… some things just don’t change….

Newspaper article from 1898, spotted yesterday while searching through archives. Apologies for the quality of photograph - it was snapped on a microfiche.

Newspaper article from 1898, spotted yesterday while searching through archives. Apologies for the quality of photograph - it was snapped on a microfiche.

ENGLISH DIET – IS IT WHOLESOME?

That is a question which has frequently exercised the minds of doctors. We eat too much heavy food — too much meat. We do not, as a nation, take to the lighter and more varied viands of our continental neighbours. That practical humourist, Mr G. R. Sims, evers that England owes much of her greatness to her roast beef and honest beer, but it is a question whether a little less of those excellent commodities would not be a step in the right direction. Heavy foods, however well cooked, produce a feeling of repletion not consonant with healthy mental and physical energy. Moreover, it tends to a sluggish condition of the liver, which has much to do with our admitted lack of life and spirits as compared with our lighter-eating and lighter-hearted friends across the English Channel. There can be no denying this fact, but at any rate there is a remedy at hand. Our sluggish system must be made to act more energetically, in a natural way, without our having recourse to deleterious pills and purgatives..……

…… some things, thankfully.. blessedly.. do. In the UK, at least.

newspaper article from 1898 spotted today in the library. apologies for the quality - it was displayed on a microfiche.

newspaper article from 1898 spotted today in the library. apologies for the quality - it was displayed on a microfiche.

A MOTHER’S VAIN SACRIFICE.

A pathetic story of a mother’s vain sacrifice is reported from Blackburn. A coroner’s jury on Wednesday recorded their opinion that Lettuce Ball, the wife of a bricklayer, had starved herself to death in order to feed her children. Yesterday the coroner received information that one of the children, aged three years, who had been removed to the workhouse in a terribly emaciated condition, had also succumbed.

I’ve seen many heartbreaking records in the archives while i’ve searched. The husband and father who lost his wife and 9 day old child at the same time. A child who was found dead, just a few hours old, in “Radcliffe Road”, buried with no name, no love. I’ve seen humorous sights too – from the wedding that had to be cancelled for 24 hours because the groom turned up drunk, to the man who came back to the church 20 years after he was married to insist the vicar alter the archives because “he didn’t know his own name at the time he was married”. I’ve learned about the corrupt vicars who sold burial plots more times than they should’ve, so instead of 6 people being buried in a grave plot, there were 9 – and as a result, burials in the area are a complete mess, with many not being recorded. I’ve learned about the young people who were often told, when they wanted to get married but couldn’t afford it (or when she fell pregnant, and they couldn’t afford marriage), to live together as though they were married, and .. well.. they’d sort the paperwork out when they had the spare cash (marriage was an expensive business in the 19th C – you had to pay the vicar, the registrar, and the use of the church, and you could only marry in a church of england church for many years).. quite the contrary to the straight laced image that so many have of the Victorians.

Everything changes.. and nothing does. And i find both thoughts somewhat comforting…

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