Josephine Butler and spaces of reform in Winchester

There ought to be a word for the mixture of thrill and dread that comes with hearing someone talk about your home town on the radio or TV. Coming from Winchester, it's usually dread that someone in red cords is suggesting feeding the poor to their rare-breed pheasants or something. In fact (of course) the town is, …

Advertisements

The Other immigrants of Carribee Island: Wolverhampton’s Jewish community 2

This post follows my first on the early Jewish community in mid-19th century Wolverhampton, last week. We explored the Bernsteins who lived at 64 Canal Street, and the opening of the Fryer Street Synagogue, Wolverhampton's first permanent such building. By 1871, I can't find the Bernsteins in the Canal Street area, but I can find others I …

“Slums” of the Black Country: The Mambles, Dudley

A young girl in the Flood Street area of Dudley, 1954. Image from Alamy (click for link to buy)

I've had a wonderful time speaking on my research at Wolverhampton Art Gallery and Archives recently - I've met tons of new people, heard anecdotes and stories and generally had a ball. I was discussing Carribee Island, a site of extremely poor housing, poverty and job insecurity, criminality (perceived, at least) and a very dense …

Observatory Mansions – a history of a bedsit

As a geography student at Kings College London, it's difficult to get very far without studying gentrification. It's a huge topic, worthy of a post in itself, but suffice to say the economic drivers that push social change like gentrification are not often present in the unusual landscapes of decline found in the Black Country. …

The Planner’s Eye

Heath Town Estate, Wolverhampton, by Smileyface on the Skyscraper City website. Click the pic for a link to some truly frightening pictures of the estate at its worst. Multi- and inter-disciplinary research is a major part of academia these days, and the benefits it can bring are clearly profound - to see something anew, in a …