Monday, 26 December 2011

Boxing Day treats

Christmas day is over for another year. What will you be doing today? Travelling to see relatives? Off to the football? Continuing to force down chocolates and left overs from yesterday? For the Manchester Refuge boys' Boxing Day at the Strangeways Refuge was a time of giving. In the evening the boys would throw a party for children even worst off then themselves...

Manchester boys on the street 

Friday, 23 December 2011

Christmas Day at the Together Trust

The great event of the year at the Manchester and Salford Boys’ and Girls’ Refuges was Christmas with its good cheer and the arrival of Santa Claus. So as it’s only two days until Christmas I thought it was a good excuse to see how the charity used to celebrate the ‘big day!’

Taken from the Children’s Haven 1886

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Together Trust Christmas appeal

Last Sunday saw a familiar sight at the Together Trust Central Offices in Cheadle. Roaring down the road on motorbikes came around a hundred Santa’s, elves and Christmas fairies, members of the Roughley's Bikers, arriving to distribute presents to the charity. The Roughley’s Bikers’ present drop has been an annual occurrence for the last ten years, and has become a well-loved tradition for the children and young people at the Together Trust. 

Roughley's Bikers dropping off presents at the Together Trust, 2011

Friday, 9 December 2011

24 hour shelter people

"Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests but many a little child received there has had no mother’s arms outstretched to receive him, no place to lay his head."

This was observed by William Edmondson, Secretary to the Manchester and Salford Boys’ and Girls’ Refuges and Homes, in 1921, when speaking of the charity’s Children Shelter on Chatham Street. The home was opened in 1883 to give shelter to children sleeping on the streets of Manchester. Up until 1920 it received 15,000 children through its doors, taking them out of the cold and into safety. 

Children’s Shelter ‘Mother’ receiving a child from a policeman

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Reunions and donations

Last Saturday was a special day for the Together Trust as the charity welcomed some old friends back to its central offices. Past service users of the Together Trust’s residential homes returned to Cheadle to reminisce, see old friends and look around the buildings which they used to live in. We hope it was enjoyed by all who attended. We certainly loved hearing their stories!

Playing table tennis in the Belmont grounds

Friday, 25 November 2011

Famous connections

Strolling through the streets of Manchester yesterday I soon found myself outside House of Fraser on Deansgate. The building has been a large department store since 1835 when Thomas Kendal, James Milne and Adam Faulkner bought the shop. It has traded under various names before becoming part of the House of Fraser chain in 2005, but is still known to most Mancunians’ as Kendal Milne. The sight of the building got me thinking about our own connection to one of these famous families, the Milnes, and how they have contributed to the charity’s history…   

Belmont House in the 1950s


Tuesday, 22 November 2011

If you go down to the mines today....

Today we are moving away from the history of the Together Trust to have a look at some of the work being done by the charity to ensure its records are being protected for the future. So how do we do this? By going down the mines…

All dressed up.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Armistice Day

“This is no time for words. Our hearts are too full of gratitude to which no tongue can give adequate expression.” David Lloyd George, 11/11/1918 

So says another of our famous Mancunians, 93 years ago, on the 11th November 1918. As we wear our poppies with pride today, remembering those who fought for our country over the years, my mind wanders back to Manchester and the effects the ‘Great War’ had on its children.    

Poppy appeal

Monday, 7 November 2011

Big bangs, hot potatoes and fun!

On Saturday the Together Trust welcomed back its bonfire night to Schools Hill, where it had been missing for the last two years. The night was a great success; a huge bonfire, fairground rides and doughnuts galore, finished off with a pretty spectacular fireworks display. By the end of the night we came away feeling a little bit like we’d been to Glastonbury, due to the mud-soaked clothing and masses of people swarming round a field, but a good time was had by all. Thanks to all of you who turned up and supported us!


Thursday, 3 November 2011

The Caxton Brigade

There is never anything more satisfying to a researcher than the immortal words ‘out of copyright’. "Hurrah!" they think, "I can use this for any promotion I choose!"

And so a happy researcher comes to today’s ye olde story about the work of the Together Trust, settling on the tale of the Caxton Brigade.
Messenger Brigade outside the Children’s Shelter around 1910

Monday, 31 October 2011

Ghosts and ghouls

As tonight is Halloween we thought we’d delve headfirst through the dust and dirt to find tales of some ghostly visits from the archive...

In 1920 the Together Trust purchased 22 acres of land in Cheadle, Cheshire in order to take children out of the slums of Manchester into the cleaner air of the countryside. With the land came Belmont House which was formally the residence of the Milne family. The Milne’s were well known in Manchester due to their Department Store, which was set up on Deansgate and known to many as Kendal Milne (now House of Frasier) since 1836. Belmont itself was built around the 1800s and adapted by Alfred Waterhouse in 1864, a famous architect best known for his design of the Natural History Museum in London and Manchester Town Hall

Friday, 28 October 2011

D. L. Moody and 12 orphan boys

To please our American readers we are setting sail across the sea to land in Massachusetts, to reveal a story involving the famous American evangelist, Dwight Lyman Moody, 12 orphan boys from Manchester and a brave child’s fight to save his pal.

The Refuge  had been partaking in the emigration of some of Manchester’s orphan children since 1872, across to the spacious, clean lands in Ontario, Canada. Here they would live with the local farmers, working the land if they were boys or helping out in domestic duties if girls.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

The Indefatigable

Today we dabble our feet in the water and move off dry land to the port of Birkenhead, following in the footsteps of hundreds of Manchester boys in the late 18th and early 19th century. Their destination? The Indefatigable! A training ship moored in the River Mersey, which aimed to prepare boys for a life in the Merchant Navy.

       Illustration from the Illustrated London News is of the training ship Indefatigable. 

Monday, 24 October 2011

A history of Bethesda, 1890 to 1958

I give various talks about the Together Trust’s history to groups of people who want to know more about the charity. One of the more familiar names of the various different homes we have run is that of Bethesda, which was open from 1890 to 1958 in Manchester and 1959 to 1999 in Cheadle, Cheshire. Having little time to devote solely to this service during these talks I thought it was time to put the original Bethesda in the spotlight...

The Bethesda Home for Crippled and Incurable Children, 1904

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

'The Ever Open Door' exhibition

Helping people in need for over 140 years

Venue: The John Rylands Library,
150 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3EH
From Monday 4th July 2011 to Saturday 10th December 2011
Drawing on its extensive archive as one of the North West region’s founding charities of social care and special education services, the Together Trust marks its 140th anniversary with a major exhibition from its formation as the Manchester and Salford Boys’ and Girls’ Refuges and Homes in 1870 through to the present day.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Our hero….

Leonard Kilbee Shaw

Today we are focusing on the life and work of one man – Leonard Kilbee Shaw – who was the founder of the Manchester and Salford Boys’ and Girls’ Refuges and Homes and the hero of our story….

Friday, 14 October 2011

How it all began....

The Old Refuge Yard, Strangeways, Together Trust Archive, PH/4/15