The infamous ‘no-frills’ seaside landlords of Morecambe and the ‘gut girls’ of Deptford’s 19th century logging yards are to be celebrated in a series of projects focusing on the heritage of the English working class.
Often cruelly caricatured on seaside postcards, the Lancashire town’s formidable B&B hosts will claim their place as part of a Historic England program funding 57 community projects aimed at preserving often overlooked working-class history.
The history of Halifax’s boxing gymnasiums, County Durham’s miners’ welfare clubs and the soul, jazz and reggae of Leicester’s hidden nightlife will also be documented as part of the 774,000 programme. £, which provides grants for research and the organization of local and online exhibitions. .
The owners (and landlords) of the Morecambe project will delve into the city’s post-WW2 heyday as a holiday destination for the working class of northern England and Scotland.
“They were tough, Nordic, gruff, no-nonsense women with often archaic rules. Penny pinching was common. Many said: ‘They kicked you out after breakfast and you weren’t allowed back until tea time’ or: ‘You paid extra if you wanted to use a cruet’, David said Evans of Morecambe Heritage, which manages the project.
“You would be expected to bring your own food in a cardboard box, and the owner would manage to cook a meal from the ingredients.
“Crowds of people would come. The Glasgow fortnight, when factories closed, saw virtually all of Glasgow empty out and head south towards the sea. [what is now] the M6, the first place they hit was Morecambe.
“A car would drive around town with loudspeakers in the summer asking for spare rooms, so obviously no health and safety considerations.”
Advertisements in a post-war Morecambe bed and breakfast guidebook included descriptions such as: ‘Hot and cold water and electric lights in all rooms’ and: ‘No annoying or irritating rules and restrictions “.
Evans said: “They obviously wanted to be nice so people came back, but they probably had to deal with a lot of drunkenness at night so they would have to have pretty strict rules.
“It’s a fascinating area of British social history that has been largely overlooked.”
A few of the landladies are still alive, but the project, which will produce online film interviews, oral histories and local exposure, will also draw on the memories of children raised in these guest houses, and those guests who have returned to stay there. year after year.
The Hidden Deptford Project looks at the slaughterhouse women who worked in Deptford’s cattle markets at the end of the 19th century. More than 500 women were employed in these logging sites. Fiercely independent, they had a reputation for rowdy behavior and were nicknamed the “gut girls”.
Among other successful bids, Halifax Stars will examine the working-class culture of boxing clubs around Halifax, recording stories of older fighters and gyms that were prominent in the area.
The Staiths & Me project will celebrate in film and sound the significance to local people of the Staiths, an iconic wooden structure on the Tyne in Dunston, Gateshead, which was built in 1893 to deposit Durham coal into ships for transportation around the world.
Northern Souls – Going Down the Welly centers on the Easington Social Welfare Center in Easington Colliery, County Durham, built in 1929 to support the welfare of miners and known locally as Welly.
The Pewter Chapel on the outskirts of town will reveal the significance of the Bilston Mission Chapel, a “tin tabernacle” in Cinderford, Forest of Dean, serving the charcoal burners, ironworkers, their families and the communities of travellers.
Exploring Leicester’s hidden nightlife looks back on 50 years of black music in the city, including hip-hop, soul, reggae and jazz.
Winning bids are announced from over 500 funding applications.
Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England, said: “They will highlight that wherever people live they are surrounded by historic buildings, landscapes and streets, industrial and coastal heritage which can help bring communities together. “
Nigel Huddleston, Minister for Heritage, said: “This is a fantastic initiative which will help communities across England to engage with working class heritage in their area in new and exciting ways and to see these untold stories brought to light.”