History Group

At our meeting in March Derek Wileman from the National Trust explained how the Workhouses came into being after the Poor Law Amendment in 1834, when parishes would no longer be expected to pay Outdoor Relief but would provide accommodation for those unable to provide for themselves.
Did you have ancestors in the Workhouse? Most of us did. However, did any of your ancestors work in the Workhouse? Derek told us about the people who worked there. There would be the Master, who was responsible for everything and the Matron (his wife) who would be responsible for the women. The porter would be there to check who came in and who went out. A medical officer would be responsible for the sick in the Workhouse, but he often had to spread his time between several Workhouses. The nurse and assistant nurse in the Workhouse need have no qualifications and often be a relative of the Master. In addition, there would be a schoolmaster and schoolmistress, who would be responsible for looking after and teaching the children. In fact, children in the Workhouse were often better educated than those children living in the community.
We were shown appointment forms for various Workhouse Masters, who had to have references. They were paid £45.00 per year plus accommodation and food. The Matron would receive £20.00 per year. If the couple brought their children to live in the Workhouse with them then they had to pay for their food. The first nurse at Southwell was in 1869 and in 1871 a new Infirmary was built.
Our meetings for the next three months will be outside visits.
Wednesday 17th April will be a visit to the Archaeology Museum at Nottingham University to hear a talk by Paul Roberts from the British Museum on “Pompeii and Herculaneum” about the exhibition being held at the British Museum. We will then have the opportunity to look at some of the exhibits he has brought with him, some of which have never before been out of Italy. The lecture will be at the Djanogly Recital Hall in the Arts Centre at the University at 1.00pm. Meet at 12.50pm.
The No. 13 bus from Beastmarket Hill (handy for the tram) leaves every 30 minutes (5 minutes and 35 minutes past the hour). The bus turns off the Boulevard and into University Park and the first stop for the Arts Centre is directly opposite the Hall. There are car parks near the bus stop and disabled parking outside the Museum. There is a café and toilets in the Arts Centre. The event is free, but if you have not already picked up your ticket, please see Vivien Ackroyd at the meeting on 10th April (t will save queuing on the day).
Our visit on Wednesday 15th May is to Papplewick Hall. Meet outside the Hall at 12.50pm. This is a rare opportunity to see inside the Hall and hear of its history. There is a £6.00 charge for this visit; if you have not already paid and would like to go on the visit, please have a word at the History table on 10th April.
On Wednesday 19th June we will be visiting Rock Cemetery, Nottingham. More details later.

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