Real Happiness

Helping Others

“The quality of our community is crucial for whether we make friends and how safe we feel” Richard Layard, Happiness

A network of support - family and friends - near where you live means that you are less likely to move house or experience family break-up. Getting in the sheaves at Bays Farm, Forward Green, Suffolk in 1921
Getting in the sheaves at Bays Farm,
Forward Green, Suffolk in 1921
Mutualism (helping others to help ourselves) and reciprocity (one good turn deserves another) were part and parcel of life in a village community.

Whether it was through organised groups like Friendly Societies or just neighbourliness, support networks helped the vulnerable and looked after the sick.

Today to counteract the closure of shops and post offices, local people have joined together to form small co-operatives and community enterprises to run local facilities.

What was the last thing you did to help someone else?


I was told not to let them have any more milk if they didn’t pay, but I hadn’t the heart to stop the milk, particularly where there were children, so I’m afraid I got behind with the cash.‘Can Your Mother Skin a Rabbit? Tales of a Suffolk Lad’ by Bert Allard (1988) who grew up in Stonham, Suffolk in the 1920s and 30s

A dairyman on his rounds for Booty & Sons, Bury St. Edmunds c.1910
A dairyman on his rounds for Booty & Sons, Bury St. Edmunds c.1910


The biggest change which I have seen is the growth of discontent. Greed. Nobody ever said, ‘B***er you, Jack, my head is out’ when I was a boy. When you wanted help it was given. It was ‘thank you very much’, and that was that. You mustn’t pay – it was good enough for a row if you offered to pay.Gregory Gladwell, 44, Blacksmith from ‘Akenfield’ by Ronald Blythe


Being the ‘poor man’s doctor’ he never sent in his account.....What an unpaid debt so many of us owe to the late Dr. Poignard! He was indeed a real help in times of need'Memories of a Suffolk Childhood’ by D.C. Rayson (1979) who grew up in Suffolk in the 1920s and 30s


Old Harry had a small field and sometimes in lieu of my father paying him for help in his busy times, he would borrow his horse to plough his land” ‘Memories of a Suffolk Childhood’ by D.C. Rayson (1979) who grew up in Suffolk in the 1920s and 30s

Ploughing with horses c.1900
Ploughing with horses c.1900


 

This exhibition is part of a wider sustainability project delivered through the Rural Museums East Partnership. It is funded by Renaissance East of England.

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