River Wissey Lovell Fuller


May 2011

News of this months activities for the Ladies Group

The Ladies Group had their usual meeting on the first Wednesday of the month. 23 people attended and we had a very interesting speaker.

Janet Clarke came to talk about the workhouse at Gressenhall. This was not only a very large one but was considered to be well run. She pointed out that our perception of conditions does not fit with the circumstances at the time. Children grew up faster and were frequently separated from their parents especially in the houses of those setting the rules. The wealthy ratepayers had servants and nannies, and those in service seldom saw their families. The workhouse provided food and shelter for the destitute who would otherwise die of starvation. The children were educated and taught a trade which probably would not have happened if they were just above destitute.

It was very instructive in changing our views.

Janet Clarke was asked about Gambia which is her special charity. She said that a well had been dug at the village, a fence put up so that vegetables could be grown with the accessible water, mosquito nets had been provided for everyone and the death rate from malaria had already fallen. They now perceived that village as done and were going to help another village with the basic amenities.


Janet Burns

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