Sunday, 4 December 2011

Britain, no country for old men in some 'care' homes 60 years ago, is still one in some today

Born in the Summer of 1947, I was a 3 month old foetus when this cinema newreel was released in January 1947, it was entitled :


Apprently it was based on 'investigations into the conditions of institutions for old people at homes at Epsom, Farnham and Cambridge'.

The notes accompanying the reel described the good scenes of the new system and bad scenes of the old :

* old people walking down a narrow, badly lit stone staircase.


* exterior view of a modern institution at Farnham Surrey. Good up to date institution.

* a nurse and two old ladies walking in the grounds.

* white coated waiters carry food on trays to old people sitting at small tables in a pleasant dining room which has flowers on the tables.

* a bearded man eats his soup, another drinks a glass of beer with relish.

* in an airy cosy sitting room a woman sits in a easy chair beside the fire, while a man plays patience on a polished top table, others sit about the room.

* a man writing seen from outside a window ; an old couple chatting ; shots of people walking along corridors and in their individual bedrooms.


* exterior view of the institution at Epsom, an ancient building with tiny windows.

* old woman walking miserably in the drab yard.

* the comfortless common room where the old folk sit on wooden chairs.

* various head shots of old women. Men at a long table drinking out of enamel mugs. Head study of elderly palsy stricken man.

* various shots of the outmoded building of Chesterton Hospital, Cambridgeshire, again with small windows.

* a ward full of old people lying motionless in bed.

* one man patient lights a pipe for another.

* the haggard corpse-like face of one of the patients in bed.

* a row of women sitting on chairs, in a barrack-like room, most of them are just staring with a pathetic hopelessness into space.

* an infirm woman hobbling across the room.

* old people walking down a narrow, badly lit stone staircase.

* an old man stares out of a window.

Britain 64 years later :

My posting for Tuesday, 25 October 2011 :

Britain is no country for old men in care homes which provide neither 'care' nor a 'home'

Question : Has anything changed ?

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