Morecambe Galloway’s charity celebrate 150th birthday

Staff and service users at Galloway's celebrating their 150 year milestone.
Staff and service users at Galloway's celebrating their 150 year milestone.

A sight loss charity is marking a significant milestone this month – 150 years of service in Morecambe.

Galloway’s, Lancashire’s largest sight loss charity, supports over 7,000 blind and partially sighted people every year.

Back in the 1800s, John Catterall of East View, Preston, and Joseph Livesey, one of the great sons of Preston, began to carry out welfare for blind and partially sighted people in John’s home.

A few years later, a cottage was taken on North Road in Preston and used as a workshop for blind and partially sighted people.

It was here, a blind gentleman named William Woodhurst was put in charge of operations.

A public meeting was held on March 11 1867 in the Corn Exchange and it was decided there was more that could be done.

A resolution was passed to set up an Industrial Institute for the Blind.

Galloway’s, as we know it today, still has records dating back to the inaugural meeting.

It counts among its earliest benefactors Mr E H Booth, founder of the well-known supermarket chain, who Galloway’s still have ties with.

The work of the charity expanded throughout Lancashire with community workers visiting blind and partially sighted people to “instruct” them in various trades or skills.

Workshops were established, followed by a school, a residential home and even a hotel.

Originally Preston Industrial Institute for the Blind, then the Institute for Blind Welfare and until 2000, the Preston and North Lancashire Blind Welfare Society.

Now named after William Wilding Galloway, a cotton merchant from Preston whose will Galloway’s benefited from.

John Ward, chairman of Galloway’s, said: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody who has made our work and achievements possible over the last century and a half.”

To find out more about Galloway’s or how to access services, please call 01524 414846.