Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Making Rough Places Plain


Many of our different blogs have taken quotes or stories from the book Making Rough Places Plain. Consequently it may be time to delve into this publication a bit deeper. 

Front pages of 'Making Rough Places Plain'

'Making Rough Place Plain' was written by one of the charity’s Secretaries, William Edmondson and published in 1921. It chronicles the first 50 years of the Manchester and Salford Boys’ and Girls’ Refuges and Homes and centres on the various different services provided. To today’s readers the style and tone of the book can make reading difficult as it was written in an emotive style. This was an appeal to get readers interested in the organisation’s work and either volunteer, help or donate money. A subscription form was included in the back of the book.

Bequest at rear of book
Many of the early services described in the book told tales of the children which it cared for; the 8 year old hawker who didn’t know how to get into bed; the young child paralysed from an early age and rescued from a drunken father; or the lad who made good after a life of roaming the streets. Although all true they were designed to tug on the heartstring of the reader and encourage involvement with the charity.

How the charity looked in 1920

In 1995 for its 125th anniversary, the Together Trust commissioned a reprint of the book to coincide with its celebrations. This was seen as part of the ‘modern society’s duty to its past. Although unknown how many books were printed it is still difficult to get a copy today. A cursory web based search of its title does not bring back many hits. The proud history of this charity has been lost to many. Perhaps it’s time for a third reprint to introduce the charity’s early days to the masses? The question is – would the public like to read it?

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