Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Christmas in the Children’s Garden-Village

(Extracts from the December report of the Honorary Matron, 1926.)

“This has been our seventh Christmas at Belmont, and it has been a real kiddies’ Christmas. The preparations in the kitchen are watched with eagerness, and the stirring of the plum puddings is carried out to the accompaniment of almost deafening cheers. There are many willing hands for the decorating of the rooms and the coming of the great Christmas Tree at night-time intensifies the excitement.  

Bringing in the Christmas Tree, 1935

Friday, 20 December 2013

Christmas in Ontario

It’s the 20th December and to shut out the looming panic of shopping lists only half completed we’ll turn instead to Christmas across the seas and see how our Canadian family used to celebrate the festive season.

Christmas Letter Home 1904

Friday, 13 December 2013

The Gaddum Family

Today we turn to look at a family who have represented and supported the Together Trust since 1902. When a family is associated for over a hundred years with a charity it is impossible to highlight all the work different individuals have partaken in within one small blog. With two chairmen, trustees, committee members and numerous donators, the family have been at the core of the charity’s success over the last 143 years.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Inside the Bethesda Home

We are returning to Bethesda on George Street this week to coincide with UK Disability History Month (UKDHM) 22 November – 22 December 2013. The aim this year is to explore the history of attitudes and how disabled people's lives have been marked by change.

Bethesda, 1900

Friday, 29 November 2013

The Greatness of Ducie Street

In 1888 a set of buildings were purchased on Great Ducie Street, near to the main Central Refuge on Francis Street. These were originally held under lease from the Lord Ducie estate.

Artist's Impression

Friday, 22 November 2013

Explore Your Archive Campaign

We’ve spoken before on this blog about how vital our records are to many different communities in the local area. This week sees archives across Manchester, and the rest of the UK, come together to raise awareness of their collections and their value to society. 


Thursday, 14 November 2013

A little white house

Here is a photograph sent across to me quite recently of a little white house. I wonder whether any of our regular readers may have an inkling as to what this building (now converted to residential flats) used to be. The blue sky would probably give a good clue that it was not one of our Manchester homes….

The white house*

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Making Rough Places Plain

Many of our different blogs have taken quotes or stories from the book Making Rough Places Plain. Consequently it may be time to delve into this publication a bit deeper. 

Front pages of 'Making Rough Places Plain'

Thursday, 31 October 2013

All Hallows' Eve

“While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door”.`
'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more."

The Raven, Edgar Allan Poe 1845

It’s Halloween at the Together Trust and as staff members dress up in scary costumes to raise money for the charity the archive delves deep into its gloomy depths in search of spooky tales.

Can you tell the difference?

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Preventing Scuttling

I was lent a book recently entitled, 'The Gangs of Manchester: The Story of The Scuttlers' by Andrew Davies. The book revolves around Manchester at the end of the nineteenth century and the turf wars which existed between groups of teenagers. Scuttlers belonged to their own distinct group; the Bengal Tigers, the Meadow Lads and the Pollard Street Scuttlers, to name a few, fiercely defended their own patch. Weapons included belt buckles and knives as well as the boy’s fists and feet. From 1870 the industrial slums of Manchester and Salford saw the emergence of a brutal gang culture that lasted for 30 years. 

Strangeways Prison – A common sight to many a scuttler
“A scuttler is a lad, usually between the ages of 14 and 18, or even 19, and scuttling consists of the fighting of two opposed bands of youths, who are armed with various weapons”. 
Alexander Devine, Scuttlers and Scuttling: Their Prevention and Cure. (Manchester, 1890)

So how is this book relevant to the story of the Manchester and Salford Boys and Girls Refuges and Home? When the charity started on that cold day back in January 1870 the boys that looked for shelter were largely those in their mid teens. The early descriptions labelled them as ‘wretched’, ‘ragged’ and ‘deplorable’. Other descriptions however relate more to violent pasts.

‘“A man of war from his youth” [he] left his mark on nearly every lad who dared to offend him’. Making Rough Places Plain, p56

Is there a scuttler amongst them?
It is possible that a scuttler found his way into the auspices of the charity especially those in remand. Similarly a boy who left the Refuge and returned to the districts of slum areas such as Greengate, Angel Meadow and Ancoats may have joined local gangs. More importantly however was the influence of the charity to prevent boys of this age from falling in with the wrong crowds. As well as promoting a hard work ethic, the charity also aimed to bring its inmates up as god fearing, law abiding citizens. Without its guidance and support it is likely many more boys would have contributed to the ever growing numbers of scuttlers in Strangeways Prison.

Despite this however it would be fun to have a scuttler in the family!   

Monday, 7 October 2013

Happy 20th Birthday Inscape!

On Sunday 6th October Inscape House opened its doors to former pupils and staff to celebrate the school’s 20th anniversary. This had been preceded on Friday by the grand opening of its newly built extension. The outcome was a lot of laughter, catching up with old friends and plenty of cake! It seems apt after a weekend of celebration to look a bit more closely at the last 20 years of the school. It has been an interesting one!

Inscape Birthday Cake 

Friday, 27 September 2013

Digging for victory

Building work on the Together Trust site is ongoing as the charity extends its Inscape service in Cheadle. Amongst the diggers and the builders, as the final bits of work are completed, history occasionally comes to light.

Foundation walls of the Sanatorium

Friday, 20 September 2013

A home for neglected motherless children

We recently had a request from a genealogist looking for an ancestor that was living at a house on Tetlow Lane, Broughton in the 1901 census.

Tetlow Grove House, Tetlow Lane

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

'Welcome Home'

After the last few blogs about the importance of documents for establishing identity I thought we would look at some more of our fabulous emigration collection and the individuals they represented.

Passengers on the boat to Canada

Monday, 2 September 2013

The Archivist has returned to the building

Last week was spent in the delightful city of Cardiff at this year’s ARA conference. As well as an array of speakers on various different subjects one of the most intriguing, in relation to the charity, was that of Michael Jones, who was mentioned in our last blog

The importance of records for establishing identity

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Cardiff here I come!

Back in March we were discussing the topic of ‘Accountability, Culture and Ethics’ within the Together Trust archive, the main theme surrounding this year’s Archives and Record’s Association (ARA) conference in Cardiff. The conference begins next week with a wide variety of speakers, discussing various subjects within the archive and records management context. As a lucky receiver of a bursary from the ARA this year I get to travel across to Cardiff to hear speakers from all around the world. 

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Bethesda Guides

Most of the material that represents the Together Trust archive has been collected over the years from within the charity’s records. The collecting policy for the Together Trust’s remit is quite small. However there are some items that have been added to the archive over the years from external sources. These have largely been made up of photographs gathered from ex residents and staff. A surprise letter the other week however added another important component to the archive. 

2nd Cheadle Guides (Bethesda) Album, 1987

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Men and Motors - William Crossley

It is quiet around here. The passages in the Together Trust schools are now empty as its inhabitants enjoy a summer break. When the buildings are vacant their long history seems all the more present to the onlooker. Many children have passed through these doors, receiving care, education and support. Crossley Gaddum, which now houses part of our Inscape House service, was the first purpose built Home on the site. Like the other buildings it was named after prominent charity workers. Today we are going to focus on one of these individual’s – William John Crossley.

William John Crossley

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Picture of you

When a family history request is made there are often a number of documents that have been kept within a case file which can be provided to researchers. Material such as application forms, visitor reports and indenture forms have been mentioned on this blog before. What are not included in these files however, often to the dismay of the genealogist, are individual images of the children.

Leap frog in the garden

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Emigration from the workhouses

“The care and training of children are matters which should receive the anxious attention of Guardians. Pauperism is in the blood, and there is no more effectual means of checking its hereditary nature than by doing all in our power to bring up our pauper children in such a manner as to make them God-fearing, useful and healthy members of society.”
Poor Law Handbook of the Poor Law Officers' Journal in 1901 taken from http://www.workhouses.org.uk/education/

Many Victorians believed that pauper adults bred pauper children. There was a strong fear around social disorder and the effects of pauperism in England. In 1870 when the charity was founded, Manchester and Salford still accommodated quite a few workhouses in its midst. Although they had improved from the archetypical image of a place of cruelty, hunger and squalor, most people still saw admission as a last resort.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's off to work we go

We’ve talked before about the workshops in the Central Refuge on this blog before. But after coming across some beautiful photographs in the archive it is perhaps time to revisit this important part of the charity’s history.

Tailoring department

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

They've been chucking salt in it!

After two weeks of glorious sunshine the rain appears to have returned to Manchester. So as our thoughts instead drift towards holidays and golden sands it reminded me of this image taken from our archives.

Home Bound, Manchester Boys' Camp, Southport

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Johnny's so long at the fair

It’s that time of the year when we are once again looking forward to our annual Cheadle Festival on Saturday 8th June. Unlike last year the weather is looking promising and we’re hoping the warm weather will bring out local residents to our little corner and help us celebrate the charity and raise some much needed funds.

Cheadle Festival, 2012

Friday, 31 May 2013

Friday, 24 May 2013

What is in a name?

“It caused us a great deal of distress to give up the name by which we had been known for ninety years, but time does bring change and change has had to be gone through.” - Potted History.

Since the charity’s beginnings in 1870 it has been known under three different names. All chosen to reflect the work carried out by the organisation, they also reveal how the charity has changed. So what is in a name?


(1870 to 1960) Manchester and Salford Boys’ and Girls’ Refuges and Homes

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Who will look after me?

“There has been a rich vein of voluntary personal service for the Institution running through the strata of the years.” Making Rough Places Plain, William Edmonton.

Very little mention has been given regarding the countless numbers of staff over the years that helped to look after the charity’s children. Many worked tirelessly in the early days to ensure those that needed it were given food, a good home and in some cases medical treatment. Some gave their time freely, their only reward being the satisfaction of providing care to those in need.

Matron in Bethesda garden.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

How it could have been

“Manchester has many glories, but none, I venture to think, which shines brighter or reflects more completely the city’s best self than the Refuges and Homes.” Lord Bishop of Peterborough.

Sermon written for the charity’s Jubilee

Friday, 19 April 2013

Prison Gate Mission

Going through some photographs today I came across this image in the archives. It shows men leaving Strangeways prison around the turn of the twentieth century.

At the gates of Strangeways prison

Friday, 12 April 2013

Accountability, culture and ethics

I spent some time this morning filling out a bursary form for the Archives and Records Association (ARA) annual conference in Cardiff in August. The ARA is the official professional body for archivists, archive conservators and records managers and aims to provide guidance and training to its members as well as promote the interests of the profession at local and central government. For the lone archivist in particular, it is a useful resource of information and allows for discussion with other professionals.

Being accountable for not attending school
The theme of this year’s conference focuses on ‘Accountability, Culture and Ethics’. This will be exploring how records and archives play a key role in holding organisations to account and providing justice, while also acting as an important educational and cultural resource. It got me to thinking about our own collection and how our records and archives are so crucial for the charity’s own accountability.

Friday, 5 April 2013

From home to school

As it is Easter week and the schools are on holiday, the usually busy Cheadle campus, where the Together Trust now resides, is unusually quiet – of people. Within the main offices however the crashing of pneumatic drills and workmen can be heard outside as they labour on a new building to add to the charity’s collection. This building will increase the size of Inscape House School, a Together Trust specialist education service which works with children and young people with autism spectrum conditions and related social communication difficulties.

Part of Inscape House School

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Immediate admission without distinction of creed

Soon after the Manchester and Salford Boys’ and Girls’ Refuges and Homes opened its doors back in the wintry months of 1870 the Committee issued its foundation principles:
  • To receive homeless and destitute children found in Manchester and Salford and District
  • To give immediate admission to such without distinction of creed
  • To provide such with suitable food, clothing and industrial training
  • To educate such in Christian principles based on the Bible only. 
The charity’s founders Mr Leonard Shaw and Mr Richard Taylor, along with the rest of the Committee, were all of the Protestant faith. Their impetus to help the ‘waifs and strays’ on the streets of Manchester, all stemmed from their desire to carry out their Christian duties and they were heavily involved in their local churches.

Boys were admitted to the Refuge whatever their creed

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Family history

Family history is the systematic narrative and research of past events relating to a specific family, or specific families.
Are any of these children one of your ancestors?

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Behind every great man...

“She hath done what she could.”

So reads the gravestone for Mrs Leonard Shaw who served the Manchester and Salford Boys’ and Girls’ Refuges and Homes for 53 years of her life. Looking back at the blogs of late, it is noticeable the influences male individuals had on the charity. The early committee was made up entirely of men who ran the services and made visits to the slum area’s offering shelter to those living on the streets.

Portrait of Mr and Mrs Shaw c.1890

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

The Royal Jubilee Exhibition

In 1887 Manchester celebrated the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria’s reign by holding an event entitled the Royal Jubilee Exhibition. This was erected in Old Trafford and commemorated the industry and art of 50 years of Victoria's reign. The exhibition was opened by Princess Alexandra, wife of Edward, the Prince of Wales, on 3rd May 1887, and remained open for 166 days, during which time there were 4.5 million paying visitors.

Drawing of the firewood department at the Central Refuge

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

The silent partner - Richard Taylor

When the formation of the Manchester and Salford Boys’ and Girls’ Refuges and Homes took place on the 4th January 1870, it was all down to the endeavours of two men, Leonard Kilbee Shaw and Richard Bramwell Taylor. It was the passionate and personable Shaw however, who stood as the face of the charity in its early days. Although little has been written about Shaw, even less has come to light about his friend and co-founder Richard Taylor. Today we attempt to address this to a small degree.
Richard Bramwell Taylor c. 1900

Friday, 11 January 2013

Where have all the buildings gone?

Over the last fifty years the city of Manchester has been undertaking change. The 1960s saw extensive re-development of the city with the slums areas being cleared and new buildings taking their places. The detonation of an IRA bomb in the city centre in 1996 destroyed many buildings (although fortunately no lives were lost) and was a catalyst for the regeneration of many of the run down areas of the city.

Today sees a Manchester populated with high rise buildings and new developments, a far cry from the slum areas of old. The Manchester and Salford Boys’ and Girls’ Refuges and Homes opened up its services in many of these poorer parts of the city. Consequently few of its original buildings remain today.

Plan of Central Refuge, 1895 

Friday, 4 January 2013

Happy birthday to us!

We hope all our readers had a fantastic Christmas!

In the Central Refuge Yard, 1890
As always, as we welcome in the New Year, the Together Trust celebrates another 12 months of helping people break through barriers. The beginning of January is always a special time of the year for the charity as it takes pride in its long illustrious history and celebrates another birthday. Today we reach the grand old age of 143!

I thought we’d celebrate this wondrous event with two images taken from one of our older photograph albums. The first was taken in the Refuge Yard on Francis Street, Manchester and shows a group photograph of the Caxton Brigade alongside Mr Shaw, one of the charity's founders.