Manchester and Salford Refuges Bethesda Home, Manchester, Lancashire
In 1890, the Manchester and Salford Boys' and Girls' Refuges opened its 'Bethesda Home for Crippled and Incurable Children', at the corner of Leicester Road and Coke Street in the Cheetham Hill district of Manchester. The home could accommodate up to 40 children, aged from 2 to 14 years.
The home's location is shown on the 1909 map below, together with the charity's other premises in the George Street area.
Following the death in 1902 of one of the charity's founders, Leonard Kilbee Shaw, a new extension to the Bethesda Home opened in 1904 was named the Leonard K Shaw Memorial Wing. The new wing doubled the home's accommodation from 35 to 70 places.
A notable inmate of the home was known as Teddy, the Armless Boy. Teddy proved to be very dextrous with his feet and could draw by holding a pencil or pen between between his toes.
During the Second World War, the premises were occupied by the Royal Air Force and the children were evacuated to the charity's seaside home at Tanllwyfan, in Old Colwyn, North Wales, finally returning in 1949.
In 1958, the home moved to the charity's Belmont Garden Village site at Cheadle, where it took over all accommodation except for Belmont House and the Sanatorium. The Coke Street site was then sold, subsequently being occupied by the Manchester Jewish Home for the Aged. In 2013, the building appeared to be standing empty.
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.
- Former residents of the Together Trust — formerly known as the Manchester and Salford Boys' and Girls' Refuges and Homes (1870-1959) then the Boys' and Girls' Welfare Society (1960-2005) — may access their records, as can relatives of deceased former residents. For details on how to do this, visit the charity's Access to Information web page.
- Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain s Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
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