A Blog From member Sue Hogarth

I have always wished to go back in time and see how York was in the 1930s and often said ” would love to have lived in York then” ,however after working in the archives and actually reading letters from people who did live in that era I’m so glad that I didn’t live in the 1930s.the letter that really touched my heart was one to the council begging them to ┬áput his mum in the “York city infirmary” the first letter was wrote in 1936 saying that his mum was desperately needed relocating, we do know that this area had a compulsory purchase order on it, so did the son not have room where he lived for his mum or was it because he couldn’t cope with her illness, his mum however was adamant that she didn’t want to leave her house and go into the “institution” ,the son continued to write letters to the council for a whole year, eventually the council officer visited the lady with the intent of persuading her to leave the house, they visited her regularly pestering her to leave, eventually she gave in and was signed permanently into the “institution” ,her pension book was taken off her as she would no longer need it, on inspection of the house it was filthy and overrun with vermin, it wasn’t fit for human habitation, but she spent many happy years there , her furniture was deemed unfit to be sold at public auction and was sent to the “Destructor” to be burnt along with her clothes, bedding etc. This true story made me feel so grateful for what we have today, the poor lady fought so hard to stay in her home and when she eventually did leave all her earthly belongings were burnt.

I enjoyed looking through the archives because it gave me a glimpse into the past, without the archives this wouldn’t be possible, I have always enjoyed history, so Thankyou to the people who made this possible.

Sue Hogarth