play ground to play. In the afternoon,classes go on from 2:15pm to 3:35pm. From 3:35pm to 4:00pm the weak students stay back in class and complete their work. The class teacher supervises this study. Tea is from 4:00pm to 4:15pm. From 4:30pm to 4:45pm the children go for a walk with a staff member or do their practice for drama, drill etc. From 5:45pm to 6:15pm the children have baths with the help of the ayahs. From 6:20pm to 7:00pm they study. Dinner is from 7:00pm to 7:25pm. After dinner the children assemble for night prayers. 7:30pm to 8:30pm study. By 8:45pm the children brush their teeth and get into bed.
The warden teaches the children good moral values, sees to the discipline, inculcates good habits in the children. The warden is present through out in the cottage and sees to the smooth running of the cottage. We have two matrons and 2 ayahs in Smith cottage to assist the warden.
Up to the 11th February 1958 Hesketh Cottage served as Homes’ Main Office and Hospital. On this date the Board of Management decided to construct a new Administrative Block and Hospital Block and turn Hesketh Cottage into a Boarding House for 40 boarders. Hesketh cottage is situated behind the school main office. In Hesketh cottage we have junior boys of classes 4, 5 and 6. The total strength of the cottage is 67 this academic year.
The boys feel that their cottage is like their own home. They are well treated by the matron-incharge and warden. They have been taught how to do their own work like making their beds, polishing their shoes, having their own baths, arranging their lockers neatly, cutting their nails, doing the gardening work and dressing themselves neatly and so on. The boys are taught to keep their dormitories clean.
In the cottage for sleeping they have neat mattresses and cots. There are hygienic toilet facilities both outside and inside the cottage. There is a big playground in front of the cottage where the boys can play the games of their choice. They have their baths regularly. We have three dormitories in the cottage. We have a big box room and a barber’s room built recently behind the cottage. We have a well-maintained garden in front of the cottage. The dhobi and barber come regularly.
All the boys are obedient and helpful. The boys treat their friends with kindness. The children are very happy, healthy and cheerful in the cottage. They get individual attention for their overall development in this cottage. Col. G. Hesketh, Chairman, Lancashire Committee. Col. Hesketh was from Bolton.
This cottage is one of the oldest cottages situated near the School Hospital. It is the farthest cottage from the School Flat. It was named after Mr. E.A. Hammick, the former Principal during the years 1957-1976. It was his residence while he worked as the Principal and was built as the Principal’s bungalow. It has now been converted into one of the boy’s cottages. Those boys in the age group of 11 – 13 years stay in this cottage. It was recently (2005) renovated with latest style bathing rooms, toilets and wash basins. The boys get pure, healthy drinking water from a newly fitted Eureka Forbes water purifier. This cottage is also provided with an automatic IFB washing machine.
This is very helpful in washing the under garments and socks of the cottage boys. The other facilities include, steel lockers for every student, a boiler, generator, and 24 hours water supply and foam mattress. Just above this cottage is a new play ground which was made in the year 2006. There are four dormitories and a day room with wooden flooring in this cottage. There is a resident warden and matron to look after the children. Every child who lives in this cottage is provided a healthy environment to make friends and be happy. All the children are taught to be self-reliant and responsible.
In the year 1915, the Blackburn Master Cotton Spinners and Manufacturers Association sent a donation of £400 to the school’s Maintenance Fund. Even after this, the Lancashire Committee regularly supported the Homes financially through the difficult years.
The cottage is a twin to Preston and has all the facilities that Preston cottage has. It is home to 60 girls of Stds. IV, V, VI & VII. Built in the English style with chimneys and fire places, it is a double storeyed building. The top floor has wooden flooring. Girls from classes IV to VIII stay in this cottage. There is a matron and a warden who also stay in the cottage to take care of the girls.
Richard Greewood of Blackburn was Vice Chairman of the Lancashire Committee.
When the Rev. J. Breeden was sent to England in 1913 to garner financial support for the Homes in Kodaikanal he was able to raise £7000 and also establish a General Committee in Lancashire with secretaries in Blackburn and Preston apart from others in Manchester, Bolton, Darwen, Accrington and Thornley. In the early years of the Homes, funds were regularly received from the Lancashire Committee. To commemorate their support the two girls’ cottages were named Blackburn and Preston.
Preston cottage is one of the oldest cottages built in the English style. It is a two storey building. It has a beautiful and spacious rooms which are always kept clean and sparkling. There is a place for everything and everything is in its place Recently the cottage has been renovated and the bathing rooms and wash area have been fitted with the latest in tiling, wash basins and mirrors which are appreciated by all! Hot water from the solar heater is provided for regular baths. Each child has a large and spacious locker which is actually a little cupboard.
The children are looked after by an efficient warden and matron, who guide them, love them and motivate them to grow into responsible adults. There are children from the age group of 13 to 19. They are allowed to grow in an environment where they are able to make friends and live with them in harmony. The children learn to be responsible and self reliant. C. E. Grierson of Preston was Vice Chairman of the Lancashire Committee.
The foundation stone for Oldham Cottage was laid by the Hon. Mr. C.A. Souter, C.S.I., I.C.S., on 12th October 1935. It was originally built as a cottage for the smaller children in the age group of 6 to 8 years. However, it has now been converted into a cottage that houses 80 boys of Stds. VII, VIII and IX. The name of the cottage is another salute to the yeoman services performed by the Lancashire Committee in providing funds and staff to the Homes.
The cottage is situated very near to the School Flat. The cottage is equipped with an Aquaguard Purified Mineral Water System, Hi-Tech IFB Washing Machine and well cleaned and maintained surroundings as well as inside and outside toilets.
The children are looked after by a warden and matron. All the children are provided with spacious lockers and comfortable cots and mattresses. In the cottages, the students are taught to be honest and reliable characters. Gardening is an important part of the daily routine and Oldham cottage has a good garden. Apart from this the children have enough room round the cottage for their own games. They have a hot water boiler that provides a plentiful supply of water for bathing.
Oldham Master Cotton Spinners Association donated £. 500/- towards Building fund in 1913-1914.
A Board of Management minute dated 17th November 1917 reads as follows: “The Board approved the action of the Executive Committee in gratefully accepting an offer of Rs.17,500 from the John Lewis Memorial Committee to build a J.T. Lewis Memorial Cottage at Ketti”. On the 25th January 1923, Mr. Rothera presented the school with a photograph of Capt. Lewis to be placed in Lewis Cottage – this photograph is missing!
The above is the history behind the making of Lewis Cottage. This Cottage is for the senior-most boys in the school and houses 48 students of Stds. XI, XII and some boys from Std. X. They have solar heaters which provide them with hot and cold running water. They are also equipped with Aquaguard water for drinking, comfortable cots with foam mattresses, a steel cupboard each while the dayroom has been turned into a study room.
The boys are taken care of by a Warden and a Matron and a Ayah. The outside toilet which was woefully inadequate has been expanded from only eight cubicles to 22! They have their own box room too as well as a washing machine. The Head Boy and the Junior College Prefect have their own room with attached toilet and are expected to keep discipline in the cottage.
There are 47 boys from Stds. IX and X and two Prefects from Std. XII. The cottage was built in 1922 and used as the School Hospital in 1923. It now caters to every comfort of the boys. There are fine new floors and mattresses. Each boy has an individual locker big enough to be a small cupboard.
The Prefects have their own suite of rooms with attached toilets. The day room is provided with tables and benches to allow for extra study during the exams and over weekends. Solar panels provide an unlimited supply of hot water in the special cubicles for baths.
Recreation is provided for with the Tennis Court and Basketball Court which adjoin the cottage and the Golden Jubilee football field is only a stone’s throw away. Rs. 18,000/- donated by Mr. Eugene Fitzroy Oakshott and Mr Percy Oakshott, sons of Mr. Eugene Philip Oakshott (died 1911) in memory of their father who was Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ms. Spencer & Co. Ltd for very many years.