Free School Meals 1874

Discussion in 'Education' started by Flook, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. Flook

    Flook A True Gentleman. Rest in Peace.

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    Nottingham U.K.
    Doing some work on Orange Street Board School in Southwark (as you do), I came across this story which I have conflated from several sources including DNB.

    'The head teacher of Orange Street elementary school was Elizabeth Miriam Burgwin who later became a noted Educationist. She became Headmistress of Orange Tree School in June 1874. The area was one of the poorest districts in London and the children were unkempt and malnourished and she found them to be too weak to concentrate on school work. In 1886 she recalled how upon starting classes the children were ‘so weakly and so restless…that if I did succeed in getting them to attend they slept…I called in a doctor to talk about the children…and he said, “well they are decidedly hungry.”’

    From 1874 Mrs Burgwin began providing, free of charge, simple midday meals of bread and a hot drink. This led to the establishment of a small local organization to raise funds to supply food to pupils during the winter months. This eventually led to the establishment of The Referee Children's Free Breakfast and Dinner Fund* which by the beginning of the 20th century had become the largest agency for supplying free meals to scholars in London.'

    * The Referee was a leading sports newspaper.

    Rather too many contemporary resonances there.....
  2. gillyflower

    gillyflower Always caring about others

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    Lincoln, Lincolnshire England
    Well done to Mrs Burgwin.
    Sis and Flook like this.

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