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History Of Providence Row Night Refuge

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History Of Providence Row Night Refuge

Post by Karen on Tue 14 Sep 2010 - 9:25

Providence Row
147 years on

The last day of February 2007 found me standing in line with the morning clients at the Dellow Day Centre. The front desk was a hive of activity as each person's needs were assessed so that, following breakfast, they would see an advice worker. Business was brisk in the canteen where Larry (catering worker), Sister Brigid, Joyce and Ethel served 30 people. It is difficult to comprehend that in spite of all the changes in our society, in spite of the enormous wealth of the City on the doorstep of Providence Row, we still have significant numbers of rough sleepers in the streets of our capital.
Providence Row began in 1860, after Monsignor Daniel Gilbert invited the Sisters of Mercy from Wexford, Ireland, to join him in responding to the appalling poverty in East London. The Sisters arrived on Thursday 23 September 1858 and opened a school for 400 to 500 children the following Monday. Like their founder, Catherine McAuley, they set about bringing care, compassion, education and hope to those in need. The night shelter, or refuge as it was called, was a stable at the back of the house where the sisters lived on a lane called Providence Row.
From the very beginning Daniel Gilbert insisted that the refuge should be open to everyone regardless of age, sex, nationality or creed. He was an efficient fundraiser and in 1867 purchased a site at the corner of Crispin Street and built a new refuge, which opened on 8 December 1868 and provided accommodation for 140 women and 60 men. The sisters built the convent next to the refuge, making sure it was funded from their own resources.
They continued to work in the refuge, always assisted by volunteers, and this partnership continues as the mark of the charity. Sr. Mary Ignatius Sherrington entered the convent in 1862 and for the next 50 years she was to work tirelessly for the homeless. When she died in 1912, having been superior for many years, she left behind a huge complex of buildings that offered:

* shelter to 140 men and 112 women;
* a training workshop for 24 women;
* a hostel for 30 business women;
* a laundry;
* a soup kitchen in Gun Street; and
* a rest home for ladies in St. Alban's.

Following Daniel Gilbert's death in 1895, she continued his work, supported by Alfred Purssell, W. Tawsey, W.F. Jones, J.W. Gilbert (Daniel's nephew) and members of the Bellord family. Good governance, careful management and enormous dedication on the part of the Sisters of Mercy have meant that the work of Providence Row has continued for 147 years.
As I came through the gates of the "new" Providence Row I gave thanks for all the staff, sisters and volunteers who give time and resources to that same cause, while regretting that the very conditions that moved Monsignor Daniel Gilbert to give shelter to a wretched woman and her baby in 1858, still exist in 2007.

Source: "Providence Row: A Place of Refuge, A Place of Hope," Spring 2007, by Sister Patricia McMahon, trustee, Providence Row

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Karen Trenouth
Author of: "Epiphany of the Whitechapel Murders"
Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"

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Re: History Of Providence Row Night Refuge

Post by Karen on Fri 17 Dec 2010 - 17:16

The following article pertains to a concert given on behalf of the Providence Row Night Refuge. The committee had secured the musical services of several artistes, including Mr. Santley, who sang in similar concerts with Miss Mary Jane Davies.

MUSICAL NOTES.

Despite the awful weather which prevailed on Monday evening, Shoreditch Town Hall was well filled on the occasion of the annual concert on behalf of Providence (Row) Night Refuge and Home for deserving men, women, and children, Crispin-street and Raven-row, Bishopsgate-street Without. This was not to be wondered at as the committee had secured the services of some of the best artistes of the day. At the head came England's greatest baritone, Mr. Santley, who, despite advancing years, maintains his high position. He gave with the greatest success Ellen Wright's "The Dawn of Life" (accompanied by the composer) and Tosti's "For Ever and for Ever." We need hardly say that encores were demanded, and with his usual good nature Mr. Santley added two more selections. Madame Marian McKenzie was in capital voice and roused the audience to such enthusiasm for her rendering of "The Better Land" (Cowen), and "Killarney" as to call for the Oliver Twist cry of "more," which was given. Mr. Iver McKay's powers are well known to all concert-goers, and he was heard to great advantage in "The Holy Child" and "The Bay of Biscay." Praise must also be given to Miss Pauline Durlac for "Two Flowers" and "Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond." Miss Florence Hoskins is one of the most promising of our younger singers and fully deserved the applause she received for "My Dearest Heart" and "Thady O'Flynn." Mr. George Donnelly was most successful in the "Irish Emigrant" and "Father O'Flynn." Quartettes were most ably rendered by Mdlles. Carter, Gough, Mathews, and Wilson. Professor P.J. Cooke in his dramatic sketch (in character) of Dicken's "Buz-fuz," showed elocutionary powers of the highest order. The pianoforte and violin solos of Messrs. J.H. and G. Leipold, were not the least noteworthy of a most successful concert which would materially add to the funds of this most deserving of institutions which is doing a grand work in a quiet but very effectual manner amongst the outcasts. Nearly 300 persons are received every night from all parts, absolutely without any distinction of religion or race. The number of night's lodgings given each week, with suppers and breakfasts, is over 2,000, and from the commencement the number has been 1,150,000. There is also a home for servants and another where persons of a better class are received. We hope that all our readers who can will aid this noble movement and send on contributions to the hon. sec., W.F. Jones, Esq., 21, City-road, E.C.

Source: The Hackney Express and Shoreditch Observer, November 17, 1894, Page 2

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Karen Trenouth
Author of: "Epiphany of the Whitechapel Murders"
Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"

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Providence Row

Post by Karen on Fri 17 Dec 2010 - 17:26

[img][/img]

Source: The Charity Record And Philanthropic News, Thursday December 15, 1887, Page 4

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Karen Trenouth
Author of: "Epiphany of the Whitechapel Murders"
Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"

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Re: History Of Providence Row Night Refuge

Post by Karen on Wed 4 Jul 2012 - 0:35

Another advertisement for Providence Row Night Refuge:

[img][/img]

Source: The Charity Record and Philanthropic News, January 3rd, 1887, Page 16

***************************************
Karen Trenouth
Author of: "Epiphany of the Whitechapel Murders"
Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"

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