In the aftermath of the Great War, Prime Minister David Lloyd George urged for the need to make Britain ‘a country fit for heroes to live in,’ where ex-servicemen could enjoy improved living conditions. In July 1919, the Housing and Town Planning Act received royal assent. Despite having initial doubts about the idea of building new homes through the Great War, Bristol City Council purchased 700 acres of land in late 1918 to build high quality housing estates. On the centenary of the Act’s passing, Peter Malpass’ article examines its impact on town planning in Bristol and explains why the Act should be celebrated.
Despite having little commemoration, the 1918-19 Spanish Flu pandemic was one of Bristol's most devastating disasters. On November 11, 1918, Ellen Way died by jumping from a window during a delirium caused by influenza. At least another 1500 people would die from influenza in Bristol. Eugene Byrne’s article considers the impact of the flu on everyday life in Bristol, and explores the role and response of Dr D. S Davies in preventing the spread of Spanish Flu.
The ‘Edwardians Family Life and Work Experience Before 1918’, Bristol People’s Oral History Project and the Somerset Oral History Archive, contain hundreds of interviews covering a wealth of memories and perspectives on everyday life in the early twentieth century. Harrison’s article uses these oral histories to investigate the perspectives of young people on growing up in rural South- West England, and perceived problems in rural communities. Additionally, the article evaluates the use of oral history as historical evidence for a study of rural life.
Drunkenness was perceived to be a growing social problem in the late nineteenth century. To treat drunkards, or so-called ‘inebriates’, a new Inebriates Act was passed in 1898. The Act required those classed as inebriates to undergo rehabilitation and treatment at specialised homes. Most research on the treatment of drunkenness has primarily focused on treating and controlling the working class and women. Hutton's article reveals new research on the treatment of men from the upper social ranks, using Abbotswood House in Gloucestershire as a case study. The article investigates the methods of treating inebriates and their effectiveness, as well as the daily lives of patients.
The water springs of Boiling Wells and the Quay Pipe provided Bristol with access to safe, clean drinking water. The Quay Pipe route required difficult engineering to extend and maintain. However, the pipe and its conduit house became a cultural and social icon of Bristol, symbolising care and social unity. In this article, Adrian Kerton focuses on the history of the Quay Pipe and its social significance to Bristol, and tackles some of the confusion surrounding the source for the Quay Pipe.
The nineteenth century saw the emergence of zoological gardens around Britain and Europe. Bristol Zoo, formerly Clifton Zoo was the fifth oldest surviving zoo in the world and the oldest outside a capital city. The Zoo became a leisure hotspot for families in the South West of England and had over a million visitors in the early 1960s. However, by the end of the decade, public opinion on zoos had shifted. Holding animals in captivity for public display was perceived to be cruel, resulting in a decline in visitor numbers. Bristol Zoo subsequently reinvented its image. Flack's article focuses on the changing image of Bristol Zoo, notable animals, and its relationship with the city.
"Elmington Manor Farm is the best-documented farm in the Lower Severn Vale Levels, which is why James Powell chose as his topic 'The Estate Management of Elmington Manor Farm and environs 1066-1950'". From sources in "public archives, planning departments, libraries and museums" Powell looks at the earliest records of the farm, and how it survived to be surveyed by the "Second World War Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries".
"The South West of England was prominent in the campaign to ban blood sports in the second half of the twentieth century. Both the Hunt Saboteurs Association and Save Our Stags, an organisation established to oppose deer hunting in Devon and Somerset, were both born in the region". Tichelar looks at the people behind the movement, and how it has shaped the areas approaches to wildlife and conservation.
"While popular memory associates the summer of 1940 with debonair young men in Spitfires duelling the Luftwaffe in the sky, there was frantic building activity going on below in preparation for the expected German invasion. Eugene Byrne looks at some of the defence works made in anticipation of the ground war in the west of England".