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    • dandy-candy
    • By dandy-candy 14th Oct 16, 10:12 PM
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    dandy-candy
    Really interesting documentary on YouTube oldstyles might like
    • #1
    • 14th Oct 16, 10:12 PM
    Really interesting documentary on YouTube oldstyles might like 14th Oct 16 at 10:12 PM
    I've just watched a fascinating documentary from 1969 filmed in a slum area of Nottingham called St Anns. Seeing how the folks lived you would think it was more like the 1920s - coal fire, 3 kids in a bed, outside loo, no bathroom just a zinc bath hung on the wall etc. Here's a link if anyone else want to watch it

    https://youtu.be/FK-cSNAas2k

    The ladies even go to a wash house to do their laundry - I'd never seen or heard of such a place! Really worth watching.
Page 1
    • THIRZAH
    • By THIRZAH 14th Oct 16, 11:10 PM
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    THIRZAH
    • #2
    • 14th Oct 16, 11:10 PM
    • #2
    • 14th Oct 16, 11:10 PM
    When I started work in Manchester in 1977 some of the women in the office used to talk about going to the wash house with their mothers but I never met anyone who still used one.

    I do remember going to a public bath house when i was staying with a friend in Germany in 1974. We paid our money and then were shown to a little room each which contained a bath and a chair.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 15th Oct 16, 7:54 AM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    • #3
    • 15th Oct 16, 7:54 AM
    • #3
    • 15th Oct 16, 7:54 AM
    There's also the mini tv series on at the moment re modern day people being sent back to live in Victorian slums of the East End.

    I'm sort of watching from behind peeping through my fingers and being glad I personally wouldnt have had to put up with it - as I would have just died a lot earlier than I was due to (as I don't have any dependants, etc) rather than do so.

    Who needs to read horror stories - when you've only got to look back a very short distance in our history to see people living a life like that?

    The thing that is never clear to me is how much awareness they had that there were people living more comfortable lives not that far away from them? In this day and age of tv and internet it's very clear - all too clear in some ways...

    I do remember visiting the home of someone I was working with when I lived in one of the Scandinavian countries for a while in the 1970s and their parents didnt have a bathroom/indoor loo and I was very surprised - as the Scandinavian countries are more modern than Britain and I hadnt come across this in Britain ever.
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 15-10-2016 at 7:59 AM.
    The unexamined life is not worth living.
    • JackieO
    • By JackieO 15th Oct 16, 8:45 AM
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    JackieO
    • #4
    • 15th Oct 16, 8:45 AM
    • #4
    • 15th Oct 16, 8:45 AM
    When I got married in 1962 we lived in a house in London that had an outside loo and certainly no bath at all. I can remember going to the local Public Baths and for 6d (2 1/2 p) you got a huge bath of boiling water.If it got a bit cold you would yell out 'More hot for number 4 please'. There were individual cubicles and Ladies was on one side of the building and gents on the other.

    Because of lack of indoor facilities I also used the Launderette to do my washing as well. It was 2s.6d for a full load and 6d for a ten minute 'dry' in the dryers.

    When my brother and then sister-in-law managed to get a council flat I would go there and use their bath.

    When we lived in a two roomed flat in Selhurst in London again ( we had to pay £100.00 key money to get it unfurnished, and it really was two rooms and an alcove off of one that was the kitchen) we had no bath, and shared the loo with two other families.

    I would walk with my two children in the pram from Selhurst to Sydenham (about 4 miles odd once a week on a Wednesday so both I and the kids could have a hot bath, then we would walk home again afterwards)
    My OH needed the car for work so it was shank's pony for myself and the kids.But we survived, and did this for almost 5 years until we had saved enough to buy our first house in 1971.

    In fact when I had my youngest DD at home the first bath I had was sitting in the baby bath .But no one went dirty we all had a strip wash every morning.
    In our tiny flat I only had a very small gas water geyser on the wall over the kitchen sink and that was the only hot water I had in the flat.

    I too am watching The Victorian Slum with interest It was intriguing to see that the first thing that folk made sure of paying before anything else was the rent ,then food. Everyone had to contribute to the families earning to keep a roof over their heads.and if anyone fell sick or couldn't work it was quite scary for the rest of the family.Debt was a problem of enormous anxiety back then and few folk run up the sorts of debts seen today

    Life today is so much better for lots of people and I have no rose-tinted spectacles about the 'good old days ' at all I enjoy my hot water and central heating and wouldn't go back to lino on the floor and shared loos again
    Quot Libra,Quam Breve Tempus.

    December budget £60.00 5/6 NSD so far.Spent £9.90 this morning, £50.10 left
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 15th Oct 16, 8:58 AM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    • #5
    • 15th Oct 16, 8:58 AM
    • #5
    • 15th Oct 16, 8:58 AM
    Absolutely - Jackie O re not having "rose tinted spectacles"

    The worst I've had in this life is 6 years living in bedsits (as my city is too expensive for single people to be able to afford to rent even a one-bed flat unless they are well-paid).

    I still occasionally think "thank goodness there is no more sharing a bathroom/having a grotty little baby cooker/no fridge/no washing machine/no central heating/no phone and generally very grotty".

    Not just my own bedsits were awful - so were the vast majority of others I ever spotted.

    It's a relief to be retired for all sorts of reasons - there was the worry whether sickness would affect income. That applied even in the Civil Service - if not to as great an extent as to many jobs. But you knew that latterly they would soon be looking to "manage you out" if they felt you were having much sick leave. It feels really odd to know that there are many jobs still (in this day and age!) that pay less/if anything if someone is off work ill.

    It is a relief to be able to know the central heating will turn on of a morning/I can have a shower/flick switches and buttons to "contact the World" and then do what I decide for the rest of the day. So - yep...counting blessings at having that.. You and me both Jackie at seeing the back of lino and shared loos...
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 15-10-2016 at 9:02 AM.
    The unexamined life is not worth living.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 15th Oct 16, 9:11 AM
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    PasturesNew
    • #6
    • 15th Oct 16, 9:11 AM
    • #6
    • 15th Oct 16, 9:11 AM
    My mum grew up in a house without even an oven, until about war-time. If you wanted to bake bread/cake you had to take it to the bakehouse.

    In the late 70s I visited a married couple I knew, they had no bathroom, their tin bath was hanging on the wall.

    There was a lot of it about until well into the 1980s if you weren't mixing with the wealthier types of people.

    My nan had an outside loo, (1970s) although it was just hers and it was clean/well kept. We had one too, although we also had a loo in our bathroom, so it wasn't the only loo.

    My parents got their first central heating and double glazing after they'd retired and moved into a house that already had both fitted. We only had one coal fire at home - in the winter the windows froze on the inside and the bathroom was farquin nippy mid-winter in the mornings. We lived.
    • culpepper
    • By culpepper 15th Oct 16, 9:52 AM
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    culpepper
    • #7
    • 15th Oct 16, 9:52 AM
    • #7
    • 15th Oct 16, 9:52 AM
    The first home I can remember was 2 rooms in a London house.
    We littl'uns used to bath in the kitchen sink back in the olden days. It was one of those huge ceramic butler types. One of the ladies who mum cleaned for, let her use their bathroom and dad never bathed unless he had a doctors appointment to my knowledge, which was probably about twice in 20 years. He used to wash every day at the kitchen sink which I always imagined was a habit from Army days but how thorough the wash, I couldn't tell you.
    We always seemed to live from penny to penny and I well remember comparing other children's homes and clothes to our own and wondering why, if all our dads had jobs, our lot was so much less than theirs.
    My mothers own family had been self sufficient and she certainly felt herself lowered in lifestyle.
    Moving to a 3 bed-roomed council flat was like winning the lottery.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 15th Oct 16, 10:11 AM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    • #8
    • 15th Oct 16, 10:11 AM
    • #8
    • 15th Oct 16, 10:11 AM
    That comment has reminded me of comments from my own parents - who were born in the 1920s.

    My father did comment one time about envying an only child at school with him - as he had rather more than him. My father came from the large family that was standard at the time and couldnt even finish his education because of it. He said that, basically, he accepted it - as that was how it was for most people he knew (ie also in large families). He knew there was enough money coming in and that wasn't the problem. The problem was it was having to cover so many children.

    My mother was from a smaller family (though still large by our standards) and she has certainly commented on her older siblings having had a decent standard of living, but then the "family fortunes" got a lot worse and she had things a lot worse than they did and didn't accept it/but had to get on with it.
    The unexamined life is not worth living.
    • suki1964
    • By suki1964 15th Oct 16, 11:38 AM
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    suki1964
    • #9
    • 15th Oct 16, 11:38 AM
    • #9
    • 15th Oct 16, 11:38 AM
    I've just watched a fascinating documentary from 1969 filmed in a slum area of Nottingham called St Anns. Seeing how the folks lived you would think it was more like the 1920s - coal fire, 3 kids in a bed, outside loo, no bathroom just a zinc bath hung on the wall etc. Here's a link if anyone else want to watch it

    https://youtu.be/FK-cSNAas2k

    The ladies even go to a wash house to do their laundry - I'd never seen or heard of such a place! Really worth watching.
    Originally posted by dandy-candy

    I was born in 64 and I can remember quite well going to the wash house every Friday with Nan and mum. All the washing was piled up in the pram and away we went. We girls were too young to be allowed in the wash area and had to amuse ourselves best we could in a waiting room that was just furnished with wooden benches. I remember learning my ABC's and learning to do the alphabet song backwards

    Up until 68 we lived in a house with no bathroom and an outside loo. The tin bath was brought out on Sunday's and the three of us plonked in it in front of the fire

    Oh and when I say house, it was the downstairs of a house, another family lived up stairs and their kitchen was the landing

    My husband can't believe we lived like that However what everyone has to remember is London was hit badly during the war, house building had stopped, many many houses had been flattened and it wasn't until the mid 50's that house building took off again. We got moved as part of the slum clearence in 68. We were one of the last families in our road as mum was holding out for a house , not wanting to move into the high rises being built

    So in 68 we moved to a lovely modern council house. Modern because it had a bathroom and a gas fire. No such thing as central heating, double glazing or fitted carpets, Lino through out and it was so cold in the winter we had to pile coats onto the beds to keep warm and scrape the ice off the insides of the windows in the mornings. The kitchen was fully modern, a larder with a cold shelf, two top cupboards and two base units and just one plug socket

    We got carpet in our bedroom cos my uncle worked on the bins and a carpet shop threw out a load of carpet samples. Our bedroom carpet was those stuck down with double sided tape

    Even in a modern house bath night was still a weekly event as the hot water was immersion and that cost a fortune. Rest of the week is was a wash at the kitchen sink as that had an ascot for the hot water. And we still shared the bath right up till we were teens
    if you lend someone £20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it
    • Sayschezza
    • By Sayschezza 15th Oct 16, 12:50 PM
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    Sayschezza
    Until I was 11 I lived in a rented house made of Essex Weatherboard so you can guess how cold that was in the winter. We didn't have water indoors and my DM had to fetch it in buckets from the stand pipe in the adjacent farm building. Bathtime was once a week in the tin bath and I think the water was heated in the copper which was a brick affair in the scullery and had to have a fire lit underneath. The loo was in a wooden hut outside and was emptied by my DF every Sunday morning into a pit he dug at the end of our garden. We had no electric until I was about 9 or 10 so I can remember the oil lamps downstairs and going to bed by candlelight. I had a tiny little oil lamp by my bed that was left alight all night as I didn't like the dark much. Although my friends in the same village had flush loos/electric I don't ever remember thinking it odd that we didn't. We were given a council house on an estate in the nearest big town when I was 11.
    • Jackieboy
    • By Jackieboy 15th Oct 16, 12:59 PM
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    Jackieboy
    When I started work in Manchester in 1977 some of the women in the office used to talk about going to the wash house with their mothers but I never met anyone who still used one.

    I do remember going to a public bath house when i was staying with a friend in Germany in 1974. We paid our money and then were shown to a little room each which contained a bath and a chair.
    Originally posted by THIRZAH
    I went to a couple of public baths in the UK in the early mid 70s.
    • maryb
    • By maryb 15th Oct 16, 6:12 PM
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    maryb
    When I was 10 we moved into an Edwardian house which had had all its garden sold for development. Old houses were quite cheap then.

    It had a bathroom indoors, but it also had an outside loo - for the gardener originally! Handy for us when we were playing outside
    It doesn't matter if you are a glass half full or half empty sort of person. Keep it topped up! Cheers!
    • THIRZAH
    • By THIRZAH 15th Oct 16, 10:00 PM
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    THIRZAH
    We had an indoor loo but quite a few people in the village only had outdoor ones. Every year we used to go to a birthday party at the house of a girl who only had an outdoor loo. It was at the bottom of the garden down a rough path and her birthday was in November so it got dark early. If we needed the loo her mother provided us with a torch but we were too scared to go down the garden by ourselves so two or three of us would go at the same time. The trouble was that there was no light in the loo so then there would be a debate about whether the person actually using the loo got the torch which they then put on the plank seat or did the girls waiting outside hang on to it.

    Perhaps it was a good thing that the party was in November as the loo was an old fashioned earth closet type with no flush so must have really smelt in the summer.
    • VfM4meplse
    • By VfM4meplse 15th Oct 16, 10:38 PM
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    VfM4meplse
    I am so glad I was born in relatively recent times. There is no way I could bear to share a bathroom with strangers, as for an outside loo I dread that too. I dislike having to use facilities at the best of times, I can't imagine venturing outside / weeing in a bucket in the middle of the night

    Looking forward to streaming the video now.
    Value-for-money-for-me-puhleeze!

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    • JackieO
    • By JackieO 15th Oct 16, 11:45 PM
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    JackieO
    Just watched the video and I was wondering how that hard-pressed Mum was today bless her she was doing her best on very little and I really felt for her
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    • Si Clist
    • By Si Clist 16th Oct 16, 7:44 AM
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    Si Clist
    There was a lot of it about until well into the 1980s ...
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    There still is round here, according to our doctor on Friday ...
    A positive attitude might not solve all your problems, but it'll annoy enough people to make the effort worthwhile
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 16th Oct 16, 8:36 PM
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    Florence J
    I am 27. I always remember never seeming to have enough as a child but somehow my family got through it. We were fed well and even managed yearly camping trips so I feel the first 10 years or so of my life may not have been as ritzy as some, but me and my siblings had nothing to complain about. My dad owned a small building company and my mum was a teaching assistant.

    But then in my teens things took a turn for the worse. My mum was an alcoholic, my dad's business went bankrupt. Then my mum ran off. We now lived off benefits and the kindness of family members. As a result of my dad's bankruptcy he didn't have a bank account, and we didn't have energy direct debits. we had a gas and electricity meter and an immersion heater for the water. I would have cold showers in winter and often slept in my coat and a wooly hat. But we didn't freeze.

    I remember the fridge would hold little more than milk and most of our meals involved bread or potatoes, but we didn't starve.

    I needed black shoes for school. I only had white trainers. I would sit in detention with the true troublemakers despite being one of the best students in terms of grades and behaviour because I had broken the uniform rules. My dad once had the 'bright' idea of covering my white trainers in black shoe polish. Eventually my school gave me the money to buy shoes with.

    Once my window broke and we had a sheet of plastic in place for a good while before we could afford to replace the glass.

    I don't say any of this because I want people to feel sorry for me, or to say my life was as hard as others in previous times. I didn't starve, I didn't freeze and I had clothes to wear. I merely wish to show that you can find people living in not too dissimilar types of conditions now.

    This show sounds interesting, thanks for posting about it.
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    • suki1964
    • By suki1964 16th Oct 16, 8:53 PM
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    suki1964
    It's a shame Florence that you suffered that less then a generation ago. In the 70's I walked the 3 mile to school and back, one winter in just sandals and a cardigan cos we didn't have the money for school shoes and my coat was stolen in school

    Do watch the link.

    It's very telling

    Nothing has changed really in the 40 years that has passed
    if you lend someone £20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it
    • thriftwizard
    • By thriftwizard 16th Oct 16, 9:52 PM
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    thriftwizard
    We lived in some big houses, often with servants' quarters, but we didn't actually have any servants or even the money to heat the house; the kitchen was usually the only warm room & my mother had to clean it all & keep it presentable for the public herself. In the one I was born into in the late 50s, we had an outside two-holer, but we did also have two inside loos, and a bathroom in which we could take our weekly bath in 4" of lukewarm water, with the parafin heater hissing away beside us IF we could afford parafin that week! I still remember the patterns the frost made inside my bedroom window...

    But my aunt's house, down in the village, was just as it had been a hundred years before; little rooms, which were easy to heat, although as it was cob-built it was always a bit damp. Steep, twisty stairs rising from the kitchen, behind a latched tongue & groove door. Underneath the stairs was a little larder cupboard, with a wire-mesh window with no glass, which kept food pretty cool even in high summer. It was always full of jars of jam, honey & salted beans, with a ham hanging from the underneath of the stairs.

    The front part of the house had a slate roof but the back was thatch; I can remember listening to the rain hissing down on that. The walls were about two feet thick, which meant great window-seats, always with cushions, looking out at the church, the pub and the rest of the village. Outside at the back was a scullery yard, with the cold-water sink running into an open drain that ran across the yard; any hot water had to be heated in the kitchen, on the black-lead range. There was a tin bath hanging on a nail on the outside of the outhouse, which was on the edge of the yard. She did have a flush loo, with a high cistern, and was quite proud of it!

    It wasn't at all squalid, but usually squeaky-clean, all swept & scrubbed daily (which took all of half an hour) and she and most of the villagers that I remember were the very picture of slim, wiry good west-country health. They always seemed to have plenty of time for gossip and to play with a small & curious girl. I know things were very different in the cities; we moved into one when I was six, in '65, and the bomb sites and the poverty & ill-health of the parishioners living in the poorer areas were a complete & horrible shock to me, as was the constant smell of coal-smoke and the noise of traffic & the dockyard. Yet my mother was hugely relieved to be back in "civilisation" with a choice of shops, schools and piano lessons.

    But in both places, and the ones we lived in afterwards, I had to walk at least a mile to school; three miles each way in the case of the one I took my "A" levels at. In any kind of weather, with or without a raincoat or (secondhand) duffle coat. My mother didn't drive, was at work by 8am anyway, and the buses, even if we could have afforded a pass, didn't go that way. Most of my friends did, too - no wonder we were so slim!

    Whilst I'm very appreciative of central heating, easy hot water, being able to cook at the touch of a button, being able to access good things to cook, good health care and all sorts of modern blessings, I remember my aunt's antiquated home with fondness and do wonder sometimes if a number of babies have been thrown out with the bathwater...
    Angie

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    • Upsidedown Bear
    • By Upsidedown Bear 17th Oct 16, 8:45 AM
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    Upsidedown Bear
    Very interesting - thanks for sharing

    The documentary was based on the work of Ken Coates and Richard Silburn who were interviewed in it.

    St Ann's: Poverty, Deprivation and Morale in a Nottingham Community.

    "Can the problem of poverty simply be confined to a lack of adequate money income? Does the degree of social deprivation correlate with individual poverty? In 1966, a social survey was conducted into the living, social and working conditions of the residents of the St Ann's area of Nottingham. It asked: are such areas more delinquent than others? How far did the existence of areas of poverty correlate with political and social apathy? And above all what were the attitudes of people who lived in such conditions: were they aware of their position as being in any sense deprived or underprivileged and did they accept their status or challenge it? The survey was conducted under the auspices of the Adult Education Department of the University of Nottingham and it gave rise to a film directed by Stephen Frears".

    They also published Poverty: The Forgotten Englishman.

    Both are well worth a read.
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