Hollesley Bay (HM Prison)

Hollesley Bay (HM Prison)

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Hollesley Bay (HM Prison)

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HM Prison Hollesley Bay, known locally as Hollesley Bay Colony (to which signposts still point) or simply The Colony, is a Category D men's prison and Young Offenders Institution, located in the village of Hollesley, about 8 miles (13 km) from the town of Woodbridge in Suffolk, England. The prison is operated by Her Majesty's Prison Service.


Hollesley Bay began in 1887 as a colonial college training those intending to emigrate. The prison had housed a labour colony for the London unemployed. The land was originally purchased by Joseph Fels, an American soap-manufacturing millionaire and friend of George Lansbury, the prominent Christian Socialist who was also a leading member of the Poplar Board of Guardians. In 1905 Fels transferred the land to the London Unemployed Fund, who in turn handed it over to the Central Unemployed Body for London. Subsequently it was taken over by London County Council.

There was a number of similar labour colonies across Britain. Their aim was to train unemployed people for work, with a view to helping them escape pauperism. Hollesley Bay was typical in that it mainly involved exposing its inmates to a period of work either on agricultural tasks or in the kitchens and other relatively unskilled activities. There was a short-lived strike among the inmates in May 1922, partly sparked by dissatisfaction over the inmates' levels of pay. It was said to hold around 280 men in 1923, rising to 366 in the late 1920s, and falling to...
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