Monday, 16 May 2016

The radio script

Our Deep Pockets and Dirty Faces project is now in full swing. As highlighted in last week’s blog the research collated by the young people is now being put to good use in their radio script, telling the tale of Susannah, a young girl admitted to the homes of the Manchester and Salford Boys’ and Girls’ Refuges and Homes in the late nineteenth century.


The radio script, which will be performed for the first time at Manchester Central Library on the 7th June, will be set to images from the archive and follow Susannah’s journey from the cramped dirty streets of Manchester to the wide open landscape of Canada. In-between Susannah’s story we also hear the narratives of her companions from the Manchester Refuge. These boys and girls all had varying backgrounds, some had lost both their parents at an early age, others had experienced neglect or cruelty. All however had come from the slums of Victorian towns and cities and were destined for a life in the workhouse or on the streets, prior to being admitted to the Manchester and Salford Homes.

The narrative covers scenes at different points of Susannah’s journey. She recounts the poverty she experienced in her childhood days and how she came to be admitted to the charity. She describes life growing up in an orphan home, jobs she had to do, what her education was like, before a life changing declaration before a magistrate, to consent to go to Canada. The scene from here switches to Liverpool docks, prior to a ten day boat trip across the Atlantic Ocean. Once in Canada we hear what initial life was like for Susannah and her companions before we discover what they went on to do in their new homes. 

‘In the corn at Marchmont’

It will be a fascinating audio and visual experience into the nineteenth century world of childcare, told by young people who receive services from the same charity 146 years later. Dressed up in authentic Victorian costume, based on original photographs of the children cared for by the charity, the young people will also be on hand to tell more about the charity’s roots. If you’re free on the morning of Tuesday 7th we urge you to come down and see us. It’s an event not to be missed!

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