Bedford Park Boys' Training Centre was established by the government in 1961 at Bedford Park. It operated as a reformatory and took boys from the Boys' Reformatory at Magill and temporarily housed girls from Vaughan House in separate sections. From 1962 it accommodated up to 50 boys above school age only. The home closed in 1965. Boys moved to Boys' Reformatory, Magill, Brookway Park, and Windana Remand Centre.
In 1961 the Children's Welfare and Public Relief Board took over a 400-acre (162 hectares) property and a range of buildings at Bedford Park to create a new reformatory and training centre. This site had been under the control of the Hospitals Department and used as a sanatorium for patients with tuberculosis. The new institution was named the Bedford Park Boys' Training Centre. The large property also included a farm which the Board considered could be used to provide an occupation for boys, assisting in their training and rehabilitation. The Board's Annual report for 1961 described accommodation at the institution as 'comprising solidly constructed buildings and timber chalets'.
From July 1961 to June 1962, the Home was used as temporary accommodation for girls from Vaughan House to alleviate overcrowding in that institution. A few months after the arrival of the girls, selected boys from the Boys' Reformatory Magill were brought to Bedford Park. All were above school age. They resided in a distinct boys section from October 1961 until October 1965.
In 1962 the girls were moved out when the first stage of rebuilding was completed at Vaughan House. From that time, Bedford Park accommodated boys only, most being transferred from Boys' Reformatory, Magill. However, boys on remand and boys from other institutions whom the Board considered needed 'discipline and training' were also placed there.
While at Bedford Park boys trained in farming, gardening and general property maintenance. Jobs included working with sheep, pigs and poultry and planting, maintaining and harvesting crops, vegetables and fruit. They also received instruction in carpentry and metal work.
During its existence, Bedford Park generally accommodated between 30 and 38 boys, although at times the institution accommodated close to 50.
In October 1965 redevelopments at the Boys' Reformatory at Magill were completed and both the Brookway Park institution for junior boys at Campbelltown and the Windana Remand Home at Glandore were opened. All the boys were moved out of the Bedford Park Boys' Training Centre to these institutions and it closed. The Flinders University of South Australia took over the land and buildings.
Sources used to compile this entry: George, Karen, Finding your own way, Nunkuwarrin Yunti of South Australia Inc., 2005, http://nunku.org.au/resources/; GRG29/1 Annual Report of the Children's Welfare and Public Relief Board 1961, State Records of South Australia; GRG29/1 Annual Report of the Children's Welfare and Public Relief Board 1962, State Records of South Australia; GRG29/1 Annual Report of the Children's Welfare and Public Relief Board 1965, State Records of South Australia; GRG29/1 Annual Report of the Children's Welfare and Public Relief Board 1966, State Records of South Australia.
Prepared by: Karen George and Gary George
Created: 7 February 2011, Last modified: 29 May 2015