From Oliver Twist: [T]he parish authorities magnanimously and humanely resolved, that Oliver should be "farmed" ... or despatched to a branch-workhouse some three miles off, where twenty or thirty other juvenile offenders against the poor-laws, rolled about the floor all day, without the inconvenience of too much food or too much clothing, under the parental superintendence of an elderly female, who received the culprits at and for the consideration of sevenpence-halfpenny per small head per week. Sevenpence-halfpenny's worth per week is a good round diet for a child; a great deal may be got for sevenpence-halfpenny, quite enough to overload its stomach, and make it uncomfortable. The elderly female was a woman of wisdom and experience; she knew what was good for children; and she had a very accurate perception of what was good for herself.
|Charles Dickens Asleep|
in the Blacking Factory
I am sure that Charles Dickens would be pleased by the efforts of those who worked so hard to preserve the Cleveland workhouse as a reminder of a past when children were robbed of their childhood or as he put it in the closing chapter of Oliver Twist: "I would fain linger yet with a few of those among whom I have so long moved and share their happiness by endeavouring to depict it."