|Plan of St Mary's showing pew layout in 1860|
Image from Dorothy Colville part of the Peter Miller collection
In the mid 1800s the pews at St Mary's church were allocated based on social status. The rich sat at the front, the poor at the back.
The church ran thrift clubs for essential items such as clothing. Soup kitchens were set up to feed farm labourers.
Money decided what was on the dinner table. Workers at Potterells would earn £1 a week and survive on a diet much different from that enjoyed by the occupants at Brookmans whose meals had been prepared by their cook, kitchenmaid, and scullerymaid and served by their butler.
Peter Kingsford wrote about the ‘two nations’ in an article in the November 1980 issue of the Chancellor’s Community Newsletter, reproduced here with permission of the publisher. Click on the image below for a larger version.
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