Wednesday, 26 August 2015

What about the girls?

Last week we looked at the different types of boys that were admitted to the Strangeway Homes at the turn of the century. This week we turn to the set of homes at Cheetham Hill to give a breakdown of the type of girls that found their way into the charity’s care.

Elder girls in the laundry at Rosen Hallas

Elder Girl – Girls aged 14 and above were admitted to Rosen Hallas to be trained for something ‘useful’. This largely revolved around domestic duties such as sewing and managing a house. The house had a laundry attached to it and the girls completed all washing for the Cheetham Hill Homes every week. They would go off to service in homes either in England or across the sea in Canada.

Orphans – Girls admitted to the charity below the age of 14 and without a father or mother were placed in the family style atmosphere of the Orphan Homes on George Street. The Langworthy Home and School Girls Home housed around 14 girls each, and was presided over by a ‘Mother’. The Elementary Education Act 1880 had made it compulsory for all children to attend school and the girls attended neighbouring schools.

Girl dancers at the orphan homes
Child ‘Cripple’* – A number of girls (as well as boys) admitted came from local surroundings in extreme poverty. Some were also delicate in health or disabled in some form. These girls went to Bethesda, a home semi-hospital in character which allowed them to recuperate and live in clean pleasant surroundings, benefitting from professional care for as long as they needed it. 

Motherless girls – A further home was opened in 1896 for motherless children. Tetlow Grove provided for girls who still had a father but who had been unable to look after them either through neglect or poor circumstances. Many were returned to the Father when their living conditions improved. 

*original term from annual report  

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