THE LIGHTHOUSE DINING ROOM

The Lighthouse Dining Room was sited at 125 Linacre Road on the corner of Hartwell Street on a block of seven shops that are no longer there. Linacre Mission ran the dining room and also owned the property. The block of shops between Hartwell and Towcester Streets were demolished to make way for the building of the Wesleyan Sunday School, which opened its doors in 1914.

The block of seven shops demolished were numbered 125 to 137, they included: The Lighthouse, Boot & Shoe maker, Newsagent, Fruiterer, Milliner, Chandler and Pawnbroker.

With Thanks to Dave Ellison

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.

Litherland & Ford Digital © Ronnie Cusworth 2002-2007