Ancestry UK

Salford Day Industrial School, Salford, Lancashire

In 1885, the Salford School Board opened a Day Industrial School in purpose-built premises at Albion Street, Windsor Bridge, Salford. The establishment was certified to begin operation on October 6th, 1885, with accommodation for 280 children, aged 5 to 14 years. Miss Hannah E. Lee was appointed superintendent, having previously taught at the Queensland Street Day Industrial School in Liverpool.

An article on the School from October, 1887, is reproduced below in an abridged form:

The Salford Day Industrial School has proved remarkably successful in dealing with truants, and with children of poorest and most neglected class. There are about 170 children in daily attendance, and the registers show a degree of regularity never attained in an ordinary elementary school. Yet not only are the majority of the children literally "ragged," but prior to their admission a very large proportion of them have been set down by teachers and attendance officers as incorrigible truants. The local authority has much more control over children sent to a day industrial school than over those attending other schools. The law can only be brought to bear over the latter by a summons against the parents, the effect of which is not always to ensure the child's attendance, but when once the magistrate has issued "an order of detention" for the day industrial school the attendance officer can lay his hands upon the child, wherever he may be, and bring him to the school, any person interfering with his action being liable to a penalty. The knowledge of this direct compulsion accounts in a great measure for the good attendance of the children, but very much is also due to the fact that the school is made really attractive to the class for whom it is intended, and who, as a rule, are not made welcome elsewhere. The Salford day industrial school is a commodious building, carefully planned, and admirably adapted to its purpose. As the bulk of the children are victims of dirt and neglect in their own homes, cleanliness is the first duty taught there. There are extensive lavatories for both boys and girls, and the day's exercises begin with a general wash, followed by the use of brush and comb. There is a large swimming-bath in each department of the school for use in the summer. With some children washing alone is not sufficient. Their clothing is examined, and when necessary placed in a disinfecting stove to destroy the vermin, For such children smocks and pinafores or other garments are provided for temporary use in school. The children receive three meals a day, and no doubt the regular, wholesome, and varied diet is a considerable attraction to them, for in only a few cases is it found necessary to bring the children forcibly to school. As a rule, they assemble by eight o'clock in the morning, with the knowledge that they will be under detention until six in the evening. The schoolroom, dining hall, and kitchen are well lighted, airy, and cheerful. Only three hours a day are devoted to ordinary school routine, the rest of the time being filled up with industrial work, meals, recreation, and drill. Besides the cleaning and scrubbing of floors and benches, the boys are taught shoe-making and mat-making, and the girls assist in the cooking and kitchen work. The school is worked by a staff of female teachers, and the excellent discipline and good behaviour of the children are very remarkable. Their cheerful demeanour and prompt obedience ere also noticeable. No visitor to the school could doubt the usefulness of such an institution in a large town. Many children are thereby prevented from being sent to ordinary industrial schools for comparatively long periods, at considerable cost to the ratepayers. The average period of detention in the day industrial school is from six to twelve months, for though the children as a rule are committed for three years, it is generally found practicable to place them oat under licence, by the end of the first year, but always on condition that they attend regularly at some elementary school. The expenses of the school are met by the Government grant, which may not exceed 1s. a week on the average attendance, and which depends partly on the result of the annual examination, and by the parents' contributions, which ate fixed by the magistrate, but are limited to 2s. a week. The guardians have authority to pay the fee for parents who are unable from poverty to meet the charge. In Salford an order for the full sum of 2s. is in all cases made on the parents. The guardians meet necessitous cases In a liberal spirit, and in others the School Board enforce payment, when necessary, by legal proceedings. In many cases, from various causes, the money is partially, and in some cases wholly, irrecoverable. It should be stated that religious exercises and instruction receive due attention in the Salford Day Industrial School. About one-third of the inmates are Roman Catholics, and during the time set apart for religious teaching these receive instruction separately from a teacher of their own faith.

The question of what special provision, if any, the School should make for Roman Catholic children to be taught separately, was one that the caused much debate. As indicated by the by article above, separate religious teaching was taking place in October 1897. However, it was not until 1889 that, after consultation with with the Home office, that one of the teachers employed at the School, Miss Heyes, was allowed undertake this duty.

Miss Lee, became Mrs Harrison in 1891, and continued as superintendent until August 1895 when she was succeeded by Miss A Binns.

An 1896 report noted that the School, though located in a squalid neighbourhood, was compact and convenient with good yards and rooms, including workshops, drill room, etc. There were now 184 children on the School roll, of whom 80 were Roman Catholic. In the classroom, singing (tonic sol-fa) was described as 'fair', recitations were 'good' and selections from Shakespeare in the in standards III, IV and V were well said. Geography and mental arithmetic were 'very fair'. The 1895 award of the Science and Art Department for Drawing was 'excellent'. There were 23 boys engaged in manual instruction and 26 shoemakers. All the girls learned to knit and sew, and a dozen or so boys learned something of tailoring. There is some mat-making and 3 boys looked after the boiler. The joiner's shop of the Board was on the premises, and the head joiner gave a weekly lesson. An old boy of the School was now apprenticed to him. There was no systematic instruction in cookery, but the girls helped the cook in turn, and about 16 of them could prepare a plain dinner. In the laundry, the boys did the rough washing while the girls did the better class work for the school. The play-yards were good, and the workshop served as a playroom for the boys in bad weather. Musical drill with dumb-bells, wands, and clubs was taught. There was a plunge bath on each side, and many of the boys could swim, despite their being no regular instruction. The school was close to Peel Park, where games such as football could be played. There was a sulphur cabinet far disinfecting clothing and there were separate baths for special cases. The children each had a separate towel. There had been 67 cases of birching for truancy and 5 for giving trouble in the school. A concert was got up every years by the teachers, and with the support of members of the Board and other friends, sufficient money was raised to buy material which was made by the children into useful articles of clothing (including boots) for distribution as annual prizes, as well as to provide a trip on a summer's day into the countryside.

Following her marriage in 1898, Miss Binns became Mrs Ward. Following her resignation on June 30th, 1903, she was succeeded as superintendent by Miss Ada Garlick. She, in turn, was replaced by Miss Lily Greenhalgh October, 25th, 1909.

In 1911, drawing now formed a significant part in the boys' industrial training. Woodworking and shoemaking workshops were being well conducted and the boys were learning the useful art of repairing their own clothes. The girls' needlework was 'very creditable', with button-holing being particularly good. The older girls could now darn stockings very neatly. A large cookery class was given weekly by the School's cook, and good notebooks were carefully kept. The older girls assisted in the laundry with the children's towels, aprons, etc. Free gymnastics, and exercises with wands, Indian clubs and dumb-bells were all practised with precision and vigour. The School held the shield for the Salford Elementary Schools.

The School was closed on April 1st, 1921. The premises were subsequently used by Salford Direct Works Department. The buildings no longer survive and the site is now covered by part of St Paul's Primary School.


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