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Records of Delamere Forest School for Jewish Children with Special Needs
Records of Delamere Forest School for Jewish Children with Special Needs
Includes records of the schools' founder, Margaret Langdon; the school board; governors; Trust; staff; benefactors; Friends of Delamere Society; Delamere Aid Society; press cuttings; photographs and video and audio material.
Records of Delamere Forest School for Jewish Children with Special Needs
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Delamere Forest School was opened in 1921 named Jewish Fresh Air Home and School for Delicate Manchester and Salford Children. The school was founded by Miss Margaret Langdon. At a special general meeting in 1965 the name of the school was changed to Delamere Forest School for Delicate Jewish Children. The name changed again in 1981 to Delamere Forest School for Jewish Children with Special Needs. The school and home were run as a charity and were administered by the Board of Management and by the School Governors. Margaret Langdon was the daughter of a Manchester Jewish cotton merchant. She had been involved in many philanthropic activities throughout her youth including the running of a Holiday Home in Chinley and work for the Jewish Ladies Visiting Association. The idea for the school came when she was on holiday with her brother before the First World War after discussing their concerns for the wellbeing of Jewish children living in overcrowded parts of Manchester and East London. Since the 1890s there had been concern over the health of East European Jewish immigrants and this was often associated with negative propaganda. The Jewish elite felt it was their moral duty to raise standards of Jewish immigrants and to counteract the negative propaganda against them. Langdon felt that children needed a place where they could be away from the city for several months. Langdon approached Alderman Frankenburg (former Mayor of Salford) about her ideas for a school and he agreed to donate money if Langdon could raise £1000. Langdon formed a committee of young women to start the religious school in 1912. The funds were raised but everything had to be put on hold during the war. A Delamere Committee first met in July 1919 to discuss plans for the school and Langdon found the site at Delamere which was an ideal location due to it's proximity to Manchester and was within a one mile radius of a railway station. To get the funds to pay for the land, Langdon met other Jews and the project was warmly received by Mrs. Quas-Cohen whose husband Philip and his friend Hyman Weinberg jointly agreed to purchase the land. Langdon received support from the Board of Education who governed residential special schools and they approved the architectural plans drawn up by architects JW Beaumont and Son in 1919. The building was designed to let in as much circulation of fresh air as possible. The school was to be financed partly by the Board of Education and partly through donations. A Building and Finance committee was formed with Philip Quas-Cohen as chair, Margaret's brother J. H. Langdon as vice chair and Margaret herself as honorary secretary to oversee the building of the new school. The foundation stone for Delamere was laid by Mrs. Quas-Cohen on the 11th July 1920. The first children were admitted to the school on 11 July 1921. The school was officially opened on 23 July 1922 by Mr. Lionel de Rothechild and the building was dedicated by Chief Rabbi Dr. Hertz. The school accommodated 20 boys and 20 girls who were admitted on the recommendations of doctors, hospitals, schools and health visitors. An aftercare committee was founded in 1922 to continue to monitor the welfare and progress of children after they were discharged from the school. The school's motto was 'Children, like flowers, need sunshine'. In the 1960s, the emphasis of the school switched to catering for children with special educational needs and pupils benefited from individual care and attention in peaceful surroundings. Pupils also benefited from being taught in a Jewish school which helped maintain their Jewish culture. In 1981 the school was opened to a limited number of non-Jewish students. The school relocated to North Manchester in 2010. The school was closed in July 2011 due to the financial difficulties in maintaining the independent school. However, the charity trustees are continuing the charity as Delamere Charitable Trust and continue to provide support se
Deposited by Malcolm Joels, Chairman of Delamere Forest School, via Lorna Kay in Jan 2012
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