Grace Kimmins has been called many things:
'a genius', 'the greatest beggar in England', 'a small woman with
a big heart','a pied piper', one of the greatest English women of 
the twentieth century', 'a goddess with a chuckle', 'a spiritual 
successor to Florence Nightingale'.

Her enduring achievement was the founding of a craft school for 
disabled children from the Bermondsey slums at Chailey.
Today, Chailey Heritage still stands proud in the Sussex 
But Grace had already achieved much in her life before she 
brought the first 7 boys down from London in 1903. 
She had worked as a Sister of the People out of the West London 
Mission, setting up both the Guild of Play and the Guild of the 
Brave Poor Things. 
She then moved to the Bermondsey Settlement where she expanded 
that work. She married Charles Kimmins, an educational 
But her dream was to have a residential school in the countryside 
for the disabled.

Grace Kimmins and her Chailey Heritage tells the story of how she 
made that dream a reality. 

To purchase a copy of the book, please click on the paypal button 
Don't worry if you don't have a paypal account, you will be offered
the option to pay by debit or credit card.
Please note the actual cost of the book is £10. P & P is £2.20. 
All proceeds from the sale of this new book are being donated to
Chailey Heritage Foundation which continues today to do amazing 
work for children and young adults with complex needs.

Any books ordered prior to the launch date of 12th October 2018
will be despatched on 13th October


New book

Read the fascinating story of Grace Kimmins, from her social work in the Bermondsey slums in the 1890s, the founding of her unique craft school for disabled boys in Chailey, Sussex in 1903, through two World Wars, to the takeover of Chailey Heritage by the NHS in 1948.


Posted in Bermondsey, Bermondsey Settlement, books by Ros Black, Chailey Heritage, Chailey Heritage Foundation, Grace Kimmins, Guild of Play, Guild of the Brave Poor Things, Sisters of the People, Victorian Do-Gooders, West London Mission, West London Mission, Sister of the People, Bermondsey Settlement, Chailey Heritage Foundation, women's history | Leave a comment


To book your free tickets for the launch of my new book at Chailey Heritage GK publicity photo

Thursday 12th October at 6pm go to


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Grace Kimmins and her Chailey Heritage

Chailey Heritage CVR 3

New book out on 12th October 2018

Exciting news – my new book is being launched at Chailey Heritage on 12th October.

To book your free ticket go to

You will shortly be able to pre-order the book prior to its launch – watch this space


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Every day I seem to discover a new heroine – a woman who was prepared to break the mould of subservient womanhood.

As my particular interest lies in the mid/late Victorian period, most of my heroines  were those who didn’t let their lack of political power prevent them from working to improve the lives of others. Of course, there were the ‘Lady Bountifuls’ but there were so many genuine humanitarians whose work we have forgotten.

cover jpeg

To celebrate International Women’s Day, if you order Scandal Salvation and Suffrage – The Amazing women of The Temperance Movement before 31st March 2016 you will also receive a copy of Duxhurst – Surrey’s Lost Village, which tells the story of Lady Henry Somerset’s Farm Colony for Inebriate Women, FREE.

Duxhurst - Surrey's Lost Village


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Check out this special deal – limited period only

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The fight for women’s rights – the women’s temperance movement played a big part

With the new film Suffragette being released this October, there will be renewed interest in the women’s suffrage movement. I’m looking forward to seeing the film, starring Meryl Streep and Carey Mulligan but I hope it doesn’t glorify the role of the suffragettes, without at least some mention of the many women who believed that women’s suffrage could, and would, be achieved by women making their arguments peaceably and logically.

Many of the women who promoted temperance were strong, intelligent women – Lady Henry Somerset and Rosalind Howard, Countess of Carlisle to name just 2. Naturally they saw the sense in women having the vote and baulked at the notion that they were an inferior species. They demonstrated through their temperance work that they were very capable of organising themselves, locally and nationally. They held rallies and demonstrations. They had their own journals. They travelled the country delivering powerful speeches. Their appeal crossed the social divide and they should be given some credit for awakening the sleeping giant which was the voice of women’s emancipation.

It was no co-incidence that the joint founder, and 3rd President, of the British Women’s Temperance Association was Margaret Bright Lucas – the sister of MP John Bright, a forward thinking reformer, best known for his anti Corn Law campaign.margaret Bright Lucas

Posted in Fight for women's suffrage, Lady Henry Somerset, Rosalind Howard Countess of Carlisle, Suffragettes, Suffragists, Temperance, Victorian temperance movement, Women's Right to Vote, Women's Rights | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Sincere apologies to those who have booked for my talk in Plymouth.

Due to a sudden death in the family, I need to be elsewhere so am having to cancel the talk.

I am sorry for the inconvenience caused.

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