GMMG - Greater Manchester Museums Group

GMMG - Greater Manchester Museums Group Show menu
Back Show search

Tea Urn

circa 1910

An aluminium, globe-shaped urn, with a turned wooden finial on the lid, two turned wooden handles on the sides, and one metal tap.

This tea urn, was once used at Bury Ragged School to serve tea at fundraising bazaars, which played a vital part in the funding of free education for the poor of Bury.

The idea of ‘ragged schools’ was developed by John Pounds, a Portsmouth shoemaker. In 1818 Pounds began teaching poor children without charging fees.

Thomas Guthrie helped to promote Pounds’ idea of free schooling for working class children. Guthrie started a ragged school in Edinburgh and Sheriff Watson established another in Aberdeen.

Bury Ragged School on George Street was a non-denominational Sunday, evening and day school, which was founded 1859. School buildings in George Street were constructed in 1869, and the day school opened in 1873, closing in 1960. The Sunday school and adult classes continued until 1973.

During the 19th century the Ragged School ran many fundraising events to raise money for the upkeep of the school; tea urns and crested china were needed in order to do this effectively.