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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Apr 032019
 

13 Randolph Crescent today

13 Randolph Crescent, Edinburgh, EH3 7TT

Flora Clift Stevenson, noted philanthropist and social and government reformer, lived here at 13 Randolph Crescent. In 1868, Flora joined the Edinburgh Association for Improving the Conditions of the Poor shortly after it first began and oversaw the Sewing Room, which provided paid work for women in the winter months, Flora also volunteered as a health visitor for the Association, visiting the needy to assess their claims and distributing provisions tickets. In 1873, Flora was elected as a member to the first Edinburgh School Board and played a large part in a wide range of educational debates in the city, eventually being unanimously elected chair of the Board in 1900. Throughout all those years, she fought hard to improve the educational provision in public schools, and particularly for children from deprived backgrounds. In 1899, the board’s new school in Comely Bank was named as the Flora Stevenson School in her honour and the name remains today. Upon her death, in 1905, between two and three thousand public school children lined the route of her funeral.

13 Randolph Crescent today

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Painting of Flora Stevenson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plaque on wall at 13 Randolph Crescent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credits: Ema Smekalova, Lucy Ridley, Wikipedia

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