Ginger's childhood home in Yorkshire

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Re: Ginger's childhood home in Yorkshire

Postby Kismet » 14 Nov 2014, 15:33

kylie_koyote wrote:I have a number of the second type of rugs with designs on them made by my great-grandmother (maybe two greats... not sure). One of them that is in pretty good shape is hung on the wall at my parents' house as a decoration.



You're lucky they survived, KK. Rugs were commonly put in front of fires to protect carpets or floor boards from burning embers, and had a limited life. Once a certain number of burnholes were present, a new rug was made or bought. 'Better' rugs went by the side of the bed, so your feet had something warm and soft to stand on whilst slippers were put on and off.
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Re: Ginger's childhood home in Yorkshire

Postby Frecks » 14 Nov 2014, 15:35

Yes methods have changed over the years. I have seen just the sort of dolls house I should have had on the internet - there is torn wall paper all over and badly stained carpets and damp patches - very authentic but not too nice to have in your own home. I have just purchased an absolutely lovely dolls house doll to represent Ginger, unfortunately it is too big for my dolls house although it is supposed to be the same scale but I am keeping it as an ornament.
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Re: Ginger's childhood home in Yorkshire

Postby tiffinata » 14 Nov 2014, 22:48

Ah. I was barking up the wrong tree with the rag rug. I have been trying to complete a latch rug for the last 5 years.
Many old houses here used newspapers as insulation on the floor and walls. Worked quite well and usually had something over it to make it look better.
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Re: Ginger's childhood home in Yorkshire

Postby Kismet » 16 Nov 2014, 17:23

Interesting. I'm not aware of newspapers being used for wallpaper / insulation. Maybe because we've rather a damp climate. Coats of whitewash or distemper were applied reasonably frequently, I believe.
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Re: Ginger's childhood home in Yorkshire

Postby kylie_koyote » 20 Nov 2014, 21:52

Kismet wrote:Interesting. I'm not aware of newspapers being used for wallpaper / insulation. Maybe because we've rather a damp climate. Coats of whitewash or distemper were applied reasonably frequently, I believe.


These are some images I found of "slum" children in the 1930s (granted, they're Americans), but in the second photo down you can see the newspaper on the walls.

http://bjws.blogspot.com/2010/05/photo- ... en-in.html
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Re: Ginger's childhood home in Yorkshire

Postby Frecks » 21 Nov 2014, 09:01

Well Ginger is certainly not living in a slum in my little house now. I do not think Ginger's home was that bad really after all he was able to afford all his books etc. and plenty of visits to the cinema. The miners would at least have had a regular wage when they were working. I think some of the people who lived in the real slums were out of work and of course there was no unemployment pay or any other benefits in the 1930s. Also the number of children in the household would make a big difference - the more mouths to feed the harder it would have been.
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Re: Ginger's childhood home in Yorkshire

Postby tiffinata » 21 Nov 2014, 09:31

There would not have been spare money if the family was that badly off. Might he have snuck in without paying to see films? Do I remember correctly that coal miners had plenty of coal to burn? Did Britain have a sustenance scheme during the depression? Australia did. Great Australian icons were built through it. The Great Ocean Road was one. I'm unsure if it was food or money earned. Others like My grandfather roved picking up work where he could. It led him to work for a dairy and a circus that we know of.
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Re: Ginger's childhood home in Yorkshire

Postby Fairblue » 21 Nov 2014, 10:55

Frecks wrote:Well Ginger is certainly not living in a slum in my little house now. I do not think Ginger's home was that bad really after all he was able to afford all his books etc. and plenty of visits to the cinema. The miners would at least have had a regular wage when they were working. I think some of the people who lived in the real slums were out of work and of course there was no unemployment pay or any other benefits in the 1930s. Also the number of children in the household would make a big difference - the more mouths to feed the harder it would have been.

I doubt if Ginger bought many books at all. They would have been expensive then, comparatively speaking. He would have gone to the public library. The cinema was cheap though, but I can't see Ginger having pocket money. He would probably have had to do odd jobs to earn it. Another thing was that though a miner's wage was regular it wasn't necessarily a high wage and if they were sick and unable to work they didn't get paid. Also, if his Dad drank there wouldn't be any spare cash. Ginger might have considered himself lucky if he got bread and tea.
There was National Assistance in the thirties but the qualification for it was harsh and I believe you had to sell virtually all your possessions before you were eligible.
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Re: Ginger's childhood home in Yorkshire

Postby kylie_koyote » 21 Nov 2014, 11:54

Was there a fee to be in the Scouts?

Also, Ginger's father sent him a letter. Stamps and paper weren't much, but they weren't free either.
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Re: Ginger's childhood home in Yorkshire

Postby Kismet » 21 Nov 2014, 14:05

Ginger might have been working himself when he ran away, in some sort of apprenticeship. He seems to have been above the school leaving age of fourteen. Even if he was still at school, he probably had some sort of Saturday or after school job which would earn him enough to go to the pictures.
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Re: Ginger's childhood home in Yorkshire

Postby Frecks » 21 Nov 2014, 16:40

Would there be a cinema in a small mining village in the 1930s or would they show films in the Village Hall or somewhere similar?
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Re: Ginger's childhood home in Yorkshire

Postby Kismet » 21 Nov 2014, 16:45

I think there were small cinemas everywhere. There would certainly be a town within walking distance or a short busride / bike ride which had a cinema.
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Re: Ginger's childhood home in Yorkshire

Postby kylie_koyote » 21 Nov 2014, 16:45

Frecks wrote:Would there be a cinema in a small mining village in the 1930s or would they show films in the Village Hall or somewhere similar?


Oh that's a good question. Hmm...

In my husband's small Spanish village, they showed films outdoors in the summertime projected against a whitewashed building. There was no cinema building until recently. (Seriously, like 2005.)
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Re: Ginger's childhood home in Yorkshire

Postby Tracer » 21 Nov 2014, 19:54

Cinemas everywhere, as Kismet says. Cheap to get into as well.

As for coal - certainly until the 1960s and early '70s, part of miners' wages included a substantial amount of coal. A lifesaver for those families where the men drank and/or gambled. Coal for others was hard to get, often poor quality and comparatively expensive.
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Re: Ginger's childhood home in Yorkshire

Postby tiffinata » 21 Nov 2014, 23:01

Could they have sold it to make a bit of money on the side,Tracer?
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Re: Ginger's childhood home in Yorkshire

Postby Fairblue » 21 Nov 2014, 23:19

I'm not sure they would have had much opportunity, Tiff. The majority of the mining community had free coal but very little money. They might not have been much in contact with people who could afford to buy coal. it probably would only have been pennies. It might also have been against the rules to sell the free coal in which case all transactions would have had to have been 'under the counter.' They might have bartered coal for goods, I imagine, but it was still a hand-to-mouth existence.
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Re: Ginger's childhood home in Yorkshire

Postby Frecks » 22 Nov 2014, 09:26

There was a lot of hardship in the 1920s and 1930s in villages, the countryside and the inner cities. The country seems to have been divided between very poor people and very rich people with every luxury they could want. I do not think Ginger left home because he was poor but more because he wanted to fly and have adventures and he certainly achieved his aim.
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Re: Ginger's childhood home in Yorkshire

Postby Tracer » 22 Nov 2014, 10:45

Frecks wrote: I do not think Ginger left home because he was poor but more because he wanted to fly and have adventures and he certainly achieved his aim.



Agree with that - and also because he didn't get on with his father, as most teenagers don't. It's only relatively recently that children stayed at home unless there was work at home e.g. a farm, or else when girls were expected to bring up the younger children. Miners were no better and no worse off than any other group in monetary or hard work terms but of course the work was exceptionally dangerous.
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Re: Ginger's childhood home in Yorkshire

Postby Kismet » 28 Feb 2016, 18:12

I live in a mining area, so our local museum has the following mini scene of what a slum room inhabited by a mining family would have looked like in the 19th century when Whitehaven had some particularly bad housing conditions:

17861785

Families lived in rooms like this. Straw pallisses were on the floor, ridden with vermin and infections such as cholera ran rife.
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Re: Ginger's childhood home in Yorkshire

Postby Frecks » 29 Feb 2016, 09:16

That looks really dreadful - awful conditions to have to live in. I think things had improved somewhat by the 1930s although I am sure the houses were still very damp and poor quality.
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Re: Ginger's childhood home in Yorkshire

Postby Spitfire666 » 29 Feb 2016, 09:55

A friend of mine lives in a one-bedroom flat in the East End of London. She looked it up on the 2011 census results and found that in 1911 there were 11 people living in it.
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Re: Ginger's childhood home in Yorkshire

Postby Tracer » 29 Feb 2016, 10:56

Things were still pretty grim in the 1930s, Frecks, and even in the 1960s. It took a long time for housing stock and employment to pick up after the 2 wars, especially in areas that were heavily bombed.
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Re: Ginger's childhood home in Yorkshire

Postby kylie_koyote » 29 Feb 2016, 12:19

Spitfire666 wrote:A friend of mine lives in a one-bedroom flat in the East End of London. She looked it up on the 2011 census results and found that in 1911 there were 11 people living in it.


I wonder how they fit everyone in, physically. Were bunk-beds a thing in those days? I wouldn't think eleven people would fit across the floor, even if they were in sleeping bags.
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Re: Ginger's childhood home in Yorkshire

Postby Kismet » 29 Feb 2016, 12:58

This is one of the local reports into living conditions in Whitehaven: http://www.cultrans.com/whitehaven.html

In 1901, after another outbreak of fever, the doctor in charge claimed things were unchanged from this report, a charge that was vigorously refuted by the town council.
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Re: Ginger's childhood home in Yorkshire

Postby Tracer » 29 Feb 2016, 14:41

We just don't know how lucky we are, do we?
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Re: Ginger's childhood home in Yorkshire

Postby Frecks » 29 Feb 2016, 16:50

Ginger does not seem to have come from such a very poor background. He was able to afford to go to the films and he read a lot of books and even belonged to the Scouts as mentioned in one of the early books. He also collected eggs and ate a lot of Barcelona nuts - whatever they are I must admit I have never heard them mentioned anywhere else.
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Re: Ginger's childhood home in Yorkshire

Postby Fairblue » 29 Feb 2016, 18:41

Frecks wrote:Ginger does not seem to have come from such a very poor background. He was able to afford to go to the films and he read a lot of books and even belonged to the Scouts as mentioned in one of the early books. He also collected eggs and ate a lot of Barcelona nuts - whatever they are I must admit I have never heard them mentioned anywhere else.

He probably had to do odd jobs to earn money to go to the pictures and pay for scouts. I doubt he would have bought books; most likely he accessed the free local library for his reading material.

The BBC Food website informs me that the Barcelona nut is a large, round, light-brown nut and 'is a Spanish variety of hazelnut, from the same family as the cobnut. It grows wild in grape-like clusters in short husks on the hazel tree and is prized for its strong, distinctive flavour.'

I don't know whether the Yorkshire climate would have supported them being grown locally but in my old garden in Gloucestershire which dated back to the mid-1800s there was a huge cobnut tree which gave a lot of nuts. I can't see the shops in rural Yorkshire buying in exotic produce so may be they were something which was fairly readily available.
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Re: Ginger's childhood home in Yorkshire

Postby SopwithCamel » 01 Mar 2016, 05:44

I doubt Ginger paid to go to the pictures! Most likely snuck in round the back...
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Re: Ginger's childhood home in Yorkshire

Postby Tracer » 01 Mar 2016, 10:16

Libraries were free and there were plenty of them.

It was pennies to get into the cinema. Children did odd jobs around the community for a penny here and there, and they could collect glass bottles and return them for pennies too (was threepence in my day but Ginger is older than I am even if he isn't real). There was all sorts of fetching and carrying a nipper could do to earn money. In a poorish community, everything sizes down pricewise. In my youth you could buy a big bag of broken biscuits for a penny, and sweets for a farthing once rationing finished. So a penny went a long way.
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Re: Ginger's childhood home in Yorkshire

Postby kylie_koyote » 18 Sep 2018, 13:36

How much would Scouts have cost Ginger in the early 1930s?

I have just signed Little A up for Cub Scouts and it is not cheap! :shock: $100 for a year's registration. Plus whatever the uniform costs. (Haven't investigated that yet.)
He's six, so it's not like he is working odd jobs to pay for some of that himself. :lol:
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