Bond Street Day Industrial School, Bond Street, Liverpool, Lancashire
In 1878, the Liverpool School Board established a Day Industrial School at 99 Bond Street, Liverpool. The School was principally intended for the attendance of the high proportion of Roman Catholic children in the neighbourhood. The premises, an old but substantial former Church elementary school, could accommodate up to 300 children. The establishment was formally certified on June 15th, 1878, although did not actually begin operation until April 16th, 1879. The staff comprised: superintendent, Miss Lucy Ryan; assistant, Miss Mary Mallorie; caretaker and cook, Mr and Mrs John Winder.
In addition to classroom lessons, the children were engaged for some hours each day in industrial pursuits, chiefly in mat-making, net-making, and in making emigrant beds (cotton material filled with straw) and mattresses. They also knitted socks and stockings. The girls assisted in the kitchen and housework, and all of them learned knitting and needlework. The older girls assisted in the kitchen and scullery, and wash what clothing required it.
In the early part of 1882, Miss Ryan died after a short illness. She was succeeded as superintendent by Miss Martha Tarry. A report that year noted that 'the children who frequent this school are gathered in from an extremely poor neighbourhood, and on reception are ragged and dirty and neglected to the utmost degree. Much is done to raise them from their degraded condition. They are taught as far as possible to be clean in person and to respect themselves and others. If there is any ailment it is attended to.'
Attendance at the School was kept up by the constant efforts of three outdoor officers, who immediately inquired into cases of absentees. Most of the punishments administered were given for truancy or irregular attendance.
In 1891, Miss Tarry left the School to take charge of the newly established Addison Street Day Industrial School. She was succeeded as superintendent by her long-standing assistant, Miss Mallorie. In the same year, the School's accommodation was improved by a number of extensions and alterations. The play-yards were been much enlarged, a new washroom made for the boys, and a teachers' room and a doctor's room constructed. There was now a good plunge bath.
An 1896 report noted that the School building stood flush with the pavement in a side street of a 'low and squalid' district. The district served by the School included part of Greater Liverpool and was extensive and straggling. In the schoolroom, singing (sol-fa) was rated as 'good', recitation as 'good', geography and mental arithmetic both 'very fair'. Word-building and object lessons had been begun. Drawing was taught throughout, and the result of a Science and Art examination had been 'excellent'. About 36 boys attended a manual instruction centre twice a week. From 24 to 30 boys were employed in mat-making for other Board schools. Wood-chopping was carried on for the School only. A total of 32 girls received instruction in cookery from a duly qualified teacher. All learned to knit and sew, making and repairing towels, plain garments, etc. Both boys and girls help in the housework and did a certain amount of laundry work. There were 23 children (14 boys and 9 girls) on licence to work. Musical drill with dumb-bells for boys, and poles for girls. was carried on regularly. The play-yards and sheds are fairly spacious and well paved. All the children had a week under canvas at the seaside. Bank holidays with an extra day were voluntary, and only half day attendance was required during the summer holidays. The school was open on Sundays and from 4 to 40 children attended. An entertainment was usually organised at Christmas.
Miss Mallorie died suddenly on December 13th, 1899, after 20 years of service in the School. One of the assistant teacher, Miss Connor was made interim superintendent, with Mrs K. Parr being appointed as superintendent on 14th March, 1900. Also in 1900, the Standard I. classroom was fitted with dual desks, and forms were provided in the dining hall so that the children could have their dinner in more civilized manner. The following year, new gymnastic apparatus was purchased including a vaulting horse, parallel bars and climbing rope. The caretaker had taken on the role of instructor with great enthusiasm. Physical exercises for the boys with and without dumb-bells, and for the girls with rings, were taken regularly. Many of the boys could now swim. This year's Christmas entertainment was repeated for the benefit of the parents and friends of the children.
In 1902, the staff was increased by the appointment of an industrial matron. Her duties included training the girls in general house work, the proper cleaning of rooms, and how to mend their own clothes. The training was to be extended to laundry and cookery classes, in the latter of which the boys were to be included. In addition to physical drill, there were now musket and cutlass drills. A display was given of work over the horse and on the horizontal and parallel bars. Camp life as usual was indulged in during the summer.
1903 saw the installation electric lighting throughout the building, and the water supply was improved with hot water being laid on to each floor. A gas stove was installed for the cookery class. A book was provided for those visiting the School to enter their names, and there was now an 'old boys' club to help keep in touch with former pupils. Sporting trophies won during the year included: the Group C Cricket Shield, and the Senior, Junior and Navy League Challenge Cups for swimming, as well as medals and 118 (including 20 first-class) certificates. At the Elementary Schools' Swimming Gala 13 prizes were gained by boys from the School. A School football team won 4 matches out of 12 played against other schools.
Mrs Parr left the School on September 10th, 1905, and was succeeded as superintendent by Miss A. Willie on October 1st, 1905
At an inspection in 1910, squads of boys and of girls separately gave very good displays of free dumb-bell, club, and life-saving exercises. It was noted that the boys had been very successful in swimming competitions, gaining two gold medals, a silver medal and three certificates in life-saving. Including those gained by the girls 63 other swimming certificates had been gained. The usual fortnight's holiday was spent in camp and a corps of Baden-Powell Scouts had been formed.
Despite the School's good reputation, a steady decline in the numbers being admitted led to its closure on February 5th, 1912. The building no longer survives.
Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.
- None identfied at present — any information welcome.
- Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain's Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
- Mahood, Linda Policing Gender, Class and Family: Britain, 1850-1940 (1995, Univeristy of Alberta Press)
- Prahms, Wendy Newcastle Ragged and Industrial School (2006, The History Press)
- None noted at present.
Except where indicated, this page () © Peter Higginbotham. Contents may not be reproduced without permission.