Monday, October 03, 2016

Minching Woods Churches Poverty

I recently had a walk in Minching Woods Nr Doddington and noticed they were coppicing. Many Townies say to me look they are destroying our woodland by cutting it all down but actually coppicing is basically harvesting Chestnut Wood, it is cut then allowed to grow again and about 15 years later you cut it again.When I was 15 years old I left school to become an Agricultural Apprentice working for A Hinge & Sons Borden. My wages were 11 shilling (55p) for a 48 hour week a mans wage was less the £10 a week, then when I left to go to college I was on the grand sum of £4 hour for a 44 hour week I then went on Hadlow Agricultural College for a year. I passed several City & Guilds and a NCA. After leaving College at 19 I had a couple of years in the Farming business working as a Dairyman, Shepherd and Contract Crop Sprayer but I was very mediocre at Farming so at 21 I became a Professional Judo Coach, like my parents, now there was something I was good at. I worked mainly for the KEC but was only paid per hour during school term, the hourly rate was good but you were only allowed to work 22 a hours a week. So with a young family I had to do extra work weekends and during the School holiday. This is where my Farming experience became in handy as during the Summer I would go Fruit picking, Straw Cart etc. winter time I would go with my old Farm Foreman Stan Williams Coppicing Chestnut wood, we cut them down for Hop Poles, sometimes cut them in 3ft lengths for Cord wood for the local paper mill, bean sticks and pea bows. There was nothing like a cold frosty winter days sitting by a fire toasting your sandwiches on a Chestnut fire. Weekends I would work as an Electrician Mates for Parmans.Now why am I reminiscing about all this quite simply I wanted to put things into context with the England of today in respect to a young family man in the 1960’s/70’s. The government gave you very little all we got was a bit of family allowance, there was no such thing as tax credits or food banks, being on the dole was frowned upon and was only there as a stop gap not a permanent life style choice. Yet with none of these extras we all managed to survive none of us starved and some even purchased houses, yes things were tight and we were often hard up. Most of the time we made do with second hand goods, did not go out drinking and never had foreign Holidays THIS WAS CALLED LIVING WITHIN YOUR MEANS. You wanted more you worked for it. Something this generation seems to forget Poverty in the UK is as follows:A household is in relative poverty (also called relative low income) if its income is below 60% of the median household income. Because the government is measuring quality of living rather than earning power, incomes are measured after taxes and benefits.18 Aug 201660% of medium Household income is £14133 per annum that’s £271 a week after Taxes and benefits? Now do you honestly believe that is being in poverty?


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.