As I mentioned in a previous post, I found another piece of history in the form of a sheaf of paper from 1908 titled “New Ardrossan Parish Magazine“.

DSC01769The back of this leaflet has several notices with headings such as Sale of Work, Service of Praise,  SocialPreachers and Collections but there were a few headings and notices which revealed more about the period;

Poor Fund – “In course of this month we expect to send out to the poor our supply of coals. The interest of the Crawford legacy has been apportioned by the Poor Fund Committee and given to widows in necessitous circumstances. The annual collection for the poor will be taken as usual in January.

Deaths – “At 10 Stewart’s Place, on 30th November, Jane Galbraith, infant daughter of of Mr and Mrs James Mackay.

There is no mention of what age little Jane Galbraith was or what she died of but the top two leading causes of death in 1908 were;

1. Pneumonia / influenza
2. Tuberculosis

And finally, under the heading of Charity Concert – “As we are all aware, there is a great deal of poverty in the town at the present time. It is arranged that a Miscellaneous Concert will be given in the Assembly Hall on Wednesday evening, 23rd December. It is hoped that a sufficient sum may be realised so that the deserving children in the town may be supplied with boots. Kindly keep the concert in mind.

shoelessAs this photo of Ardrossan’s Princes Street confirms, a lot of local children simply didn’t have footwear so I hope they all got their boots as many of them would be working in the shipyard, cleaning chimneys, working in local factories and shops, and generally labouring from a very young age (as can be seen by the shoeless young boy with a wheel barrow at the forefront of the photo).

mills2I also wonder what the phrase “so that the deserving children in the town may be supplied with boots” meant. Did it simply mean all the children in the town who didn’t have footwear were deserving? Or did it mean, those attending church were deserving of footwear and those who weren’t were not?

Who knows – but if you think you have the answer, please comment.

Aren’t you glad you live in this era though? Times (and lives) were tough then.

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