Tuesday, 11 July 2017

port sunlight

We really enjoyed the guided tour from Amusing Planet of the model villages (company towns) of the UK planned and constructed in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in the trailing years of the Industrial Revolution to house workers and their families.
Corporate barons in all trades from locomotion to mining, soap and chocolate created accom- modations and amenities that was far superior to the relative squalor of crowded working class neighbourhoods in urban centres. Although these pursuits weren’t entirely altruistic with landowners wanting to rid themselves of the eye-sores of cottages of the poor interrupting their views and some arguing the whole scheme was just the latest incarnation of feudalism with workers rather trapped and indentured (or indoctrinated) and with no choice other than patronising the company store, these settlements nonetheless pioneered retirement, medical benefits and union representation and helped enshrine and solidify the notion of labour rights. These purpose built villages were eventually integrated as regular towns and many contain listed-structures of historical significance.