My most recent post on Ripleyville in 1969, pre-demolition year, has as yet attracted no comments. It has been clear since this blog started that the life experiences of people who lived in the village could be very different. Of those experiences it has tended to be happy ones that dominate on this blog. Contributions have been skewed in another way. Very little has been written by the women of the Villa; those who were girls, teenagers, young women or young mothers through the 1950s and 60s. Very little has been written on this blog by those who suffered hardship, though, from personal experience, the book by Brian Mynott gives ample evidence that it existed.
Not just bare feet
Aware of these gaps I have been haunted for much of latter part of the week and over the week-end by the account of Ripleyville in the 1960s that I heard in a chance meeting last week. This was with someone who worked with those who were suffering with mental health problems in ‘the Villa’ and who was shocked by conditions of ‘Victorian’ poverty seen there. So I asked them if they would write something for the blog. This what they wrote:-