How Good WERE the Good Old Days?
November 17, 2015 7:41am CST
This is a post I meant to write about 3 weeks ago, but then Real Life intervened and I never got round to it! In an article in my usual newspaper, the "i", I read that so-called Victorian diseases are making a come-back in London. According to NHS statistics, 7366 people have been admitted to hospital with a diagnosis of malnutrition between August 2014 and July 2015, compared with 4883 cases August 2010 to July 2011 - an increase of 50%. Cases of scurvy, whooping cough, scarlet fever and cholera have also increased. This has been put down, to a great extent, to families just not being able to afford nutritious food. This is not going to be a political post, although many ex-Bubblers know my political views. It is just going to put a question to those who regret the "good old days". All the diseases I have mentioned were rife in Victorian London. These were also the times of the Poor Laws, when families who ran into debt were put into workhouses, suffering terrible deprivations. Compulsory education for children was beginning, but not yet universal, and many kids were working long hours. Child prostitution was also rife. The gap between the haves and the have-nots was alarming. Unfortunately, it is growing again at the moment - but, as I've said, this is not going to be a political post. So far, I've spoken about the Victorian times, which (believe it or not!) I don't remember. However, I do remember back to the early 1950s, and things weren't really so hot then, either! This is all rather naive and vague, as I haven't had time to research adequately because I wanted to write today. (This newspaper's been mouldering in my study for too long!) But the question is in the title: Were the Good Old Days really so good?
8 people like this
17 Nov 15
I think the answer must be that some things were better and others were not. For instance family life was better because people lived together for longer, the young people did not leave home until they married and then they lived nearby. The old people lived with their married children if they could not look after themselves well. There was no such thing as homes for old people. However there was something called 'The Workhouse' and that was definitely not a pleasant place to end your days.
4 people like this
• Portsmouth, England
Having brought up in a home where one grandmother was living with us and the other two doors away, and they were rotten jealous of each other and always fighting over my mum and me, I can't say that cohabitation of that kind is good for the younger generation! And, as you say, the Workhouse was certainly not something to be wished for.
• United States
18 Nov 15
Being a baby boomer, many of my friends are always sending remember this emails. I ask them not to. I love the time I am living in. There were many things I enjoyed growing up in the 50s, 60s & 70s. Memories are fond to my heart because they were a part of my past. But each time period has had it woes and its joys, its failures, drudgeries and its triumphs. Every generation has had its wars, prejudices and injustice. It is my contention that one who lives in the moment and not reminiscent of the past, nor eager to change the future that wherever one is in the time frame is as good as it gets and no other is better or worse.
17 Nov 15
I personally do not miss the past. The past is only nice in our memory. When we were living day to day in those days, we were worried just about as much things as now. I think people do not eat nutritious food because of their bad habits, rather than due to poverty. Once a person likes fast food and eat it frequently enough, health will suffer.
• United States
21 Nov 15
I am sure my good ole days are not the really good ole ones most talk of, but for me the late 60's, early 70's and part of the 90's were really good ones for me; as far as those good ole days before 1950, well even though I was not physically here yet, the family members who did tell me about those years, often smiled due to getting through rather than frowning by what they had looming to get through . . . does that make sense ? Thanks for sharing on this topic, @Vivenda and how are you btw (I remember you from bubbs site)
• Boise, Idaho
18 Nov 15
I find the Victorian Era a very interesting time for fashion and décor but not for life, especially for women. Women had it pretty rough actually. They couldn't own property, could only work in certain areas or be thought of as less that respectable, and they couldn't wear jewelry out in public. That is just mentioning a few things. It was rough. I would think the medical profession then was very lacking too so I can see where they might get mal nutrition and such.