Social Conditions

Work house inmates
Pensioner 2002

There are many contrasts between 1891 and 2002 as far as social conditions are concerned, but also many comparisons. Have conditions in Powys necessarily always improved since 1891? Many of our 2002 diarists regret the decline in services to small rural communities.

And how have attitudes changed towards giving financial help to the needy? In 1891 we look at parish relief and at the grim realities of daily life in the workhouse, and in 2002 at the people giving and receiving cash aid amongst our diarists.

We look at child care then and now - what happened to the Morallee family in 1891 when the father of the family deserted them, and what is life like for a single mother today? In 1891 7 year old John Tudor was sent from the Llanfyllin Workhouse to live with his grandfather, splitting his family apart. In 2002 we look at the ways in which grandparents help to care for children while their parents go out to work.

And what of attitudes to disability? How would the mentally and physically disabled have been treated in the workhouse, compared to today? We look at the fascinating work of a teacher of English to the blind.

And how does life compare for older members of society, and who cares for the elderly today? How has life changed for a retired person in Powys? How was poverty dealt with in 1891 and was the workhouse necessarily a bad thing? We look at the extreme case of Thomas Davies of Welshpool whose condition became so bad that he wanted admittance to Forden workhouse.