Thursday, 21 December 2017

Christmas at the Together Trust

Christmas was always a wonderful time for the children of the Manchester and Salford Boys’ and Girls’ Refuges and Homes. Thanks to the generosity of the general public, who contributed special gifts of money to the charity at this time of year, every home across the two cities was able to sit down to Christmas lunch and entertainment. Every child also received a small gift of a muffler or a toy. 

Annual Christmas Bazaar

Monday, 13 November 2017

Letters from the Front

The country fell silent on Saturday to mark the signing of the armistice between the Allies and Germany at 11am on 11 November 1918. It signified the end of World War I, after four long years of fighting. 

Poppy display outside the Together Trust, 2014

Friday, 3 November 2017

Deep Pockets and Dirty Faces

Our project Deep Pockets and Dirty Faces has now come to an end. It has been a fascinating journey through the archives for our young people as they discovered stories about not only the charity’s own history but also what Manchester was like in the nineteenth century. 

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

TB or not TB

Our admission books are at the very heart of our archive collection. We have many records relating to the administration of the charity: how it was managed; who was in control; what needed doing on a day-to day business; how money was collected and spent. These are hugely important records to show who we were. However, it is the individuals who tell the real story, not only about the charity itself but also about the evolution of childcare and the social conditions that were experienced in each decade of the Together Trust’s history.

Orphan Home Admission Book

Friday, 13 October 2017

Were your ancestors in one of our homes?

We are excited to announce we have a brand new search engine on our Together Trust website to help people see if their ancestors were ever in one of our Manchester homes.

New search facility

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

The Children's Act, 1908

Today a chance encounter in the archive has brought up an interesting case. It stems from an admission to the Homes on the 12th May 1909 and involves a first for the charity and for the city of Manchester.

Lizzie after admission

Thursday, 17 August 2017

A guest blog

This week's blog has been compiled by Robert Atherton, a student at Poynton 6th form, who has been on a week's long placement as an archive student at the Together Trust. Alongside various other duties, Robert has been cataloguing some of our case files from the 1930s and has picked out one file to research and compile a blog on.

One of the many important jobs to being an archivist is cataloguing. Whilst leafing through a certain case, I found out that it was in fact a unique and rather beguiling case. It appeared that Robert, once of 2 George Street, had the idea of journeying to Australia.  The relocation to Australia, despite meaning a journey into the unfamiliar and potentially leaving loved ones behind, offered a fresh start for Robert. His hopes lay in the hands of ‘Big Brother Movement’ (no not the show!) who ran a project of transporting the children to Australia and setting them up with the necessary accommodation and occupation.
Belmont Village postcard 1930's

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Records at Marchmont

We came across a newspaper article in the archive the other day, written by an individual who was ‘investigating the results and prospects of juvenile emigration’. Concentrating on those sent to Marchmont Home, the writer visited 50 boys and girls in the area surrounding Belleville over three weeks.

Outside Marchmont Home

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Deep Pockets and Dirty Faces at Cheadle Library

Deep Pockets and Dirty Faces has seen more of its work displayed at Cheadle Library. As the charity now resides in the area on Schools Hill, it allows some of the work completed by young people from the area to have their project on display and inform the local community about the history of the Together Trust

Display at Cheadle Library

Friday, 9 June 2017

Family Fun Day 2017

We’re celebrating our 96th Together Trust Family Fun Day tomorrow here on our Cheadle campus on Schools Hill. As always, we’ll be welcoming ‘GrahamFishers International It’s a Knockout’, as well as having a funfair, stalls and a cafe.      

  IAKO team, 2016

The festival remains a celebration of the Together Trust as well as a way of raising money for the charity. Throughout the years, the event has always been seen as a way of bringing the community together and introducing the public to the work being completed in the different services. 

Artist Impression of Belmont Fete, 1923

As always we have fingers crossed for dry weather for tomorrow. As is often the case, black clouds are forecast on the horizon. The Together Trust has a series of newspaper clippings running from 1920 onwards and describing the various festivals over the years. Perhaps unsurprisingly the headlines often took on a similar theme. “Rain an unwelcome visitor to Belmont”, “Successful Cheadle effort despite bad weather”, Rain ruins gate – but there was a silver lining”. “Bethesda fete triumph despite the clouds”. Manchester weather can be unsurprisingly predictable but despite the inclement weather the festival continues to be a success every year, raising much needed funds for the work of the Together Trust. Of course we couldn’t do this without the support of the local community and we hope despite the rain shower tomorrow we will see lots of faces at our gates tomorrow. See you then!

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Deep Pockets and Dirty Faces at Manchester Central Library

The Together Trust is pleased to announce that some of the work from its Deep Pockets and Dirty Faces project is now on display at Manchester Central Library. Costumes, artwork and material from the archive is on display within the exhibition area and audio clips and images can be viewed on the Library’s digital screens. 

Costumes on display in the Reading Room

Friday, 12 May 2017

Central Refuge report - part 2

In our last blog we left our Sheffield Reporter in the schoolroom of the Central Refuge on Francis Street. Today we’ll be following him as he tours the rest of the building, shedding a light on how the Refuge operated back in 1881.

Firewood workshop in the courtyard

Friday, 28 April 2017

Central Refuge report - part 1

Over the next few blogs we’re going to be looking in more depth at the Central Refuge in Strangeways. The following description comes from the ‘Sheffield Reporter’, whose journalist made a visit to the home in May 1881. This was a reconnaissance trip to see if there could be a similar set up for the children of Sheffield, as an alternative to the workhouse or industrial schools.   

Central Refuge, Francis Street

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

The Newspaper Brigade

This rather lovely photograph below shows one of our boys, Charles, dressed in the uniform of the charity’s Newspaper Brigade. The group was formed ‘for the purpose of counteracting the pernicious influence of bad books by the introduction of pure literature, in a cheap and an attractive form, into the homes of the people’.  
- The Quiver : an illustrated magazine for Sunday and general reading (1894)

 Charles in uniform
Those admitted to the Brigade were not usually resident in one of the charity’s homes. On application, a form was completed to determine place of birth, position of family, the education standard passed, and whether "he has been used to selling papers”. Once admitted, conduct was closely watched, parents, or guardians, visited periodically and a report of behaviour and the condition of home was completed. When the boys were old enough, the Committee undertook to find them regular employment. It will be noted that the service was strictly for boys, the Refuge not wanting to encourage any form of employment on the streets for girls.   

Caxton Brigade in the Central Refuge yard
The service was set up for a number of reasons. Mostly it was for the benefit of the boys themselves; firstly to make a stand on the issue of juvenile hawking but also to try and provide a stepping stone for them towards permanent employment. The problem of juvenile hawking in the mid to late Nineteenth century was abhorred by the charity, who went to great lengths to try and stop the employment of young children on the streets at night.

The service was also seen to benefit the public by providing cheap and healthy literature to the masses. As highlighted by the Quiver‘thousands, of the working classes, never enter a book- seller's shop. If, therefore, the homes of the working classes are to be permeated with pure literature, it is absolutely necessary that it should be offered to them at their own doors’.

During the year 1883, nearly £3,000 passed through the hands of 400 boys. It was a way for those who had a home, but needed to help supplement the family wage to obtain a safe, useful job, under supervision and prepare them for future full time employment.