The Workhouse in 20 objects winner: child's shoe

child's shoe abandoned at The Workhouse

Visitors have been voting in their hundreds so far this season for their favourite Workhouse objects. The competition was close but the winner of round one is a child's shoe, most likely worn by a boy or girl living in the Bedsit accomodation within the former Workhouse building.

It seems the child's shoe evoked memories of visitors' own childhoods as well as provoking thoughts about what might have happened to the shoe's wearer.

" Such a poignant object-I wonder if the child was upset by losing the shoe and whether they were allowed to look for it?"
- Visitor to the 20 objects exhibition

Children have lived at this Workhouse site for over 150 years. records show that in March 1847 there were 74 children in The Workhouse. The children received an education and training so that they could begin work or an apprenticeship at around 12 years of age.

Even after this building was no longer in use as a workhouse, the local council used the former women's dormitories to tempoarily house homeless women and children into the late 1970s.

" It's the same design as the Clark's sandles worn by me (now 80) and my children!"
- Visitor to the 20 objects exhibition