From its origins in the East End of London in 1865, The Salvation Army has believed in a practical Christian faith. This has ensured a keen sense of social justice and a commitment to helping the most socially excluded in society.
In 1891, to help people escape from the poverty and disease of overcrowded and insanitary city slums, the Salvation Army opened a 'Farm Colony' at Hadleigh in Essex. It was a fully working farm with its own market-gardens, orchards, brickfields and milk production. The 'Colony' gave training in basic building trades, household work and other handicrafts. Some people were helped to emigrate overseas as farm workers.
These milk bottles date from the first part of the twentieth century and would have been filled with milk from the dairy herd at the farm. The bottles represent the uniqueness of the Salvation Army approach, and the organisation's important place in the development of social work in the UK. Some of the most vulnerable and needy in society were given a practical opportunity at Hadleigh to improve their lives.
Hadleigh Farm still operates today providing skills development for adults with special needs.