Water in the past

008aChloe Kimberley writes: In archive club Richard talked to us about what the water was like in the past. He showed us loads of pictures of the wells and houses in Birmingham from Archives they used and we found out the water was not very nice. We also found out that the water that was used and was then very dirty went down drains near the well and got in through the gaps in the bricks building up in the well, and the water in the well was used again as drinks and for baths. And also some of the houses had a room where they left all their meat and open milk in there and because the drain pipes were open all of the bacteria would get onto the meat and eating it could have made you really ill. You could also catch a fever called Enteric fever which was caused by bacteria and gave you a rash which could sometimes kill you.

Marcus writes:  After-school Archive Club have been researching, interviewing, collecting new material, selecting and cataloguing material for Paganel Archives.  Over the last four weeks we have worked with Richard Albutt to review archive material he has researched about enteric fever in Birmingham 100 yrs ago.  We looked at how it relates to disease, epidemics, health and water sourcing now and in the past, and how archives could be used in learning.  Research with this year’s after-school club will shape how water topic is taught at Paganel and we will create resources for schools across Birmingham using local Archive material.


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