Mr Gosling's Homes for Aged Women in Cassio Road opened in 1906. Henry Gosling (b. c1854 - d.1918) was a missionary at the Watford Town Mission in the lower High Street. He visited the elderly and saw many impoverished ladies who were concerned about how to pay the rent for their accommodation.
Mr Gosling's charitable work began in 1896 and with assistance from some affluent local people he raised funds to rent a cottage; then another and eventually had ten cottages in Watford. He rented rooms at the small sum of 6d. per week and his daughter collected the rents and enquired about the health of each lady. Annual house-to-house collections started and with help from a Mr. A King-Smith Mr Gosling bought land in Cassio Road to build new homes. Mr King-Smith's daughter laid the foundation stone and the Cassio Road Gosling homes for aged women were opened in 1906.
The single rooms were let to approximately 22 respectable ladies over 60 who had been residents of Watford for over five years. They were required to give two references and be checked over by the Gosling Homes doctor. There was a housekeeper on site and everything was provided for the residents except clothing. There was a bathroom upstairs, cold water upstairs and down and a wash-house in the garden with a copper and mangle for laundry.
In 1959 there was a refurbishment and a bedroom and living room was created for each resident, plus the number of bathrooms increased. Central heating and fire doors were also installed.
Gosling Homes are still occupied and are now converted to 7 flats plus an onsite manager. The criteria now is for "ladies over 50 years of limited means".
We are grateful to Janet Golding for this piece of research.
References: Echoes of Old Watford, Bushey and Oxhey - Ted Parrish
Mary Forsyth at Watford Museum
and Gosling Trustee Mr Garnett Harper.
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