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May 12 2011

BBC Domesday Reloaded – Harrow

Today, the BBC relaunched the Domesday Project: an exercise it undertook in 1985 to collect a snapshot of life in Britain.  Technology, however, moved too fast, and for 25 years, the Domesday Project has been all but forgotten.

All the information gathered in 1985, by over a million people, is now available online, and you can search by postcode or placename for a handful of photographs and articles from that time.  One such article, which caught my eye, from the Harrow section, was this:

MR AND MRS PRITCHARD ARE BOTH OVER 80
YEARS OLD. THEY MOVED INTO HARROW 52
YEARS AGO. MR PRITCHARD BEFORE
RETIREMENT WAS A MEDICAL TECHNICIAN
AND HIS WIFE WAS AND STILL IS A
HOUSEWIFE.THEY HAVE SEEN MANY CHANGES
IN THE AREA. IN THE PAST ROADS WERE
MAINLY OF GRAVEL AND THERE WERE FEW
CARS.THE ONLY SCHOOLS WERE ROOKS HEATH
AND LONGFIELD AND ALTHOUGH THERE WAS A
HEALTH CLINIC WITH NINE DOCTORS THE
ONLY OTHER AMENITY WAS THE SHOPS. MR
AND MRS PRITCHARD ARE CONTENT TO SPEND
THEIR TIME NOW GARDENING AND WHEN
ASKED TO COMPARE LIFE TODAY WITH WHEN
THEY WERE YOUNG THEY SAID:
“WE LIKE IT NOW BUT PEOPLE WERE MORE
FRIENDLY IN THE OLDEN DAYS.NOW PEOPLE
JUST DON’T WANT TO KNOW.”

Some things just don’t change, do they?

Visit the BBC’s Domesday Reloaded project here.

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