Bill Williams
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‘The most difficult boys to handle’
Refugees at the Stockport hostel, 1939–1940
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Stockport was in many ways typical of the many Lancashire and Cheshire towns which during the 1930s were emerging from the years of depression, as dynamic centres of industry with competitive aspirations for modern structures of health-care, education, housing and leisure. Slum clearance, municipal housing estates, a purer water supply and improved leisure facilities were all part of an agenda which Stockport's councillors shared with their urban peers throughout the northwest. It must have been around this time that the idea of providing homes for children gave way to that of providing a refugee hostel. A combination of municipal policy and private enterprise sought also to strengthen Stockport's role as a major market place for the population of rural Cheshire and Derbyshire. Of all these changes, the leading families of Stockport's tiny Jewish community, said to comprise only 350 individuals in 1939, were amongst both the promoters and the beneficiaries.

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‘Jews and other foreigners’

Manchester and the rescue of the victims of European fascism, 1933–1940


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