English Children: Demographic Trends


Figure 1.--A reader tells us, "I found HBC a lovely picture at the Black Country Museum in Dudly. It shows a rural scene around 1953. A boy is helping his father service their car. The younger boy is playing with a kite. The mobile shop has arrived and customers are going to it or having bought things coming away. This was a picture on front of a Jig saw puzzle." We are not sure who the illustrator was.

Children living in different communities often had varied experiences growing up. England was a heavily industrialized and thus urbanized country. England and Germany were the two most urbanized of the large European countries. France was much less urbanized. The Netherlands and Belgium were also heavily urbanized, but much smaller countries. England thus had some of the largest industrial cities in Europe, including Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, and others. Even within cities, children had different life experiences, depending on their social class. Many working-class families in cities until after World War II did not have runnuing water or toilets in their homes. There were often few green areas and children grew up never seeing animals beyond cats, dogs, and rats. They often had unhealthy diets with little milk and fresh vegtables. Children growing up in these cities thus had very different life experiences than rural children. This became especially apparent when children from the cities evacuated during World War II (1939-45). And in between the big cities we have suburban communities surrounduing the cities as well as villages located throughout the country. English cities had a character all their own. They were more spread out than German cities where many city residents lived in large apartment complexes. English city dwellers were more spread out, commonly living in two-story housing estates. During World War II this played a major role in the Battle of Britain. London was so large and spread out, the Luftwaffe had to deploy enormous resources, but were only able to destroy a small part of the enormous city because it as so spread out, much of which had no military significance. While heavily urbanized, England had an important farm sector as well. England was not self suficient in food, but there was subtantial food production from a relatively modern farm sector. Often farm children grew up without access to some of the amaenties of city life like libraries and cinemas.

Cities

England was a heavily industrialized and thus urbanized country. England and Germany were the two most urbanized of the large European countries. France was much less urbanized. The Netherlands and Belgium were also heavily urbanized, but much smaller countries. England thus had some of the largest industrial cities in Europe, including Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, and others. Even within cities, children had different life experiences, depending on their social class. Many working-class families in cities until after World War II did not have runnuing water or toilets in their homes. There were often few green areas and children grew up never seeing animals beyond cats, dogs, and rats. They often had unhealthy diets with little milk and fresh vegtables. Children growing up in these cities thus had very different life experiences than rural children. This became especially apparent when children from the cities evacuated during World War II (1939-45). They were evacuate to small towns and villages which for many of the children were an entirely different world. English cities had a character all their own. They were more spread out than German cities where many city residents lived in large apartment complexes. English city dwellers were more spread out, commonly living in two-story housing estates. During World War II this played a major role in the Battle of Britain. London was so large and spread out, the Luftwaffe had to deploy enormous resources, but were only able to destroy a small part of the enormous city because it as so spread out, much of which had no military significance.

Suburbs

And in between the big cities and rural areas we have suburban communities surrounduing the cities as well as villages located throughout the country.

Small Towns


Villages


Seaside Towns and Harbors

Britain of course is an island. No place in Britain is more than a hundred miles or so from the coast. And there are countless ports, harbours, and baches located all along the coast. Until recentkly these were wiorking harbors and fishing pirts, but many have now become resort towns to varying degrees. Here children had similar experiences to urban children, i.e. the cinema and theater, public transport, shops. They also had similar experiences to rural children, depending on the size of the town. There were fields, green play areas seeing domestic farm animals as well as house hold pets. They also had unique experience as a result of the coastal location. There was sailing, beach combing, and sandy beaches where they could play and paddle. There were mMore opportunity to visit parks. Harbors, boats, and fishing also offered interesting experinces. Here is a view of Poole Harbor in 1920. The fields are close by and here a group of children are playing in a large open space which is solely available for their play. There is no one else there. Poole was a large coastal town and seaport evolving into a resort town.

Rural

While heavily urbanized, England had an important farm sector as well. England was not self suficient in food, but there was subtantial food production from a relatively modern farm sector. Often farm children grew up without access to some of the amaenties of city life like libraries and cinemas.







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Created: 10:40 PM 11/4/2013
Last updated: 10:47 PM 11/6/2013