North West Film Archive
North West Film Archive
Returning Home 1948

Swiss Adventure For Delicate Children

Update!
Following our appeal, we have now made contact with 20 families. On Sunday 24th June 2018, 80 people attended a 70th anniversary screening at No.70 Oxford Street to share the stories and experiences of some of those ‘delicate children’, including their children and grandchildren. We were especially delighted to welcome 10 of the ‘children’ in person! Professor Melanie Tebbutt of Manchester Metropolitan University’s Centre for Youth Studies introduced the screening, setting the scene for child health and welfare in 1948, and she will be developing further research into this Swiss adventure, and its wider context. We are still looking for 'Children'? Do you know any?

Please get in touch!

10 Children

Updates will follow. See also an item online in the Manchester Evening News on 23rd June. Manchester Evening News Link HERE


The North West Film Archive is pleased to announce a new project based around one of its films, Returning Home, made exactly 70 years ago.

On the 22nd March 1948, 238 ‘delicate’ children from Manchester and Salford set off for Switzerland. Invited by the Swiss Government to spend three months living with host families in Switzerland, these lucky youngsters were to enjoy plentiful fresh air and good food to build them up after their wartime deprivations. Aged between 5 and 10 years, the excited party left Manchester’s London Road station with an escort of 12 adults, including teachers, nurses and a doctor.

Returning three months later on 24th June, their return trip was filmed from their arrival on the ferry at Folkestone, and this unique record of the journey and family reunions at Manchester’s Mayfield Station is preserved in the North West Film Archive. The Archive is planning to show the film around 24th June to mark the 70th anniversary of the children’s return, and is looking for anyone who was involved. Some have discovered the film for themselves over the years, and much has been learned from their accounts.

Were you one of the children? Or was a member of your family?

Do you recognise anyone in these pictures? Or remember hearing about it?

Please get in touch!



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Disembarking at Folkestone
Disembarking at Folkestone
Getting on the train to London at Folkestone Harbour station
Getting on the train to London at Folkestone Harbour station
Getting on the train to London at Folkestone Harbour station
A family from Ardwick arrives at Mayfield station in central Manchester
Parents from Miles Platting take the bus towards Mayfield Station to meet their child
The train arrives at Mayfield Station, Manchester
One of the filmed reunions

Select an image

Enjoy some highlights from the film below
Please get in touch if you recognise yourself or anyone else