Martha Frew Children's Home Information

Hazel Newman made this Freedom of Information request to Assessor for Fife Council

Assessor for Fife Council did not have the information requested.

From: Hazel Newman

25 April 2010

Dear Assessor for Fife Council,

I have tried to no avail to get sight of any documents that relate
to the Martha Frew Children's Home and its subsequent closure. I
have already contacted the National Library of Scotland and
Barnado's who have tried and failed,I now turn to you for this
request

Yours faithfully,

Hazel Macmillan

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From: Hazel Newman

1 June 2010

Dear Assessor for Fife Council,

I have still not heard from you regarding my request concerning The
Martha Frew Home. Please let me know your position regarding access
to this information. I hope that an internal review is not
necessary in this case.

Yours faithfully,

Hazel Newman

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5 June 2010

Sent request to Assessor for Fife Council again, using a new contact address.

Alex Skene left an annotation ( 5 June 2010)

Quote-marks WhatDoTheyKnow.com has been advised of a new email address for the Assessor for Fife Council, and we have resent the FOI request to this address.

Alex - WhatDoTheyKnow.com volunteer

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28 June 2010

Sent request to Assessor for Fife Council again.

From: Walter Smith
Assessor for Fife Council

2 July 2010

Ms Newman

This office holds no documents relating to the Martha Frew Children's Home
or its subsequent closure.

From local knowledge it is understood that buildings that formed parts of
the Home are now parts of Keavil House Hotel, Crossford. There will have
been entries in past Valuation Rolls for the Home and these would contain
information on Property Description, Location, Proprietor, Tenant,
Occupier, Rating Valuation and Effective Date. However, this office only
holds copies of Valuation Rolls since a 1 April 1980 on which the Home
does not appear. Copies of earlier Valuation Rolls covering the Crossford
area should be available from National Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh
as copies should have been lodged with the Keeper of Records. You may wish
to approach this source should you wish to review the contents of old
Valuation Rolls. Contact details are available on the National Archives of
Scotland website at [1]www.nas.gov.uk.

I trust the above will be of some assistance to you.

If you are unhappy with this reply you may require the Assessor to review
my actions and decisions in relation to your request. Please note that the
request for review should be made in writing within forty working days of
receipt of this response. Your request for review will be dealt with by
the Assessor, who will reply to you in writing within 20 working days.

If you are still not satisfied, you are entitled to apply to the Scottish
Information Commissioner for a decision at:

The Office of Scottish Information Commissioner
Kinburn Castle
Doubledykes Road
St Andrews
Fife KY16 9DS
Tele no 01334 464410

Further details can be obtained on the Commissioner's website at
[2]www.itspublicknowledge.info/yourrights .

Sincerely

Walter M Smith
Assistant Assessor
Assessor & Electoral Registration Service
Forth House
Abbotshall Road
Kirkcaldy
Fife KY1 1RU

"Think Green" and only print this email if absolutely necessary

>>> Hazel Newman <[FOI #33889 email]> 28/06/10
15:13 >>>
Dear Assessor for Fife Council,

I have tried to no avail to get sight of any documents that relate
to the Martha Frew Children's Home and its subsequent closure. I
have already contacted the National Library of Scotland and
Barnado's who have tried and failed,I now turn to you for this
request

Yours faithfully,

Hazel Macmillan

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Hazel Newman left an annotation ( 3 July 2010)

Quote-marks The subsequent closure of this Children's Home and its lasting social implications when it was in use is of importance to me. The existence if the Martha Frew Home is virtually unknown except to those who stayed there whether staff and child. I was to stay there three times in my childhood, along with some of my brothers. As one of these children and I am conscious that there 'appears' to be a deficit where the information should be.

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From: Hazel Newman

3 July 2010

Dear Walter Smith,

thank you for the offer of Valuation Rolls. This is not the
information I require. I am more interested in the actual running
and reasons why the Children's Home closed. There must have been
reports on Child Welfare and more general but important matters. I
require also the staffing qualifications, and any other archived
data that must have been created when a facility like this was in
existence.
Please would you let me know if there is anything else available to
Fife Council or any parent body that may hold information.
I appreciate your letter, but it fails to provide anything in this
case. Please would you write back promptly if you know of another
avenue I might take.

Yours sincerely,

Hazel Newman

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From: Walter Smith
Assessor for Fife Council

7 July 2010

Ms Newman

This Assessor for Fife Council is separately registered as a public
authority for Freedom of Information distinct from Fife Council as a
whole. We only deal with valuation for rating, council tax and electoral
registration. Prior to 1 April 1989, this office only dealt with valuation
for rating and electoral registration. We do not have, nor have ever had,
any responsibilities for the management or operation of children's homes,
or any aspects of child welfare. Your original request did not clarify
what documents you were interested in, nor why you had made it of this
office. However, as we do not hold any information relating to your
request, the response was straight forward and no clarification was
required.

Your clarification of the information you are interested in would appear
to indicate that initially it would be more appropriately directed to Fife
Council as a whole. Fife Council will be the successor body for previous
local authorities and may have some archived or other information which
could assist. As there can be no certainty about what part of Fife Council
may have information there are a couple of ways you might progress a
request.

You might wish to make it through the whatdotheyknow website by selecting
to send it to Fife Council which is one of the public authorities listed.
Having had a quick look it appears there have been several requests made
of Fife Council by this means that have been responded to.

Alternatively, you can make direct contact using the following mail or
email address:

Information Co-ordinator
Fife House
North Street
Glenrothes
Fife KY7 5LT
[1][email address]

Whichever method you choose, I'm sure it would assist responding to your
request if you could include an indication of the scope of information you
are seeking as well as confirming where the Martha Frew home was.

I note that your email subject includes the text "Internal review of
Freedom of Information request". However, you make no reference to such a
request in the text of your email and I will not initiate this procedure
with the Assessor until you confirm that you wish it. Such a review would
only cover this office and as already confirmed we hold no information.
I trust the above will be of some assistance.

Sincerely

Walter M Smith
Assistant Assessor
Assessor & Electoral Registration Service
Forth House
Abbotshall Road
Kirkcaldy
Fife KY1 1RU

"Think Green" and only print this email if absolutely necessary
>>> Hazel Newman <[FOI #33889 email]> 03/07/10
17:33 >>>
Dear Walter Smith,

thank you for the offer of Valuation Rolls. This is not the
information I require. I am more interested in the actual running
and reasons why the Children's Home closed. There must have been
reports on Child Welfare and more general but important matters. I
require also the staffing qualifications, and any other archived
data that must have been created when a facility like this was in
existence.
Please would you let me know if there is anything else available to
Fife Council or any parent body that may hold information.
I appreciate your letter, but it fails to provide anything in this
case. Please would you write back promptly if you know of another
avenue I might take.

Yours sincerely,

Hazel Newman

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Hazel Newman left an annotation (11 July 2010)

Quote-marks I will contact the Fife Council as recommended by Mr Walter Smith. I need help to know what is the right way to follow this line of enquiry.I was told some time ago that some of the information is under the Official Secrets Act (via a Librarian) any advice would be most helpful.

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Roger left an annotation (27 August 2010)

Quote-marks Hazel

I am making 'similar' enquiries also relating to these matters.

Kind Regards

Roger

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Roger left an annotation (12 September 2010)

Quote-marks Dear Authority

I read with interest the responses and in turn the fairly confusing matter relating to the Martha Frew Home. Archive Searches at FIFE, DUNFERMLINE and NATIONAL ARCHIVES demonstrate the existence of the documents being reffered to.
My interest put simply is precisely the same as that of Hazel Newman.
Whilst I understand due process I cannot understand the fairly elongated communication when the documents clearly exist.
This note is merely is to indicate my frustration and request that documents be recovered.

The reference to other protracted enquiry or process merely serves to delay. My enquiry in this respect will now move to Ministerial level.

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Hazel Newman left an annotation (11 October 2010)

Quote-marks Find the new website, still under construction and actively requesting input from those who were placed in the care of Martha Frew Home, may have memories, images and documents to share to create an ever clearer picture of life in a Fife Childrens Home in the 1950's and 1960's.

www.spanglefish.com/marthafrewchildren

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martha wilson left an annotation (27 October 2010)

Quote-marks I have read with interest the inquiries into the running of the Martha Frew home. I was sent to this place a child of four and then again at the age of six. I do not have happy memories of it. My cousin showed me a photograph of a group of children who lived there at that time. I will ask her if I can get a copy of it. I have tried online a few times to see photographs of it but they do not seem to exist.

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christine left an annotation (15 December 2010)

Quote-marks Hello there. Whilst surfing the web to try and find info on a childrens home that I and my brothers and sisters went to in the 60,s, I came across your story about Martha Frew Childrens Home. The home we were in was St Michaels nr Leuchars, and I can,t find anything on that one either. If you do manage to find a way of getting the info you are looking for, could you possibly let me know how you did it. I wish you the best of luck.

Regards
Christine.

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A Roe left an annotation (27 January 2011)

Quote-marks Regarding St Michael's children's home in Leuchars. My aunt - Janet Mclaren - was the matron there for many, many years - right up until its closure. I only came across your message as I was searching for information about the place.

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Gordon Crichton left an annotation ( 6 February 2012)

Quote-marks I was in the Martha Frew during the period from 1953 to 1957 with my two sisters and my brother. We were under the care of Dunfermline Council at the the time. Some years ago I wrote to Fife Council and received a similar stonewall response to yours.They said that documents had been lost when they moved their headquarters to Glenrothes. There was no apology or offer of help to get more information.
This was an important and traumatic period of our childhood and the wall of silence is disturbing. I do not ever remember being ill treated in any way, but I would like to know what assessments were made of me and my siblings during our stay there.

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Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Assessor for Fife Council only: