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Workhouse poster

Workhouse poster

Workhouse poster

A poster advertising the ‘Bill of Fare’ in workhouses makes the quality and quantity of food the inmates received seem OK. The poster was printed in Greenwich but was probably used all over the country.

Workhouses provided food, accommodation and employment for people who couldn’t support themselves in the time before the NHS and a national benefits system. Conditions in many workhouses were terrible, and inmates certainly didn’t receive as much food as is suggested in the poster. However, conditions in the two workhouses in the Greenwich area – in Greenwich and Woolwich – were better than many others. Their infirmaries (hospitals) eventually became Greenwich and St Nicholas Hospitals, adapting to serve their communities even when the workhouses closed.

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