The Bradford Cinderella Club was started with the objective of feeding, clothing and entertaining the poor children of Bradford
Some of the events and activities they undertook included:
- Annual Pantomime Matinee.
- The Lord Mayor’s Treat entertaining children at St George’s Hall.
- Distribution of toys by the “Telegraph Santa Clause.”
- Distribution of milk, virol and other medical foods to delicate children over 2 years of age.
- Providing fireguards free of charge.
- Providing picnics out of the city.
- Annual Widows trip.
- Children’s Holiday home at Hest Bank, near Morecambe.
The First World War impacted on their normal operations and they stopped appealing for money directly, instead working with the Lord Mayor’s War Relief Fund which made grants to the deserving dependents of soldiers and sailors.
They drew up a general clothing scheme and became the centre for the distribution of all clothing except for that for Belgian refugees and soldiers and sailors on service. They continued to repair clogs, provide fireguards and to provide milk and medical foods in conjunction with the health visitors and the children’s and school clinics.
However the Club were accused of neglecting the entertainment of the children. Nevertheless they remained adamant that the grants provided by the Lord Mayors Fund and occasional grants of clothing and footwear would keep the children fit and well and that it would be wrong to divert money for children’s entertainment (which could well wait) which is needed for the daily sustenance of both adults and children.
They were therefore upset when an organisation constituted for another purpose altogether began to collect funds for the entertainment of poor children. Rather than entering into competition with this other organisation and further diverting funds they stated their position and hoped that the friends of the Club would accept their explanation.
Do you think they made the right decision to stop providing free entertainment for the poor children of Bradford during the First World War or were they rightly accused of neglecting their duties?
Cinderella Club Annual Reports 1913-14 and 1915-16