Sunday, October 14, 2012

Henry Scott Tuke and Lawrence Street Working Men's Club, York

How about this for a working men's club?

This is - or rather was - Lawrence Street WMC in York, just outside Walmgate Bar. The club occupied these rather grand premises until it moved to a modest new building next door in 2005 or thereabouts. York Stories has a picture of the club in its original home in 2004 and says the building is now on Save Britain's Heritage's 'at risk' register.

This house originally belonged to the Tukes, an important family of York Quakers involved with Rowntree's cocoa works, three Quaker schools (Ackworth, Bootham and The Mount) and the nearby Retreat Mental Hospital.

The Retreat, founded by William Tuke, was opened in 1796 and pioneered the humane treatment of the mentally ill. It is still open as a mental hospital and you can read more about it on Wikipedia.

William's great great grandson Henry Scott Tuke was born in the Lawrence Street house in 1858. He was best know for painting This Sort of Thing...

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