Guest post by local historian Philip Grant
With the current lockdown restrictions because of the Covid-19 pandemic, many of us are having to stay at home, with the internet our main contact with the outside world. Our Brent Libraries are currently closed, but a small team from the Service is working hard to provide free online events for residents of all ages. You can find the details by “clicking” here.
Events in the programme include “Storytime & Rhyme” sessions every Tuesday morning for under 5s and their parents, "half-term" events for older children, "Coffee Morning" talks for adults on the first Wednesday of each month, and a number of evening talks. Before the onset of Covid-19, there were plans in place for me to give three more local history talks during 2020 at Kingsbury, Wembley and Willesden Green Libraries.
I hope that these will all happen at some future date, but in the mean time I have plucked up the courage to give my first “live” talk online! This free event will be on Thursday 18 February, from 6.30 to 7.45pm, and anyone from Brent, or elsewhere, who is interested will be welcome to attend. You can get a few more details and register to attend the talk by “clicking” on the “link”.
You will see that this is not a Wembley local history story. It is about a book that is very special to me, written in, and about, my home town of Mugsborough (not its real name!). It is about the lives of working men and their families, in a south coast town, in the first decade of the Twentieth Century. The author, in the preface to his only book, which he never saw published, describes it here:-
You may wonder why an “old book”, written by a painter and signwriter more than 110 years ago, should be of any interest now. I would suggest that it has stories which still resonate today.
· Building firms who cut their price to get a contract, then force their workers to rush and cut corners on the job, in order to make a profit, without a care for the consequences for those who will use or live in the building.
· Working people who are not paid enough to allow them to enjoy a decent life.
· Children who could go hungry for lack of a relatively small amount of expenditure, and a lack of care from those in power.
· Working people who are “conned” into voting for candidates whose main concern is in looking after their own interests, and those of their rich friends.
Like all of my library talks, and articles, this one has plenty of illustrations. If you think it may be of interest to you, please check out the details, and sign up for this Brent Libraries online event. I look forward to sharing my talk with you on Thursday 18 February!
Would a labourer saying "bl--dy" be considered objectionable today?
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