Up Holland in old picture postcards volume 2

Up Holland in old picture postcards volume 2

:   Dr. Allan Miller
:   Lancashire
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-0954-3
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Up Holland in old picture postcards volume 2'

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29 Coal mining was another important economic activity in Up Holland. Its traditional importance was emphasised during the many prolonged strikes. In September 1884 miners at Up Holland collieries were beginning to drift back to work after a strike, which had lasted over four years. This return to the pits was regarded as of great benefit to the neighbourhood because the 'long cessation had been severely felt by all classes' . It was also a very dangerous occupation. In October 1858 one man was killed and two buried alive at Pildes Pit in Pimbo Lane when a shaft collapsed on to them; they were part of a team employed to open the pit, which had closed a year earlier following an explosion of fire damp. Large scale mining in Up Holland ended when the White Moss Colliery closed in 1939 but' day eye' mines continued to be worked.

30 During the 1920s and 1930s unemployment in Up Holland was often very high, especially during strikes and in periods of economic depression, which affected basic local industries such as coal mining, agriculture and textiles. In 1925 about 2,000 unemployed in Up Holland were signing on at the Unemployment Exchange in the old Up Holland Gardens; many had to queue outside for their dole and they were susceptible to coils and other complaints, because they could not afford to buy enough food. Ta improve conditions for the unemployed, in 1928, the Ministry of Labour acquired the site for a wooden building on the opposite side of School Lane shown in this picture. In 1935, when more shelter was needed for the men visiting the Unemployment Exchange, an entirely new building was erected on the south side of School Lane.

31 During the long periods of unemployment in the 1920s and 1930s Up Holland Urban District Council obtained government and county council money to support public expenditure on useful township work using the local unemployed and with preference given to ex-servicemen, married men or men with dependants. One major scheme involved the widening of the narrow road near the Cross Keys inn to accommodate the increase of motor traffic and to reduce the risk of accidents at dangerous points. Other schemes included road improvements, building retaining walls, laying of electricity cables and sewer construction in Parliament Street, Church Street, Grove Road, Dingle Road, College Road and Lafford Lane.

32 This picture illustrates many of the social and economic conditions prevailing in the two decades before the Second World War. The high levels of unemployment created conditions of poverty and despair for many families, especially those dependent on coal mining. Because of the Council's efforts, finance was invested in projects designed to benefit the community in general and the unemployed in particular. These schemes of road construction and improvement were labour intensive; the workers employed on this particular project used techniques and equipment employed in the mines, using their animal strength to fill tubs running on tracks with the horse providing mobility. Despite these extraordinary efforts many men were still dependent on the dole and some greater initiative was needed in Up Holland.

33 On Tuesday, 9 July 1935, Elizabeth, Duchess of York, visited the experimental scheme at Lawns Farm to assist the unemployed of Up Holland. Several acres of land and a number of buildings were purchased by the Society of Friends to provide alternative work for miners and cotton workers, and especially older employees with little prospect of finding new jobs. Subsistence farming was the care of the experiment; pigs, poultry, cattle, bees, vegetables and fruits provided food for the participants and were the basis of small scale industries like jam and bread making. Products were not for sale, but those engaged on the project could barter their goods and services at the communal store. Up Holland Urban District Council supplied water for drinking, jam making and sterilising milk bottles.

34 The Up Holland experiment was reckoned to be a success; the Quakers who devised the scheme were overwhelmed with applicants. The Duchess of York took a lively interest as the project was explained to her by Peter Scott, the organiser, on a tour of the site and hoped it would continue to prosper. But it was always small scale; there was no government involvement and even the Society of Friends did not look upon it as a solution to the unemployment problem. However, participants did benefit from the self-help experiment because it meant more food and goods were available, their standard of living improved, there was an opportunity to train for jobs and it supplemented dole money. Perhaps the most important advantage of the project was social: 'Each day brings its duty and its promise of reward in place of vacant and valueless hours.'

35 Up Holland's housing stock contained dilapidated and insanitary houses and blocks of property. Alma Hill, Higher Lane, Tontine and Crawford were particular black spots. During the First World War the sanitary condition of28 cottages at Crawford was declared to be the worst of any in the village on account of the deplorable condition of their unpaved yards and open ash pits. It was hoped that the conversion of privies to water closets would do away with the objectionable practice of emptying the contents of privies and ash pits on to carts. In 1930 easily the worst property was opposite the Council Offices; scarcely a cottage from Alma Hill to Factory Row was fit for human habitation. In such conditions disease and deaths were never far away; infant mortality in Up Holland was much higher than in other areas.

36 Before their demolition in the 1930s, poor houses on Alma Hill presented particular problems. Many of them had been lodging houses used by itinerant workers, many from Ireland, seeking employment on local farms. In the 19th century the government tried to regulate such establishments by the Common Lodging House Act, but there were many breaches of the law in Up Holland. In 1854 one man had ten persons sleeping in his house on the same night, even though it was not registered as a lodging house. Another man had the same number of people in his 'exceedingly filthy' unregistered lodging house, In a third unregistered house two men were sharing the same bedroom as the proprietor and his wife. Sometimes it was the proprietor who suffered; in 1882 one female lodging housekeeper was robbed of money by a man and his seven year old son.

37 Until his death in February 1885 Brooklands House was the home of Dr. J.L. Molyneux, the Medical Officer of Health for Up Holland; he and his successor, Dr. Browne, presented graphic reports on parts of the village. In 1885 same conditions were 'entirely subversive of the ordinary laws of health'. There was evidence of defective drainage, slovenly kept ash pits, unclean closets, foul pig St. Yves, the promiscuous throwing of refuse liquids, and the want of water for washing and slapping purposes'. In other parts of Up Holland the state of the sanitary arrangements 'almost baffles description' . Many of the ash pits were in a broken-down condition and the contents of the closets were discharged into them in a way that was 'simply disgusting'. All the elements necessary for an outbreak of disease were present 'in a very aggregated form',

38 There was a heavy demand for water by local industries such as Ravenhead and Pimbo Lane brickworks, Grove Laundry, Silver Sands Company, Mountain Mine Company, White Moss Colliery and Crawford Sewage Works. The quality of domestic supplies was often a problem. In 1879 blood from the Newgate slaughterhouse was polluting the domestic water supplies at Up Holland Moor. In 1885 the water in the pump at Crawford was unfit for drinking purposes because there were indications of sewage contamination and the water from the Tontine pump was lust a little better than barely fit to drink'. A Council survey of private wells in 1910 found the water in some was 'goad' but sometimes the supply dried up in summer; in others the quality of the water was' suspicious' with an indication of sewage contamination.

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