Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Lost and forgotten streets of Salford ....... nu 37 Francis Street and that children's charity

Now Francis Street which is off Great Ducie Street is hardly likely to lift the heart of the casual tourist or I suspect anyone.

In the back yard off Francis Street, 1873
True there is a hotel on the corner but the rest stretching out to Charter Street and down to New Bridge Street to the south  is a car park.

And the rest is rather unpromising.

Walk along Francis Street as I did a couple of years ago and you come to a dead end having passed what was more open land and a warehouse which was up for sale.

Of course things may have changed and it is on my to do list to visit with a camera which neatly takes me to this photograph.

Part of the Refuges, circa 1882
It was taken in 1873 from the back yard of a children’s charity.

The charity was the  Manchester & Salford Boys’ & Girls’ Refuges which had been established in 1870 to provide a bed and a meal for destitute boys.

The charity quickly extended its work to include girls as well as boys,and  provide more permanent homes offering training for future careers along with holiday homes.

It also campaigned against some of the worst cases of child exploitation taking negligent parents to court and arguing against the practise of employing young children to sell matches on the streets of the twin cities.

And like other children’s charities it became involved in the migration of young people to Canada.

The organisation is now called the Together Trust, and it is still engaged in the primary role of helping young people.

So given how vital their work was then as now I thought I would offer up the detailed plans of their buildings on Francis Street.

The complex was part home and part industrial school but also included a gymnasium and classrooms given over to training for those who were migrated to Canada.

From 1870 till 1939 many organizations engaged in caring for young people migrated some to Canada and later Australia as well as other parts of the old British Empire.

More of the Refuges, circa 1882
The practice has come in for some criticism and also had its critics at the time and the Manchester & Salford charity stopped earlier than most.

That said there were success stories and these are contained in letters and reports held in the Trust’s archives some of which are regularly featured in their blog.*

Added to which the organization is engaged in some exciting work with local schools aimed at extending our understanding of their work both in the past and today.

This also includes help offered to those who may have had relatives in the care of the Trust and want to trace their story.

All of which brings me back to Francis Street where their main building was situated.

Location; Salford

Picture; the yard of the Manchester & Salford Refuges, 1873, courtesy of the Together Trust, and details of the buildings from Goads Fire Insurance maps, 1882-1901, courtesy of Digital Archives Association,

*Getting down and dusty, the Together Trust,

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