[Pembroke College Mission (now Pembroke House), Walworth, South London.] Eleven printed volumes of annual reports: 'Pembroke College (Cambridge) Mission. Fifth [to Fifteenth] Annual Report.'

Pembroke College Mission (now Pembroke House), Walworth, South London [Elephant and Castle; Borough; Cambridge University missions and settlements; Rev. R. J. Milward; Rev. W. A. Hunter]
Publication details: 
[Pembroke College, Cambridge.] Eleven numbers: Fifth (November 1890) to Fifteenth (December 1900). [All printed by J. Hall & Son, Printers, Cambridge.]
SKU: 21218

Eleven volumes, 1890-1900, each of around 50pp, 16mo. Uniform (but for a few decorative features) in grey printed wraps. The sixth annual report (November 1891) has an attractive frontispiece illustration of 'Proposed New Buildings, when completed'; the seventh (December 1892) has two plates showing the interior of the mission building 'when used as church' and 'when used as hall'. The other volumes each have frontispiece maps of the environs of the 'Mission Hall' and 'Missioners' House'. In the last four volumes in the run (twelfth to fifteenth reports) the maps are accompanied by two pages of 'Notes on the Map and District' by Rev. R. J. Milward. The wraps of the eleventh report (December 1895) are detached and chipped, otherwise the volumes are in good condition, lightly aged and worn. With stamps, labels and shelfmarks of the Board of Education Library. No copies of any Pembroke Mission annual reports whatsoever on OCLC WorldCat or COPAC. The volumes provide valuable information regarding poverty in a deprived area of Victorian London. For example, the first volume in the run (fifth report, November 1890) begins with an unusually frank twenty-one page account by one of the two 'Missioners', Rev. W. A. Hunter, in which he explains that, having come to the Mission ten months previously, he has found it 'in many respects a well organised work in progress', but that the school has been 'hampered by two | difficulties [last word in bold] | which are part of the district. The first is the difficulty of obtaining good earnest | Teachers [last word in bold] | or rather, I might say, in obtaining teachers at all. That has been a real difficulty for a long time. It was no use trying to increase the number of the boys because | there was no one to teach, [last six words in bold] | no one hardly but myself who had any control over them. It is surely better to have a few well taught than a great number with no teaching at all!' He also notes a 'want of boots', and 'our | open air work in the Summer | which I am bound to say was | not a visible success'. There has also been 'improvement in the behaviour' of the Mission's choir boys: 'I select my choir boys not at all because they can sing but because they are good or have the making of good boys in them. I would rather have a well behaved choir than one that could sing but not behave. Anyone who has been at our services and seen the boys looking so nice in their surplices and behaving so well as they do, must approve of the change. But they can and do sing well and though to some ears the singing may sound harsh and rather like shouting yet to me it is the sweetest music that I hear.'