Yesterday of the Girl

Carrying on my #inktober posts based on things I have found out during my Artist in Residence in My Own Street project, this one is also about International Day of the Girl. Looking at what it was like to be a girl in 1911 on Courtenay Street

There were 99 girls (16 and under) living in Courtenay Street in 1911. Thirty-four of them were under 5. Seven, aged between 14 and 17 were out at work: 3 dressmakers (or machinists making dresses), one apprentice milliner, one paperbag maker (working at home on piece work), one was a labeller in the local pickle factory and the other is listed as doing ‘housework’ – presumably in her own home as if it was in another’s she would be listed as ‘domestic’.  Many families in Courtenay Street lived in very over-crowded conditions and five of these girls lived in one room with the rest of their family – sometimes quite a large number of people – for example the Turneys had six people in just one room. There are several families with nine people in just four rooms and the ‘winner’ of the overcrowding game is the Gaunts at no.47 who had ten people in just four rooms, although the Deane’s at no.96 come close with twelve people in six rooms. These are not numbers of bedrooms but the total number of rooms including kitchen, sitting rooms.

Seven year old Evelyn Smith who lived in my one bedroom flat with her father Albert (a Metropolitan Police Constable) and mother Ellen, must have considered herself rather lucky! Three whole rooms for just the three of them! The house was also one of the new ‘modern’ ones recently built by the Duchy of Cornwall with large, light, well proportioned rooms.

Change was coming to Courtenay Street, suffragettes were active in the area, the First World War and the Second World War brought change both to the local landscape but also to the social one. Women got the vote.  Landlords, like the Duchy, took advantage of bomb damage to continue their improvement of housing. Despite all this in 2017 there are still families in Lambeth living in overcrowded, unsanitary housing, the girls aren’t called Ethel, Maud or Queenie anymore, but they still exist (along with their brothers) and we still need to do more to ensure we don’t revert to the slum conditions of the 19th Century, the workhouse and the paupers’ mass grave.

Listed below – all the girls of Courtenay Street c. 1911 ages given (7), occupation, house number @52 and the number of rooms v number of people 3/4

Odd numbered side of the street:

Florrie Smith (2) @73 4/5

Ellen Jenner (13) & Kathleen Jenner (5) @63 3/5

Nelly Payne (0) & Annie Payne (2) @63 1/4

Alice Shea (13) @61 5/6

Louisa Speller (9), Sarah Speller (7) & Ivy Speller (5) @59 4/6

Florrie Thomas (2) @57 4/4

Charlotte Brice (3) @53 3/4

Elizabeth Gibbons (3) & Ellen Gibbons (1) @53 1/4

Mary Mentasi (16) dressmaker, @51 5/9

Harriet Mack (6) & Phillis Mack (0) @49 1/5

Margaret Gaunt (14) & Lucy Gaunt (9) @47 4/10

Greta Higgs (2) @35 3/3

Lily Laud (9) & Rose Laud (10) @33 3/4

Elsie Langley (6) @33 3/3

Ivy Jones (5) @31 3/3

Hannah Miller (1) @29 3/4

Molly Davis (7) @27 3/4

Florence Hunt (13) & Dorothy Hunt (12) @27 3/4

Grace Murphy (8), Louisa Murphy (6) & Winifred Murphy (1) @25 3/5

Dorothy Frost (8) & Annie Frost (7) @25 3/5

Annie Packer (9) @23 3/6

Louisa Ireland (4) & Rose Ireland (15) Machinist/dressmaking @21 3/6

Edith Webb (8) @17 3/5

Alice Speer (3) @11 3/3

un-named girl Porter (0) @11 3/3

Lottis Johnson (13) @9 3/3

Alice Green (12) @7 3/4

Clara Deadman (8), Ada Deadman (6), Edith Deadman (5) & Ivy Deadman (3) @5 4/7

Marian Davies (9), Alice Davies (3), Rosina Davies (2) @3 4/9

Louisa Wodbury (15), paperbag maker, Rose Wodbury (13), Lillian Wodbury (11), Grace Wodbury (5) @1 4/9

Even numbered side of the street:

Elizabeth Deane (16) blouse machinist, Edith Deane (14) apprentice milliner & Julia Deane (7) @ 96 6/12

Violet Ware (2) @92 1/4

Annie Kirkin (9) & Edith Kirkin (6) @90 4/6

Rosina Edwards (11) & Frances Edwards (5) @88 5/6

Dorothy Wickes (10) @84 2/3

Alice Stringer (13), Ivy Stringer (11), Elizabeth Stringer (9), Lily Stringer (4) & Queenie Stringer (1) @82 4/8

Ada Fletcher (15) housework, Alice Fletcher (13) & Martha Fletcher (1) @78 4/8

Alice Cox (6), Ellen Cox (5) & Florence Cox (2) @76 2/6

Elizabeth Harbridge (3) & Sarah Harbridge (2) @74 3/6

Ada Turney (2) @74 1/6

Florence Davies (13), Nellie Davies (10), Ivory Davies (0) @66 3/7

Evelyn Smith (7) @52 3/3

Ellen Abraham (7), Maud Abraham (7) & Elsie Abraham (2) @50 3/8

Ethel Heath (13) & Florence Heath (10) @48 3/5

Caroline Harwood (7) @48a 4/4

Jessie Skinner (5) @46 3/5

Ivy Hyde (16) dressmaker @44 3/3

Emma Dibbens (6), Edith Dibbens (4) & Grace Dibbens (3) @38a 4/9

Constance Wilson (7) & Margaret Wilson (1) @38 3/5

Flora Mills (2) @20 3/4

Emily Ind (7) @16 3/4

Maud Hill (16) labeller in pickle factory & Elizabeth Hill (10) @16 3/4

Marie Nathan (8), Doris Nathan (6) & Esther Nathan (0) @12 3/7

Ena Culchey (4) @2 (The Plough Pub) 7/8

 

 

 

 

 

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