Your local Salvation Army quarter

We live in Hvidovre’s Svendebjergekvarter, named after Salvation Army types such as William and Catherine Booth, Lucy Booth-Hellberg, Dr Wille (who has his own kindergarten) and HC Bojsen. There are a lot of parallel streets but there’s a space in the middle which we’ve tended to ignore. A bit of research revealed its cradle to grave (with a touch of Call the Midwife) story.

From local history site and Et flot initiativ (article in Hvidovre Avis), both with great pics:

  • mid 1600s: land farmed by three farmers, Olluf Ibsen, Olle Olsen and Anders Pederszen
  • 1767: Hans Larsen bought the deeds to the land from the king
  • 1863: Hans Andersen bought deeds; wife Maren Kirstine Christiansen, children Elise Hansen and Christen Hansen (family gravestone in Hvidovre Kirkegård)
  • 1888: Christen Hansen took over farm
  • 1912: land sold to Cort Christen Pedersen
  • 1918: land bought by architect Jøgen Jørgensen, a major in the Salvation Army, and divided into parcels
  • 1919: shelter for 25 unmarried and expectant mothers opened – Catherine Booth Kolonien; mothers could stay for up to a year
  • 1920: Svendebjergård donated to the Salvation Army
  • 1925: childrens home opened, mothers could get em back when could afford it
  • 1955: new building opened in front of the old farm, which in 1973 became a children’s home and in 1988 a 25 room crisis centre/shelter (pics) offering accommodation to people in need (makes me think of the workhouse)
  • 1957: old building became Solgården kindergarten
  • 1971: Kastanjehuset, for the very small, set up
  • 2011: holiday home closed; combined kindergarten  for 131 charges, equipped with chickens, pigs, rabbits, snakes(?) and other animals, as part of a nature centre open to other kindergartens in the kommune; see pic of (I hope) stuffed fox and some Midwich Cuckoo types on the scary website; I’d have refused to have gone

photo credit: Hvidovre Avis

Backing onto all this is Svendeberghave Plejehjem (old folks home). Despite the holy welfare state, it’s quite expensive – as are the kindergartens. Imagine, I thought it all came free after you’d paid your tax…

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