Title ID 7051Collection ID985
TitleSuffer the Little Children, Bickerton Grange
CollectionOckenden Venture
Genre/TypeProfessionalFilm/Video companyNon-fiction
ThemeFamily life
KeywordsCharities Children Domestic Gardens Social Problems Family Houses
NationalEngland United Kingdom
NarratorMichael Parkinson
FormatBlack & White Sound
Duration6 min. 39 sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


Michael Parkinson narrates a 1965 Granada Television documentary: "Scene at 630" featuring the Ockenden Venture home of Bickerton Grange in Yorkshire, run by Mr. and Mrs. Lovell.


"From the North Granada presents... from "Scene at 6.30"... The Ockenden Venture, Home for Refugee Children, Bickerton Grange, Wetherby, Yorks... with Mr. and Mrs. Lovell, Houseparents."

Sixteen children live in the Lovell's family home, twelve are from camps in Germany and four are English orphans. The children are "not simply cared for, but grafted into the family." Children play cricket in the garden. In an interview, Mr. Lovell admits "it can be rather trying... but on the one or two occasions when we are free of them it doesn't feel right." Their own children are integrated with the refugee intake; "we can never take the place of mother and father but perhaps we can help them through these difficult years." "It is more of a question of being an aunt and an uncle," says Mrs. Lovell. They live off a low income from Ockenden Venture to provide a home for the children.

"Devised and narrated by Michael Parkinson. The Ockenden Venture provides home, health and education for refugee children from Europe and Tibet."

Contextual information

Ockenden Venture was founded in Woking, Surrey in 1951 by teachers Joyce Pearce OBE, Ruth Hicks and Margaret Dixon in aid of displaced Eastern European children after WW2. It aimed “to provide for their maintenance, clothing, education, recreation, health and general welfare.” Further houses in Haselmere and Donnigton Hall near Derby were soon acquired. Eight new houses were opened after World Refugee Year (1959-1960) increased charitable donations. Ockenden opened twenty five centres in response to the crisis in Vietnam, accepting the ‘boat people’ after the government decided to accept Vietnamese refugees fleeing after the invasion of China in 1979. Joyce Pearce died in 1985 after over thirty years of work. Ockenden International focuses its efforts on overseas projects.

Related resources


Ockenden International, Surrey History Centre (SHC Ref 7155)

Records include minutes, annual reports, correspondence, papers, personal files, photographs, documenting lives of staff and refugees at Woking, Haslemere and overseas in Asia, the Middle East and northern Africa.


Surrey History Centre

The website for the Surrey History Centre

Exploring Surrey’s Past

An online history of Ockenden international, previously Ockenden Venture, in text and photographs from Surrey History Centre archives. A grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) enabled the history of Ockenden International to be preserved. The charity’s archive held at Surrey History Centre has been catalogued and memories have been recorded.