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Possibly because of Dicken's famous portrayal of Oliver Twist,                     Format      A5 Booklet

the popular perception of the Victorian Workhouse is of a grim                      Pages        55

and uncaring institution in which little compassion was shown                        Illustration 19 B & W

for the large numbers of young, blameless unfortunates who                          Price £4.99 + £2.00 P & P

found themselves within its walls.

 

June Whitehead's evocative study of children’s experiences in                        Obtainable from:-
Ulverston is an attempt to unravel the truth behind this image.                        June Whitehead
Through it we gain vivid insights into the lives of the children                         june.whitehead3@btinternet.com
involved and the attitudes of those who were responsible for                          or
ensuring that they had as good a start in life as possible. She                          Charles Rowntree
paints a moving picture of a local authority struggling to deal                          alaric42@sky.com
humanely with large numbers of local children who had no one
else to care for them.

As well as caring for them in the workhouse itself, they placed

them in orphanages and training schools elsewhere in the North

West, found them jobs in local industries such as bobbin making
and even considered emigration to provide them with a new life.
Although the solutions adopted were very different from those
we see today the issues which the authorities faced are very
recognisable today.

 

This is a fascinating insight, not just into a forgotten aspect of

Ulverston's past, but into the much maligned Poor Law and the

lives of pauper children.

 

Dr Michael Winstanley

History Department

Lancaster University

 

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