Saturday, 26 July 2014
Friday, 18 July 2014
Friday, 11 July 2014
This sign is on the upper floor of the Southwell Workhouse in Nottinghamshire. The building is run by the National Trust, and is the most complete workhouse in the country.
Most of the building has been restored to how it would have looked to its inmates when it opened in 1824, but the upper floor has been left as it was found when the Trust took over in the late 1990s. The dismal sign caught my eye – there is something of a cry for help in it. It seems to scream despair, even though it probably dates from more recent times when the room was used as offices rather than a dormitory for paupers.
The workhouse later became an infirmary and a home for the elderly. The building was in use until the 1980s, as a hostel for the homeless and a home for single mothers.
Go if you can - it's worth a visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/workhouse-southwell/
Sunday, 6 July 2014
I must have walked past this building dozens of times, but last week I happened to look up and I spotted the sign for Manchester and Salford Street Children’s Mission, so I felt moved to find out more.
This fine terracotta building was part of the Wood Street Mission, a charity founded by Alfred Alsop in 1869 (and named after the premises it moved into in 1873). The Mission aimed to relieve the misery of the poor - particularly the children of the nearby slums; it also helped convicts and tramps. It ran soup kitchens, handed out clogs and clothing, and provided breakfast, presents and entertainment at Christmas. It later went on to organise days out at the seaside, and ran holiday camps.