Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Lost and forgotten Streets of Manchester ......... nu 69 on Major Street in 1905

Now as ever there is a story behind this picture.

14 Major Street, 1886
We are on Major Street in 1905 and the building is the Boys’ and Girls’ Refuge which was established in 1884.

It was the second shelter opened by the Manchester & Salford Boys’ & Girls’ Refuges offering food and shelter to destitute young people.

The first shelter had been opened by the charity on Quay Street and later relocated to Strangeways but the scale of the problem was such that one refuge was not enough.

That lack of provision was highlighted “in the winter months of 1871 when three boys applied at the Refuge looking for shelter. 

As the home was already full, they had to be turned away. Seeking warmth and shelter and being unable to afford three pence to stay in a lodging house for the night they had wandered up to the brickfields of Cheetham. 

A few days later a newspaper reported on the demise of a young boy who had been burned to death at one of the brick kilns in the neighbourhood. This boy was one of the three who had, had to be turned away much to the consternation of the committee. 

It was this incident that convinced the charity that they needed another building in which to receive any child in need of help, whatever the hour. 

On admittance, date unknown
The result was the Children’s Shelter at 14 Major Street. Open all day and all night children in need of shelter could be brought and receive food and a bed for the night, whilst their individual circumstances were investigated. It ensured that no child requesting aid would ever be turned away again.”*

The story comes from the excellent blog of the Together Trust which describes the work of the Manchester & Salford Boys’ & Girls’ Refuges during the 19th and 20th centuries and is a first stop forthose wanting to trace family members who were cared for by the charity.

I am always impressed by the extent of their archives and the help offered by the archivist to those who want to know more about an ancestor.

Sadly for anyone wanting to stand in front of number 14 Major Street it has long gone.

To be truthful there is very little left of Major Street which runs from Aytoun Street down to Princess Street

Major Street in 1886**
On the corner with Princess Street there is the old Mechanics Institute where the TUC met in 1868, but walk the length of the road today and it  is dominated by two car parks a whole tranche of huge office blocks dating from the end of the last century and the beginning of this one and stuck in the middle is the bus station.

As for number 14 which was on the right hand side just down from Aytoun Street that is now one of those car parks.

At which point I could I suppose regret its passing but it was just a building and the work of the charity still goes and in the fullness of time I hope the archivist will be able to shed some light on what life was like at number 14 Major Street.

Reading back stories from the blog there is much that would help anyone wanting to know about its work and much to set interested descendants on a path of discovery.

All of which leaves me to point you in the direction of that blog and in particular the rest of the story on the opening of number 14.

Pictures; 14 Major Street, 1886 and one of the young people cared for by the Trust courtesy of the Together Trust,

*The Second Annual Meeting

**Slater's Directory of Manchester & Salford, 1886. [Part 2: Trades, Institutions, Streets], page 508, 

No comments:

Post a Comment