Ludlow, Shropshire, is perhaps best known today for its gourmet restaurants, its famous Food Festival and its attractive Georgian and medieval market town centre.
But it has a less glorious claim to fame: the working classes of Ludlow lagged far behind much of the country when it came to their living conditions and, from Victorian times to the middle of the 20th century, many lacked most of the basic comforts.
Disease, especially TB, was rife, countless houses had no access to running water, and outside toilets were shared by several families. When it is remembered that Ludlow’s poor households often numbered eight or more residents, the degree of deprivation becomes clearer.
Yet Ludlow’s working classes battled on, largely uncomplainingly, until the local council finally agreed reluctantly to building the minimum number of council houses they could get away with.
This is a clear-sighted, well presented and fascinating account of the everyday lives of those living on the ‘other’ side of Ludlow.
Author: Derek Beattie
ISBN: 978 1 910723 34 0
Published: September 2016
No. of pages: 192
98 black & white photographs
Reviewed in Shrhophire Star in October 2016
'Derek Beattie reveals the squalor which lay behind the splendor.'