World’s first charity street collection to be recreated

The world’s first ever charity street collection, which took place 130 years ago in Manchester, is to be recreated at an event in the city this weekend.

The collection in 1891 was for the RNLI and involved a horse drawn lifeboat parade through the city. There were also floats and bands playing at the event, which raised more than £5,000.

This first ever charity street collection in the world was staged because of a lifeboat disaster five years earlier, when 27 men from Southport and St Anne died while trying to rescue sailors from a stricken vessel.

A local industrialist Sir Charles Macara helped the charity organise a collection with the idea of “instead of asking wealthy philanthropists for money, he appealed to the man on the street”, according to the charity.

This weekend the RNLI will stage a similar collection, involving music and historical exhibitions.

In addition, an historic picture taken of the event in 1891 will be recreated, “to reflect modern day fundraising”, said the charity.



“Manchester is the birthplace of street donations, not just in the UK but the world, and that’s something to be really proud of,” said Alex Doig, chair of the RNLI’s Manchester fundraising branch.

“The anniversary will be about celebrating the strength of the link between the city and the sea. It’s only through our volunteers time, through charitable donations and through the support of local communities and businesses that our crews can do what they do.”

The event takes place in St Annes Square in the city on Saturday 9 October, from 9am to 5pm.

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