Extracts from a booklet produced
in 1955 on the history of Linacre Mission.
In those far off days, a great deal of horse transport,
from farms, docks and factories, passed by the mission. At noon
when men halted for dinner, the only place they could go to for
liquid refreshment were the pubs that lined the main road at frequent
intervals, so for many it was beer and sandwiches, the alternative
to sit on their carts, or underneath them if it happened to be
raining. The Mission authorities purchased property close to their
premises, and after certain alterations, opened a dining room
naming it "The Lighthouse." It became the busiest public
house in Litherland, opening 5 a.m. and closing at 10-30 p.m.
With Mr G. Johnson in charge assisted by a large staff that included
some Mission girls, the Lighthouse became a most popular place,
known throughout the district and beyond. It supplied a comfortable
stopping place for carters where they could get their horses fed
and watered, and procure a good meal for themselves without calling
at licensed premises. The success of this venture was evidenced
by the row of carts that lined the full length of the street next
to the Lighthouse. Later, this enterprise was taken over by the
City Caterers who carried on the business until the need for it
no longer existed.
The Mission not only catered for the
working man with the opening of the Ligthouse, but helped to nourish
and clothe the children of poverty in Litherland and surrounding
district, as this moving extract shows:
Poverty and want were not unknown
in those days and again the Mission was to the forefront in alleviating
distress. A visit to the Mission on a winter's morning and upwards
of 100 children could be seen eating their "free breakfast,"
consisting of thick rounds of bread and jam, with mugs of steaming
hot cocoa. In the evening soup was served and many who otherwise
might have gone to bed hungary were fed. It was not unusual in
those days to see barefooted children, and for these, footwear
was provided. Mission workers with kindly hearts and observant
eyes, assisted by Sunday School Officers, looked at those who
came within the Mission walls, to quietly select those who were
in dire need of warm clothing. An organisation known as the Busy
Bee was set up for the purpose of making clothes for the needy
and no praise is high enough for those women, young and old who
worked, under the leadership of Mrs Walls and Mrs Proffitt, year
in and year out to supply a great need.
With Thanks to Dave Ellison
for the above photograph and text of which I've extracted the
above two pieces.