Warrington & District Society For Deaf People was formed in 1885 as the Warrington Deaf and Dumb Society. It was originally a branch of the Liverpool Benevolent Deaf and Dumb Society and served by missioners based in Liverpool. It became independent of the Liverpool organisation in 1912, and established its first meeting rooms at 10 Legh Street, Warrington.
It took a definite step forward in 1921 when it appointed its first paid employee, David Fyfe, a Deaf man from Kilmarnock in Scotland where he was a volunteer missioner with the Ayrshire Mission to the Deaf and Dumb. As Missioner to the local Deaf community, David Fyfe worked tirelessly to raise funds to support his work, which included visiting the sick, helping to find work, acting as an advocate to deaf people and their families, and acting as a lay preacher in regular Sunday church services, which at one time even extended to the Cheshire towns of Runcorn and Northwich.
David Fyfe was responsible for the purchase of and development of 13 Wilson Patten Street in 1929 as a meeting place, a venue for church services and missionary offices. He lived with his wife in accommodation on the top floor of the building, before retiring in 1951 after 30 years service.
During the 1980s and 1990s, Warrington Deaf Society (as it was then) became a branch of the Cheshire Deaf Society and following the acquisition of the next door premises at 11 Wilson Patten Street, obtained a Lottery grant to re-build parts of the property as a community centre.
The Lottery grant of £700,000 enabled WDSDP to completely rebuild and refurbish the two halves of the building, merging them into one, and creating an extension at the rear of the building. The work took two years to complete, and it was a proud day on 14 September 2004 when the newly refurbished building was opened by HRH The Countess of Wessex (seen in the picture after unveiling the brass plate, accompanied by Fred Barlow, then Chairman of WDSDP).
Now named Warrington & District Society for Deaf People, we are proud to promote our Centre as a thriving place for Deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people and work in conjunction with Warrington Borough Council.