On a visit to the main general hospital in Oxford today, 19/02/15, I saw something I hardly ever saw while I lived in London; a large white working class family. There was Ma, round-bellied from normal years of obesity and another infant on the way, and five small boys around her feet, all very jolly and having fun, rolling on the floor like puppies, fighting each other, all looking very well.
It took me back to the book, The Family From One End Street, I read at school in the 1970s, which was then old fashioned, harking back to the 1930s.
The English children’s novel, written and illustrated by Eve Garnett, was considered innovative and groundbreaking in 1937 for its portrayal of a working-class family in a genre then dominated by stories about attractive, well spoken middle-class children. Today it’s considered a classic story of life in a big, happy English family.
Think about it; big, happy, English, family – in our major cities certainly something rarely ever seen these days, and often presumed extinct.