Clothing the poor children of the city


Liverpool Mercury, Jan 26th 1907

The poor children of the city.

It was a bitterly cold day when I visited the distribution depot of the Police-aided Clothing Association of Liverpool at, 97 Islington, a day on which one could realise fully something of the excellent work this useful organisation performs for the benefit of the poor children of the city.

I was glad to be in the large, warm room, where the cheerful band of lady helpers were at work, and I know by the happy faces of the bare-legged, hatless and poorly clad children that they likewise appreciated the huge fires burning in the grates and the general air of comfort that prevailed the place.

All the youngsters also enjoyed the soup handed over to them before they were handed over to the ladies who distributed the garments.

Anyone who loves children should come here and spend half an hour every Tuesday of Wednesday morning about 11 o’ clock and their spirits will be stirred within them. Miss WATTS and Miss GRAHAM the organisers will be glad to see you, they will tell you stories and show pictures that will tug at your heart strings and open your purses.

Mothers came with their children and in different parts of the room where engaged in busily taking off their old garments and dressing their boys in, new trousers, shirts, coats, stockings and clogs and their girls in warm underwear, stockings and clogs, not only where their little bodies clothed and warmed, but their faces became radiant and happy, so different from when they came in, pinched and blue with cold.

100 children were clothed that day and 100 the day before, I saw many of the children afterwards in the street, looking pleased. One of them met a pal not fortunate enough to have paid a visit to the depot. They had a conference on the matter and both marched off to the policeman on the beat nearby.

They were not afraid of him, for they evidently, “stated their case” to him, and after he had given them advice they departed contentedly.

Why did they go to the policeman?

The policeman on duty in the poor streets makes the first move on behalf of the ill-clad children. He inquires into their cases and fills in the necessary documents, passing them on to the officials who see the matter through. They pass them onto Alderman WATTS, who, when he was Lord Mayor, 12yrs ago, founded the association.

50 ladies give their services as clothing assistants at the institution and 50 volunteers are visitors to the homes in the district.

The secretaries are, Miss Bertha CRIPPS, Miss Florence GORDON, Mrs Joseph WILSON, Mrs W. E. MOUNSEY, Miss MOUNSEY and Miss BENNINGTON.

The distribution of clothing is carried out in the winter months and on average have clad, 2,000 children a year.

A fine opportunity presents itself here for giving a helping hand to a deserving cause. As promised by the parents of the children and supported by the pawnbrokers in the districts, none of the clothes find their way into the pawnshops, for all the clothing bears a small mark carefully concealed by which the goods are known.

It is excellent work – a work which one might be proud to be associated with. Somebody some day will hear those blessed words again –

"I was naked and ye clothed me”.


Copyright 2002 / To date