Life and labour on the St. Helier estate, 1930–2000<sup>1</sup>

David M. Smith

in On the margins of inclusion

Published by Policy Press

Published in print September 2005 | ISBN: 9781861346018
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302872 | DOI:
Life and labour on the St. Helier estate, 1930–20001

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This chapter discusses debates about poverty and the quality of life on the St. Helier estate. It notes that the debate was sparked by a speech given in 1939 by Mrs Loveman, organiser of the St. Helier Communist Party, arguing that life on the estate had been reduced to a ‘mere existence’. It observes that this was not solely due to unemployment but also the combination of high rents, travel costs, and the lack of well-developed travel and welfare services to which, as Londoners, residents were accustomed. It mentions local GP Dr Mary Barton's remarks which point to a higher level of poverty on the Carshalton side, arguing that residents in Carshalton are disadvantaged by the lack of transport connections in London. It adds that Dr Mary Barton noted the strain of extra commuting times and the exhaustion of the women who had to work to supplement the father's wages and whose lives are ‘just prolonged nervous strains’.

Keywords: poverty; quality of life; St. Helier estate; Mrs Loveman; transport; high rents; travel costs; welfare services; Dr Mary Barton; Carshalton

Chapter.  9529 words. 

Subjects: Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility

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