Category Archives: Poverty

Black Country Irish: Wednesbury

The town of Wednesbury was home to probably the most significant Irish population in the Black Country, after Wolverhampton. The nationalist journalist Hugh Heinrick reckoned that in 1872 there was at least 3,000 in the Irish community (based on his own … Continue reading

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“Slums” of the Black Country: Town End Bank, Walsall

Class distinction, democracy and proper drains. John Betjeman, In Westminster Abbey The protagonist of Betjeman’s satirical poem unwittingly summarised the approach of mid-Victorian society to many issues. As we’ve seen, poor drainage is one of the emblematic signifiers of a unsanitary area, and was the … Continue reading

Posted in Black Country, Housing, Irish, Maps, Picture, Poverty, Slum, Staffordshire | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

“Slums” of the Black Country: Darlaston

I’ve ummed and aahed a bit about what to write about the Post‘s report on Darlaston. It’s really the same old story: surface drainage, evils, abomination, bubbling and seething, stagnant, over-flowing, the cholera, back courts, and so on; there’s not a lot … Continue reading

Posted in Black Country, half baked theories, History, Housing, Maps, Poverty, Public Health, Slum | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“Slums” of the Black Country: Oatmeal Square, Wednesbury

Our Birmingham Daily Post correspondent is concerned with the sanitary condition of the Black Country. Filth, smells, pigs, crowded courts – all acted as signals for diseases like cholera, typhoid, smallpox, that terrified the middle-class, newspaper-reading sets. This accounts for … Continue reading

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