Apr 032019

5 Roxburgh Place today

5 Roxburgh Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9SU

In 1871, Flora Stevenson opened a Sewing Room here for five months of the year during winter to allow women the same chance the men had at the Firelighter Factory to prove the genuineness of their applications for relief and their willingness to work. The women worked for a small wage (three halfpence per hour) which was paid in the form of provisions or clothing. Their work in the Sewing Room helped many to go on to find more permanent employment as cleaners, nurses, or in shops and factories. Initially, clothes made by the women were sold, but from 1893 onwards, the work of the Sewing Room was dedicated to making clothing for destitute children. The Sewing Room remained in operation until 1896 and in later years it provided work for unemployed tailors as well as women.

Painting of Flora Stevenson

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