Thursday, 7 January 2016

Bolton War Supply Depot

From The Manchester Guardian, 6th January 1916.




During the past three months very valuable work for military hospitals has been done at the Bolton War Supply Depot.  The undertaking is still in process of development, and as the call for surgical dressings, hospital clothing, and other articles is likely to increase in the near future there is much scope for additional personal service, funds for the purchase of raw material, and gifts of material.
The depot was opened by Mrs. E. Walker, who spent two weeks as the central depot in Kensington in order to learn what things were needed and the best methods of producing them.  The Tramways Committee placed at the disposal of her Committee, without charge, several rooms in the tramways office building and the recreation-rooms near, and over a hundred women have enrolled in the organisation.

Those who do not much care for sewing wind bandages or make up cotton wool and gauge swabs, which are used in enormous quantities in the hospitals for operations.  This work has to be done with scrupulous care and cleanliness, and it can only be directed satisfactorily in workrooms organised for the purpose.  Other helpers are engaged in making soft slippers, pneumonia jackets, dressings, and various garments required by soldiers in hospital.  Comforts for the troops are also made, and a great deal of knitting is done by helpers away from the workrooms.

Officially Recognised.
The workers pay an entrance fee of a shilling, and they also contribute to the funds for the purchase of material.  The Mayor and Mayoress, the Chief Constable, and Colonel Winder have shown a keen interest in the work.  Nearly £170 has been contributed in support of it, and many gifts of material, sewing machines, and other articles have been received.  The depot is linked up with the Lancashire and Cheshire County Comforts Association, and it is officially recognised by the War Office.  Packages of goods are sent to Lemnos, Gallipoli, the Scottish Women’s Hospital (Serbian Relief Fund), the Anglo-French Depot, the Ladies’ Emergency Committee of the Navy league, and to local battalions, as well as to home hospitals.

A central institution of this kind, which is in constant touch with the County Committee and the War Office, has many advantages over scattered and isolated sewing parties.  The officials are kept informed of the particular needs of the moment, and the activities of the workers can be directed at once to the supply of those needs.  The Bolton depot, writes a representative of the “Manchester Guardian” who visited it yesterday, is a model of good organisation, and all the women who were at work in the various rooms were obviously devoting themselves seriously to their task.  The hon. treasurer, Miss Hall, of 103, Tudor Avenue, Bolton, and the hon. secretary, Mrs. P. Musgrave, of Brookland, Bolton, are in attendance at the depot on the working days – Monday, Wednesday, and Friday – and they will gladly receive contributions, gifts, and offers of personal service.

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