The Police Boot Fund ~ The Children’s Boot Fund
Here’s something that’s a wonderful bit of Social History, dealing with what was real child poverty, dreadful times but somehow something heart-warming came from it . . .
First and foremost, I must thank my father for the lead on this fine piece of Local History.
“Have you heard of the Police Boot Fund in Grimsby?” he asked me . . .
“Pray tell me more” I replied . . .
Before the Second World War there were still children running around in the streets of the poorer parts of Grimsby without boots or shoes - they simply didn’t have them.
The Grimsby Police ran a charitable fund to try and redress this issue.
I’m not sure about the finer points, I’d be keen to get more details, but I do know that money was collected in order to buy boots for the under-privileged children in Grimsby.
I’m only guessing here, but I’ll punt the theory that perhaps the Fund also took in donated boots and shoes ?
Rather interestingly, in order to drum up funds the Police had quite a wheeze which was known to be used with reasonable frequency:
People of means, or happened to be in funds, who were caught doing things they’d rather not become public were sometimes given the choice of making a generous donation to The Police Boot Fund rather then find themselves before the Bench !
Sir Alec Black of Grimsby
A local man ‘made good’ a very wealthy man, self-made, a great success and a man with some admirable ideals.
He did much for those locally who were less fortunate and continued to do so long after his death, he died in 1942 at a Racecourse I believe, with his Charitable Trust.
He loved Horse Racing and owned a renowned horse called The Panther
Sir Alec Black paid 3,600 guineas for the horse and so enamoured was he of this horse that he made the following pledge after entering it to run n The Derby
If The Panther wins The Derby then Sir Alec Black promised to buy every poor child in Grimsby a pair of boots !
Such was the publicity and faith in the horse that half of Grimsby backed the horse to win - I think it came tenth after previously having run such a hard race it was deemed not to have recovered in time for The Derby.
I’m keen to learn more and get as much information or anecdotes on this as possible.
If you can help then please do leave a comment
All the best