Author Topic: Birmingham Mail Charity Boots  (Read 525 times)

Tricia Benn

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Birmingham Mail Charity Boots
« on: October 20, 2017, 04:46:08 PM »
Hello, I have just joined this site after reading a very old post here about Birmingham Mail Charity Boots. I remember an aunt telling me that she and my parents had some.  My parents never talked about that time.  However, in the post it suggested that they were issued to children in the late 30s/40s.  My father was born in 1901 and my mother in 1904, so the late 30s issue wouldn't have applied to them (my father went into the airforce at the start of the second world war).  I would be so grateful if someone could please enlighten me about the boots which would have been given to my parents.  Thank you so much.  O0

Phil

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Re: Birmingham Mail Charity Boots
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2017, 06:12:50 PM »
Hi Trica,

Welcome to you, a lot of posts on the forum come direct from posters memories (including some of my own). Whilst memories are great things to share they are not always accurate. This is a report on the history of Charity Boots from The Birmingham Mail Christmas Tree Fund on the Birmingham Art Gallery & Museum website.

The 'Birmingham Mail Christmas Tree Fund' supplied these boots to a Birmingham child in the 1930s. The fund relied on donations from local people.Between 1888 and 1948 it bought almost 500,000 boots and shoes for the City's poorer children. The Fund's work meant that Birmingham was the first big city in Britain to see an end to barefooted children.Boots like these were specially made for the fund. They were well made and hard wearing,but often ill-fitting. The BM stamp we can see was to discourage pawning, however many children endured playground teasing for wearing BM marked charity boots.
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Hughes

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Re: Birmingham Mail Charity Boots
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2017, 06:37:43 PM »
around 1937 my Grand mother took me to Colmore Rd Sshool to obtain a pair of these boots.they looked splendid and I was quite upset
when I was refused beacause my father was in work
J Hughes

frederick

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Re: Birmingham Mail Charity Boots
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2017, 06:43:58 PM »
Did the girls have something more like a shoe and not a boot. Any help with that one.
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Tricia Benn

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Re: Birmingham Mail Charity Boots
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2017, 06:44:50 PM »
I can't tell you how grateful I am for your detailed reply Phil, and for the photograph which brought tears to my eyes.  Now I know why my mother had painful feet for as long as I can remember, and why she always insisted that my sister and I had our feet measured for new shoes.  She used to say "take care of your feet, and they will take care of you" !!  They were always so reticent about their childhood and, I'm ashamed to say, I am only now learning about the hardships they endured.  But they turned out to be good and loving parents - as most true Brummies from those days did, always wanting their children to have better lives than they had.  Thank you again Phil

Tricia Benn

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Re: Birmingham Mail Charity Boots
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2017, 06:50:49 PM »
From what I read earlier today, Frederick, it was only in the latter years that the girls had shoes instead of boots together with white socks - which must have been so exciting for them after boots and grey socks.

Tricia Benn

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Re: Birmingham Mail Charity Boots
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2017, 06:54:56 PM »
J Hughes - unlucky not to get the boots, but so fortunate to have a dad in work (although I don't suppose that meant much to you in those days).  Did you already have some shoes?  Can't imagine there were barefooted children in 1937!

Phil

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Re: Birmingham Mail Charity Boots
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2017, 07:05:46 PM »
 I forgot to add this in my last post, it's the BM stamp mentioned in the Birmingham Museum an Art Gallery piece.
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Tricia Benn

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Re: Birmingham Mail Charity Boots
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2017, 07:13:51 PM »
Thank you Phil.  I had enlarged your photograph to try to see the initials - now I know why I couldn't find them!!  Delighted with all that you have told me.  :D

roy one

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Re: Birmingham Mail Charity Boots
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2017, 07:32:23 PM »
I remember getting a letter from school to take home to my mom and I remember mom taking me in to brum town centre and I come away with boots and socks if I remember right it was the first par of new boot I had ever had in the past it was pumps  and I remember mom getting some black boot polish and I would sit each night after school and clean them at the week end they was put away and back to pumps
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Phil

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Re: Birmingham Mail Charity Boots
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2017, 07:43:25 PM »
Tricia,

I take it you have read this old thread here,

http://www.birminghamforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=2316.msg67410#msg67410
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