Childhood Home The Giddy Meadow Health & Hygiene Trades & Professions Transport Wartime Leisure Time Stacksteads Links Childrens Accidents Child Chimney Sweep Indenture Memories of Child Labourer
Many of the mills, coal mines, factories, in  and around Bacup and Stacksteads  employed children, the pittance they earned  often meant the difference between their  families starving.In 1840 the mills ran for  14-  16 hours a day six days a week and this  applied to children as well as adults. It was  commonplace to bring in children from other  parishes,  children who were orphaned living  in workhouses were often brought to work in  the mills as  the following report from the  Bacup Times of 1866 shows: Such is the difficulty experienced in  obtaining hands for the cotton  manufacturers that applications have been made by several firms to the board of  guardians for all the children they can send to be apprenticed to the trade. The  hours of labour, education and other advantages offered are more favourable than  usually fall to the lot of the parish apprentice.    Children were often apprenticed to other trades as well and not all were treated well, in 1863   a young man named Ralph Jackson, who had been a resident of the  Blue Coat School in  Oldham, had been apprenticed to a Mr Moorey of Union Street, Tailors and drapers. Following   Mr Mooreys death, Ralph ran away citing ill-treatment as a reason for doing this, after being  apprehended and appearing in the Bacup Court he said that Mrs Moorey ill-treated him by  making him wear thick iron clogs which hurt is feet dreadfully.     Following the Education Act of 1870 all children were supposed to receive compulsory  education, by the 1890’s the working week was typically 54 hours, with children restricted to  being able to work only when they reached the age of 10 and then only has half-timers the  other half of the day being spent in school.   The new Factory Act which came into effect on 1st January 1893 stated that no child under  the age of 11 should be allowed to commence work as a half-timer in a factory or workshop  this raised the age by one year from the previous ruling. In 1892 the minimum age for working  was raised from 10 to 11 years and in 1900 to 12 years. Harry Townsend was known as the little wonder walker, son of Mr  George Townsend he was born in Bacup in 1895.  A frail little boy  who suffered often from ill health the Bacup Times reported in  1902, that after taking a vegetarian diet and plenty of fresh air he  had become stronger and as recently undertaken some  remarkable walks for one so young. He walked from Ilford to  Romford, a distance of 21 miles in 4 and 3/4 hours.     Next, he managed a circular walk from Rochdale to Bacup,  Walsden and Littleborough  distance of 21 miles in 5 hours 10 mins  though he apparently had a headwind  against him for 10 miles. He also walked  from Rochdale to Halifax and on Saturday 17th October 1902 he  covered the 19 miles from Chorley to Southport on foot. The  following Saturday he was due to walk from Bury to Manchester  but he died that morning. The doctor had been to see him on  Thursday noting he had a little inflammation of the tonsils an  ailment he frequently had but was otherwise perfectly well and  had later enjoyed some football practice.   He later became ill again and on Friday the doctor was once  again called and diagnosed broncho-pneumonia, and despite all  that could be done for him he died about 1.30 am on Saturday at  just nine years old and was buried in Bacup Cemetery.  Unfortunately, his grave pictured was vandalised and the top is  now missing.
Enjoy a Skip Children outside Broadcvlough House with thier hopes and canes Kids of Dale Street Henry's grave More well off children playing with rocking horse