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A nod to the NHS and the Family Allowance.

June 1, 2020

I have been reading history books that relate to rural life in UK pre 1950 and conclude that up until when we had the National Health System, Family Allowance  and Social Security, life for poor people was no bed of roses.  It was pretty rubbish, not even hand to mouth, the incomings never met the out goings. I will never understand how my parents coped.  We didn’t pay rent it was a perk of the job.  However, they did have to build our houseboat home.  As a skilled craftsman my dad was paid £5 a week.  My mother got nine shillings (45p) Family Allowance a week for my little sister; all this could not possibly feed and clothe us.  I am sure my father was able to do work ‘on the side’ I know that he would make a bus journey to Southampton with a bag of metal for the scrap man.  Alongside my other chores looking out for and collecting metal bits and bobs was always appreciated. I am sure this went some way to make ends meet.

I am not sure which one of my characters represents this poverty; they are all poor. These last two don’t have names yet, but they are wearing silk trousers and lawn shirts with beautiful tiny mother of pearl buttons. They are experiments … but I think they are good to go as wide boys or scrap men.

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