During the construction of the New Children’s Court in 2016-2017, a historic boot was uncovered behind a fireplace that was located over the building entry. Since the early 16th Century, the tradition of hiding old boots and shoes in chimneys and walls was believed to give the building occupants good luck and to ward off evil spirits.
The Children’s Court and Metropolitan Boys’ Shelter which occupied the first floor of this building was constructed in 1910- 1911. The boot is evidence that superstitions and faith in folk magic persisted even then. This boot was intended as a good luck charm for children entering this building and now serves as a reminder that all children need a safe place to live, good health, an education and adults who will care for them, help them to make good decisions and act in their best interests.
The boot has been added to the International Register of Concealed Shoes, kept by the Northampton Museum in Britain. To honour this tradition, our project team lead by Tim Christie, Terry Edwards and Gary Rossiter held a ceremony to conceal a new boot within the structure of this building close to where the original boot was found.
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