St. Joseph's Industrial Schools for Boys and Girls

St. Joseph's Industrial School for Boys occupied a site on the corner of Stockport Road and Richmond Grove, the location today of Longsight Police Station.  The original school opened in 1871 but a new building was constructed in 1913 to replace both the original school buildings and chapel on the site, which covered the five acres of land purchased by the school's founder, the Rev. Father Quick.  The site of the school is shown in the aerial photograph below.

The school accommodated mainly orphans who had a tendency to "petty pilfering, wandering and sleeping out." As well as school rooms, the 400 pupils had workshops in which to learn a trade. Discipline was strict and great emphasis was placed on self sufficiency. The cobbler's shop made the boys' boots and the boys knitted their own socks.

The daily routine at St. Joseph's Industrial School began with rise at 5:30 a.m. (6:30 a.m. in winter) for a wash and swim in Municipal Baths, followed by a walk, floor scrubbing, house cleaning and fire lighting.

Breakfast was next at 7:30 a.m. (bread, butter and cocoa), then a recreation period followed by an inspection by the School Superintendent. After this came school or work until 12:30 p.m. (including a ten minute break), then at 12:30 p.m. came a wash and lunch (meat for six days, fish for the other). 

Drill came next until 2:00 p.m. with those working in the morning off to school, and vice versa, until 6:00 p.m. (with a ten minute break). At 6:00 p.m. it was wash and tea, followed by recreation until 7:00 p.m. At 7:00 p.m. it was band rehearsal for musicians, and school for all others. Finally at 9:00 p.m. there was a short play-time, followed by night prayers and bed.

In the 1930's industrial schools were abolished and Manchester Education Committee took over the building. On the outbreak of war, however, the building was requisitioned by the Auxiliary Fire Service and by 1941 had become Number 17 Area Training College for the National Fire Service. In 1948 the Manchester City Police, later Greater Manchester Police, acquired the building. It was to be divisional headquarters, as well as housing the force transport department.  Below is a photograph of the building after it had been converted into a police station.


The St. Joseph's Industrial School for Girls' was not far away in Victoria Park. 

The school was operated by by the Sisters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul.  The building can be seen in the old postcard image below (shown here with the permission of Chris Makepeace and Sigma Books).  Apparently it was a convent for the sisters as well as an industrial school. 

After the Industrial School closed the sisters opened up the building as the St. Joseph's Girls School.


The photograph of the St. Joseph's School is shown here with the generous permission of Graham Beech of Sigma Leisure. The photograph comes from the Chris Makepeace book, "The Villages of Manchester", which is available from Sigma Books. This photograph may not be reproduced, stored in a retieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means - electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise - without permission from the publisher. The Villages of Manchester is just one of a series of books with a shared theme of Postcards from the Past.