New online resource: Round about a pound a week

February 22nd, 2010 by Nick White, Assistant Archivist

How did a Lambeth working man’s wife with children manage on a pound a week in the years 1909-13? This was the question asked by the Fabian Women’s Group at the time and to help answer it they selected a group of working class women to record their weekly household expenses. The original notebooks used by these women are now available to view online via the archives catalogue.

The notebooks contain:

  • the name and address of the woman keeping the notebook
  • income details
  • weekly expenses broken down by item (such as rent, foods and fuels).
  • occasional comments about health matters and family circumstances.
Extract from Mrs Grimsey's weekly household expenditure, 1911

Extract from Mrs Grimsey's weekly household expenditure, 1911 (COLL MISC 0847/37)

To find out more about the study see Maud Pember Reeves’s ”Family life on a pound a week” (Fabian Tract 162, 1912) and her book, “Round about a pound a week” (1913). The book has recently been re-printed and is available to buy from Persephone Books.

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2 Responses to “New online resource: Round about a pound a week”

  1. Dear Nick,

    I have finally got round to visiting the LSE archives blog. It is an excellent way to unlock the documents, the stories behind them and the connections between them.

    I have just started a blog about National Trust acquisitions: I am still learning to find the right tone of voice, but I think it will be a useful communication tool.

    Kind regards,

  2. Nick White, Assistant Archivist says:

    Thanks Emile,
    I think we’re still trying to find our ‘voice’ too… How to be quite formal and informal at the same time can be quite a challenge!
    Good luck with your new blog – its interesting to see what the National Trust is acquiring (and the reasons why).

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