Monday, 15 April 2013

All Quiet on the Blogging Front


I haven’t been in Blogland much lately. I don’t know why.

I think the subject of the weather has been exhausted and there’s that other thorny subject that some other bloggers have been brave enough to mention, but I’m not one of them.

But I did find an interesting little snippet during the course of some research I’ve been doing which I’ll share with you.

In 1647 the London Corporation of the Poor was established and one of its provisions was to erect work-houses. Two confiscated royal properties were given to the Corporation and by 1655, one thousand adults and a hundred children were employed there.

Children in the care of the Corporation learned basic literacy. And people didn’t have to live in the work-house, but could either work from their own homes or turn up on a daily basis to work.

I wonder what became of those people when Charles II came back and reclaimed his properties in 1660?

My Gt Gt Grandmother died in the Tendring workhouse in 1904 (the lower pictures if you follow the link). It was a cruel twist of fate that her son in law, my great grandfather, died in that same workhouse at the age of 92 in 1968. It was of course a hospital by then, but it was a grim place and even as a child I felt it had an unpleasant atmosphere, but I did like going to visit Grandfather and he always had a tube of Trebor Mints or Polo Mints in his bedside locker for me.

Anyway, that all very nicely brings me to a bargain I found today!

Among my favourite books (that is books I like to read more than once) along with Jung Chan’s Wild Swans, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Alfred Lansing’s Endurance and Stephen King’s Dolores Claiborne is The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell.

And the bargain - it’s free on Kindle and only £1.99 in paperback. And well worth a read – and a re-read!




26 comments:

  1. Hooray for the Corporation's basic literary skills - often sadly lacking today!

    I just daren't get onto anything political, or I begin ranting and can't stop.

    I'll download that free book, thanks, as I've never read it. Although I am not keen on reading for more than ten minutes on my Kindle. I like to see the whole book and skip back and forth when I've forgotten a bit.

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    1. I know what you mean, Joanne - I'm the same! I hope you enjoy the book - it's a bit of an experience to read it if you know what I mean. And I know just what you mean about wanting to flick back and forth while you're reading - you just can't do that easily with a Kindle can you :-) x

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  2. Thanks for that link and recommendation, Teresa. I'm glad we don't have workhouses like that these days, although basic literacy might still be needed at times!

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    1. They must have been awful places, Rosemary. How hopeless people must have felt when they walked through those doors x

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  3. Thank you for all the information, Teresa. I should love a copy of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists as I have never read it.

    I'm fascinated by the use of the royal properties as workhouses and I can imagine how grim the hospital atmosphere felt when you visited. I love the image I have of the Trebor Mints waiting in the drawer. My mother always had those. Her handbag smelled of peppermint and crumpled tissues and I remember it being such a comforting smell. xx

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    1. It's an enlightening read, Joanna. I remember the smell of my mum's handbag too and the clip on the top that made a satisfying noise when you closed it, but you had to be careful not to trap your fingers :-) x

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  4. Welcome back, Teresa, and thanks for the links. I think I'll dowload the RTP, and add it to my list of books to be read....

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  5. Hi Teresa, Thanks for the book recommendation - I shall be downloading a copy to read. Coincidentally, I was looking afresh at my family tree today on Ancestry and just looking at all those long ago names makes one wonder what life was like back then.There is much to be thankful for these days!(I am not brave either so suffice it to say - great weather this last couple of days eh? :-)) Debbie X

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    1. It is a fascinating business isn't it, this family history thing, Debbie. You can't help but wonder what sort of lives they led and what they were like.
      Yes we had a lovely couple of days didn't we :-) x

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  6. I've not read that, so thanks for the link - I'll download it now.

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    1. It was like nothing I'd ever read before, Patsy and I'm going to read it again :-) x

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  7. Hello Teresa,

    I love a bit of history, in fact over the last year, I decided I was going to delve into the history of the area a little bit more. So, I signed up for a couple of 'Blue Badge' walks around the city. Its been very interesting so far, and I've learnt a lot about where I was born, and have lived most of my life.

    Thank you for sharing.

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    1. That sounds fascinating, Maria. It's lovely to find out more about where you live. I love going to places where my ancestors lived too. And as you walk along you wonder if they walked these same paths and where were they going, what were they thinking about? Really gets the cogs and wheels turning doesn't it :-) x

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  8. I haven't read that but I've downloaded it now. Thanks, Teresa.

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    1. I hope you like reading it, Jacula :-) x

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    2. I haven't read it either. Thank you also for the historical information. I love reading about people's family history.

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    3. My problem when I'm researching anything is I get so involved reading about it that I forget to take notes, Wendy! History is such an interesting place isn't it :-)x

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  9. Thanks for the recommendation, Terea. I hope to get time to read it soon. Teresa my great uncle died very young, apparently after being in one of those infamous industrial schools where kids in Ireland were sent back in the day when they had no one to look after them. The discipline was harsh and the work was very hard. My grandfather never got over it, I believe, the loss of his little brother. The family had decided to send the boy there after his mother died. It breaks my heart to even think about it, but I have to use my faith here and just believe that he's in a better place. now.

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    1. Oh Maria, that's so sad about your great uncle, so cruel, losing his mother then being sent away. No wonder your poor grandfather was haunted by it. It must have been such a tough decision for families to have to take and one taken out of desperation xx

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  10. Lovely to see you back, Teresa and as always a terrific blog. So interesting. Dreadful times and it makes the blood run cold to think of the suffering.

    As such a lover of books, and still undecided about kindles, it's rather satisfying to read they are not perfect after all!! :o) xx

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    1. Thank you, Sue :-)

      I must admit, a Kindle is so much easier to read in bed or slip in your bag than a big fat heavy book, but they're definitely not perfect :-) x

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  11. Thanks, Teresa. I'll add the book to my Kindle, it sounds interesting.

    I love hearing about how people lived in the past, particularly relatives, even though the hardship can bring a lump to your throat. The workhouse certainly didn't sound a good place to be.

    I've inherited a small bundle of love letters from the mid- eighteen hundreds, which my Mother treasured. I haven't read them yet as there hasn't been the right time to do it, but I will soon. Mum told me that they were written by one set of great grandparents who were in service at the "big house". I guess they are going to make fascinating reading. x

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    1. Wow, Sharon, what a treasure! Those letters sound absolutely wonderful. It is lovely to have anything handwritten from so long ago, even a signature on a document, but letters - lovely :-) x

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  12. Such an interesting post, Teresa - thank you. X

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    1. Aw, thank you for dropping by, Mandy :-) x

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