The rooms at the front on The Florrie have been at the heart of our work in the community for over 130 years.
In this picture you can see the space in 1889 when the building first opened, at the time this was the hub for our Education Programme. Classes included writing, drawing, reading, arithmetic, singing, string band, mechanical drawing, shorthand, history and bible class.
In our first annual report in 1890, the Committee reported encouraging successes, such as the Debating Club, which discussed topics as diverse as theatre, tobacco and teetotalism: ‘the speakers were never very many, but the attendance was always good, and great interest was taken in the result of the voting. Considering the difficulty the Committee have had in preventing smoking in the Institute, it is somewhat surprising to find that our boys disapprove of tobacco.’
The space also hosted our library which was open every evening for the boys to use, and the Committee reported with pride that while ‘at first the only books applied for were those containing illustrations, and short simple stories; of late, however, there has been a steadily growing demand for books of a better class.’
In later years the space remained a hub for community activities as well as being home of The Florrie Cafe. In 1957 it became host to The Fiesta Club a hugely successful teenage social club which allowed boys & girls to mix at The Florrie for the first time. ‘The socials were very popular and provided a useful sidelight on the conduct of our lads under different conditions from a normal Club night. The age of rock ‘n’ roll seems to have dispelled the old courtesies one associated with mixed activities, but nevertheless both boys and girls were obviously enjoying themselves.’
Now these rooms contain our Heritage Resource Centre, Library ,& Community Hub Room which continue to be at the heart of the community work & activities we host here at The Florrie.
THE FLORENCE INSTITUTE
Registered Office: The Florence Institute Trust Ltd, 377 Mill Street, Liverpool L8 4RF. Charity Registration No: 1109301. Company Registration No: 05330850 (registered in England and Wales).