Charter Street Ragged School still looks forbidding, even today. The school opened in a former dancing hall in the 1860s and provided thousands of children and adults with free meals, clothing and education. The aim was to keep the children off the streets and to divert their parents away from the slum’s pubs and beer houses. It still houses a school and continues to offer food and clothing to the homeless – a mission it has carried out for more than 150 years.
Published by angelmeadowbook
Step into the Victorian underworld of Angel Meadow, the vilest and most dangerous slum of the Industrial Revolution. In the shadow of the world's first cotton mill, 30,000 souls trapped by poverty are fighting for survival as the British Empire is built upon their backs. Thieves and prostitutes keep company with rats in overcrowded lodging houses and deep cellars on the banks of a black river, the Irk. Gangs of 'scuttlers' stalk the streets in pointed, brass-tripped clogs. Those who evade their clutches are hunted down by cholera and tuberculosis. Lawless drinking dens and a cold slab in the dead house provide the only relief from this filthy and frightening world. Journalist Dean Kirby takes readers on a hair-raising journey through the alleyways, gin palaces and underground vaults of the nineteenth century Manchester slum considered so diabolical it was re-christened 'hell upon earth' by Friedrich Engels in 1845. Enter Angel Meadow if you dare... Angel Meadow will be published by Pen and Sword on 28 February, 2016. See my website for details. View all posts by angelmeadowbook