Monday, December 22, 2014

Historic Women @54StJamesStreet | Home of @TheWomensOrg | Kitty Wilkinson

When The Women's Organisation opened the doors of their new £5.3mil building in the Baltic Triangle district of Liverpool, they were keen to show the influence that iconic women of history have had on the organisation.

Each room at 54 St James Street has been carefully named after an inspiring woman who made her mark in history. The Women's Organisation wanted to introduce you to some of these amazing women so you can see why they have been recognised at the Women's International Centre for Economic Development (WICED)

The Wilkinson  Suite is a contemporary designed room, an equiped IT suite with integrated PCs, wired internet as well as additional space for laptops. Portable projector is available upon request, free WiFi connectivity is also available. This room also benefits from natural light, heating and cooling system which can be controlled from inside the room.

Kitty Wilkinson (1786-1860)

Catherine Wilkinson was born in Derry, Ireland and was an Irish immigrant 'wife of a labourer' who became known as the Saint of the Slums. in 1832, during a cholera epidemic, Wilkinson took the initiative to offer the use of her house and yard to neighbours to was their clothes, at a charge of 1 penny per week, and showed them how to use a chloride of lime to get them clean.
She was supported by the District Provident Society and William Rathbone.

In 1832 a cholera epidemic was sweeping Liverpool, Kitty and Tom Wilkinson were in the fortunate position of having the only hot water boiler in their street so they invited their neighbours down to their cellar to wash their clothes and bed-linen, hoping to offer some measure of protection against cholera.

The Wilkinson's were aided in their work by Liverpool District Provident Society and the benevolence of the Rathbone family, each contributing towards the provision of clean clothes and fresh bedding materials therefore reducing the spread of disease.

The Wilkinson's wash room became so popular that is was moved upstairs to the kitchen, with a rudimentary drying area established in the back yard. Kitty and Tom asked the neighbours who used their facilities to contribute one penny per week to help towards the bedding and water costs.

At the same time, Kitty and a neighbour by the name of Mrs Lloyd established an infant school, in Kitty and Tom's bedroom. Local young orphans would be taught, continuing Kitty's desire to see working-class children educated as best as possible.

Kitty Wilkinson is permanently commemorated in a stained glass window in Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral, which honors the noble women of Liverpool.

If you would like to find out more about our Wilkinson Suite, and our other suites and spaces at 54 St James Street, find us here

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