How Lapworth managed the previous pandemic

Churchwarden Hugh Roberts writes…

We have been checking the archives of the Lapworth Parish Magazine to make comparisons between the current Covid pandemic and the “Spanish Flu” pandemic which led to the deaths of so many people just over a century ago.  It seems that even in that era there was some disagreement of actions taken by the authorities but it is noted that the local agricultural economy was given due preference.  The following is an extract from the Parish Magazine of September 1918.

“The outstanding feature of the past quarter has been a very trying one for all concerned. We refer to the prolonged closing of the school owing to epidemics. It has been bad for the children, the teachers and the parents alike, but we would ask our readers to remember that we have been entirely in the hands of the Education Committee and acted on their instructions. Not that we in any way question the wisdom of their decisions; but we only wish it to be understood that the responsibility for the school closing was theirs and not ours. We hope that after the reassembling of the school there will be no more hindrances until the Christmas Holidays, except for a break of a fortnight for the potato picking, which , we expect , all will welcome.”

The current food banks are obviously nothing new as the same article continues,

“All who have surplus vegetables, eggs, fruit or poultry should send them to The Boot Inn in time for the van which will call each Tuesday for them and convey them to the local centre for distribution.”

It is also noted that the concept of recycling is nothing new as there is a very detailed article entitled “New garments for old: Refooting stockings”.  The article contains a number of diagrams illustrating how worn stockings can be recycled by fitting new pieces of material into the footings.  The following is an extract,

“Of all garments stockings wear out most quickly; especially is this true at the present time. They provide constant work for the mother of a family, and inspite of all her efforts to keep them wearable by darning, the time comes when this is no longer possible.”

Would we dare suggest today that this is an occupation exclusive to the ladies?


How Lapworth managed the previous pandemic