How the Other Half Lived

by Derek Beattie

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Ludlow's working classes 1850-1960

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.


98 Black & white photographs


Sep 01, 2016


About the Author:

Dr Derek Beattie is married with three daughters and retired to Ludlow from the post of Head of History at Blackburn College. He was awarded his doctorate from Lancaster University for a study of the implementation of the Addison Housing Act 1919. He is on the committee of the Ludlow Historical Research Group and has given many talks on local history both in Lancashire and Shropshire.

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