Copyright R L (Bob) Walker 2015. All rights reserved. See side bar right →
A previous post on this blog stated that the research needed in rediscovering Ripley Ville was not ‘in any way complete [nor is] what is out there on the internet or in print … adequate to telling the story of Victorian Ripley Ville.’
The proposed new web-sites; Ripleyville.co.uk and Ripleyville.org.uk, will be aiming to improve what this project offers about the old Borough of Bradford’s only industrial model village. This post develops the points about
- content now on offer on the internet
It deals in particular with content available about Ripleyville on Wikipedia in comparison with the blog posts and pages on this rediscovering Ripleyville (rRV) web-site. The post’s focus is on the content on the Wikipedia site about Ripleyville’s Working Mens houses and on this rRV site and the Wikipedia site about the village’s original Victorian Vicarage. Issues of transparency and best practice in arriving at the Ripleyville story are raised on both topics. The post’s overall message is that for Victorian Ripley Ville this web-site leads, while Wikipedia follows.
Getting the Best 1
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:-
This is a re-post of content that appeared on the blog in mid-November 2012. It shows early versions of content now on the not-yet-a-Wikipedia page for Ripleyville by Peter Knowles. I have left it unedited. It expresses the surprise and excitement and the right notes of caution about the content Peter sent and some of its meaning for rediscovering Ripleyville.
I would at this point just add a number of additional points of caution. With the help and prompting of the ‘Gentlemen of the Villa’ (ex-residents put in touch through this web-site) Peter has done architectural reconstructions for the church of St Bartholomew and the houses of the Villa i.e. projections backwards from the 1960s, while also using large scale maps from the 1890s. The example of St Bartholomews Church, below, indicates one of the stages involved in such a process. For the houses, the full set of architectural drawings and plans have still to be found.
Missing from Peter’s ‘wiki’ are the school master’s house and the building’s of the village’s southern site; the vicarage and the almshouses.
On the water-closets controversy we may have narrowed down what may have happened 1866-69. Peter’s deductions need better evidencing. He also down-plays the water-closets’ significance. This comes both from their historic significance; their installation in a group of Working Mens housing by 1868 (Where is there an earlier example in the UK?) and their place in the Saltaire,West Park Hill, Akroydon, Ripley Ville progression; that is their actual installation in the forth of the industrial model villages built in the Worsted District of the West Riding.
Two detailed post on the ‘Water-closet Controversy‘, in the Members Area, are password protected. They are accessible to ‘Friends of Ripleyville’ registering through the sign-up form (side-bar right) →
The original title of the post was ‘An Amazing Attachment’. It was published 2012/11/17 and follows