St Ann's Industrial School for Roman Catholic Boys, Ashton under Lyne, Lancashire
St Ann's Industrial School for Roman Catholic Boys was opened in 1869 at 46 Burlington Street, Ashton under Lyne. It occupied part of an existing day school site which was adapted for receiving boys as boarders. The premises were formally certified to begin operation on October 8th, 1869. The School had accommodation for around 70 boys although almost all of these were voluntary cases rather magistrates' committals. The chaplain and director was the Rev. W.J. Crombleholme. The School lacked the usual resident superintendent.
In 1871, it was noted that the large schoolroom had been divided so as to provide workshops for tailor and shoemaker. The dormitory above was spacious and airy. Several boys went out work in the day.
In 1872, the School's official inspector voiced concerns about its operation and suggested that 'what wanted is the constant superintendence of a practical sensible man, with. some experience in the management of industrial schools.' Perhaps stung by this criticism, the Rev. Crombleholme subsequently resigned his position. It was then discovered that the School was deeply in debt. The Rev. A. M. Scherperal became the School's chaplain and manager. A matron was also appointed to look after the clothes and attend to the comfort of the boys.
Efforts were made by the Roman Catholic Bishop of Salford, Dr Vaughan, and the committee of managers to re-organise the School, but the difficulties to be overcome were found to be insuperable. After due consideration, the managers came to the decision to resign its certificate and the School was closed on June 30th, 1874. The majority of the inmates were transferred to St Joseph's Industrial School, Richmond Grove, Manchester, and the remainder disposed of according to their individual circumstances.
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.
- Try Salford Diocesan Archives, St Augustine's, Grosvenor Square, Manchester M15 6BW.
- 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.
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