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A vivid description of the squalor and poverty that families in Burnley, Lancashire, lived in during the 1860s. Mrs John Brown worked with poor families in Burnley. She describes a harrowing story of a collier and his family, who suffered the bereavement of a very young daughter. They kept her body in a bedroom drawer until the Parish could bury her.

There are vivid descriptions of the insanitary living conditions including the room that the family lived in and the health of the parents. The sense of hopelessness as a result of the poverty is clear.
This clip is from:
First broadcast:
28 May 2008

Classroom Ideas

Assign a series of personas to students (family member, landlord, charitable worker, doctor, politician) and ask them to identify how they would try to help families like this in the 19th century? They must consider what must change locally and evaluate the opposition to their changes. They should consider too the factors that might prevent them taking these actions.