Title ID 7061Collection ID985
TitleOpening of Venture House
DateNovember 1955
CollectionOckenden Venture
Genre/TypeProfessionalTelevision companyInstitutionalNon-fictionNewsreel/News
ThemeFamily life
KeywordsCharities Children Domestic Gardens Performing Arts Religious Activities Recreational Facilities Ceremonies Celebrations Buildings Houses
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionBBC Television Newsreel
FormatBlack & White Silent
Duration2 min. 53 sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


Venture House, an Ockenden Venture home for refugee children founded by Joyce Pearce, is opened by the Dean of Windsor. Included are scenes of the children during recreational activitiee.


A Bishop performs a ceremony at Venture House. Men, women and children are gathered in the garden. A plaque reads "Venture House opened November 18th 1955 by The Right Reverend Bishop Eric Hamilton Dean of Windsor." Children eat a meal at a large dining table covered with a a check table cloth. An art class is held in one of the rooms. A girl in her early teens plays the piano (no sound) and smiles for the camera. Younger girls pray before bed time.

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.