Title ID 7075Collection ID985
Title[Children from Ockenden Venture: Laura and Martha]
CollectionOckenden Venture
KeywordsChildren Charities Houses Domestic Gardens Swimming
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionOckenden Venture
FormatColour Silent
Duration3 min. 34 sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


Scenes shot in the garden of an Ockenden home of Laura and Martha, aged six.


Two six year old girls swim in a pool. They lie on a swinging bench together, both wearing matching blue dresses with white collars. They climb on a fence and walk along in. Behind are countryside views. Laura (blonde) rides a bike in the garden. The two girls perform handstands and eat a picnic. Laura bounces on a bunny hopper in the garden, grinning to the camera. She is joined by Martha on another bunny hopper.

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.