Monday, September 15, 2008

Social class in Wolverton

The general sense we had, growing up in Wolverton in the mid-century, was that no one was very rich and there were not many poor people around either. The railway works employed skilled artisans in large numbers and therefore the inhabitants of Wolverton, New Bradwell and Stony Stratford enjoyed a reasonable standard of living.
I have just found some statistics which support that view.
It offers us these facts:
In 1951 unemployment in Wolverton UD was 0.04%. The national average was 2.5%.
The percentage of men in Class 1 (professional) and Class 2 (managerial) was 10.5% in 1951. The national average was 17.5%.
The percentage of working men in Class 3 (skilled workers and clerical) was 68%. The national average was 50%.
The percentage of working men in Classes 4 and 5 (semi-skilled and unskilled manual workers) was 21%, against a national average of 30% in 1951.
So it is not surprising that Wolverton saw itself as a working class town - and indeed voted exclusively Labour for the local council after 1945 and generally Labour in the General Election. Sir Frank Markham, born in Stony Stratford, held on to the North Bucks seat for the Conservatives with a wafer thin majority for some years until the barnstorming arrival of Robert Maxwell. 
 Refer to: http://vision.edina.ac.uk/unit_page.jsp?u_id=10199359

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