Workhouse to 'Test' house

Discussion in 'Institutions' started by Ma-dotcom, Nov 27, 2019.

  1. Ma-dotcom

    Ma-dotcom A Bonza Little Digger!

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    While looking for a relly I'd not remembered seeing in 1891-1901 in order to find his Mother who died in 1907, I looked at one so named in a workhouse. I don't think it was be, but wondered about the place he went to after the workhouse. 'Test House'.
    Can anyone suggest what that may have been please?
    Workhouse to Test House.PNG
     
  2. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    A halfway house or a community house living independently with others ?
     
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  3. Chimp

    Chimp Moderator & Cheeky Human IMP Staff Member

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    Some people being given 'out relief' and in the workhouse were found to be doing nothing to help themselves out of the situation. Some communities set up a 'Test House'. The Guardians of the district took over a large disused factory in which they set up a temporary branch workhouse for the able-bodied. The daily 'hard labour' was set very high, higher in fact then those sentenced to hard labour by the courts for committing a crime. The sleeping arrangements were very poor, usually on sloping boards where all inmates lay next to each other. This usually encouraged those in the 'Test House' to try harder to get a proper job and thus taking away their need for relief.
     
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  4. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    :rolleyes: . Close. :sceptical:
     
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  5. Chimp

    Chimp Moderator & Cheeky Human IMP Staff Member

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    In a way you were right Sue, it was a community house where they all lived together :)
     
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  6. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    There you go. I’ll have a stab at anything. ;)
     
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  7. Chimp

    Chimp Moderator & Cheeky Human IMP Staff Member

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    :D

    I've been doing a little more reading on this subject. It seems there was also an in-house 'test house' within some workhouses. They were set up with the intention of discovering if the inmate was actually able to do work 'hard labour' and thus find a job or if they were infirm and unable to hold down a full-time job. But I think it all boiled down to the same thing, were they just there to get an easy life (relatively speaking) or if they were actually prepared to work.
     
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  8. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    Things haven’t changed much then, apparently. :rolleyes:
     
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  9. Ma-dotcom

    Ma-dotcom A Bonza Little Digger!

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    Thank you both, glad I thought him not to be mine, but am unsure of just where he ended up. Sue, that's just about what I thought also.

    Was given to believe he didn't marry but with what I have learned of another rellie, people can be made to be where-ever others want them to be. :(
     
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  10. mikejee

    mikejee Well-Known Member

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    The Birmingham test house can be seen in the north west corne rof this c1904 map
     

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  11. Bay Horse

    Bay Horse Can be a bit of a dark horse

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    This is interesting. I've never heard of a 'test' house.
     
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