Working Lads Institute

Every morning as I come out of the London Hospital, my eye is caught by the very faint lettering on the tall building next to the tube.   It says, but so faintly as to be scarcely legible, WORKING LADS INSTITUTE and down below there are entrances to what were once a Lecture Hall and Gymnasium.   It goes back to late Victorian philanthropy which launched the Institute at Mansion House in 1876 and opened the building, designed by George Baines, in 1884.   It had a library, gymnasium, bank and swimming baths to give boys something to do outside work and provide a home for those coming out of gaol.   In 1896, it was taken over by the Rev. Thomas Jackson as the headquarters of the Whitechapel Methodist Mission, which continued the good work of helping orphans and destitute lads, sending them to work on farms in Devon:-



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