ESSEX-UK-L ArchivesArchiver > ESSEX-UK > 2006-07 > 1153911862
From: "La Greenall" <>
Subject: RE: [Ess] Re:Saffron Walden coroners reports
Date: Wed, 26 Jul 2006 12:04:22 +0100
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Colleen [mailto:]
> Thanks for the fascinating notes on Saffron Walden, Jacky!
> Regarding the
> suicides you've noted, one striking aspect of a course I did
> some years ago
> which included study of suicide, was the extent to which
> suicide, though
> largely viewed as an act of madness, is/was often a very
> rational response
> to a dreadful life situation. I bet there were a lot of
> people in that
> position in Saffron Walden - and across the whole country -
> in times gone by...
Another aspect of mortality in those days which I often think about is
the shorter expected life span, more people dying off in their 50s to
70s than do now. Perhaps in the light of our current growing problem
regarding the number of pensioners we're soon going to be engulfed in
(some TV prog recently claimed that when state pensions were brought in
in the late 1940s, there were 10 wage-earners to every pensioner, that
currently there are four, and that in 20 years' time there will be only
2), perhaps a logical reason for the shorter expected lifespan comes to
mind. In those days there were no nursing homes or NHS to take 'Aged P'
(to quote Dickens) off the hands of his struggling family; they just sat
him in a corner and winced whenever he piped up at visitors, like a
parrot without any sense of decorum. BTW that reminds me of my student
days in Stoke; my landlord had a minah bird which he'd bought off a
publican. He kept it in a cage in the hallway and it did a very good
impression of a guard dog whenever anyone came and went. But instead of
barking, it called out at the top of it's excruciatingly shrill voice,
"MINE'S A GUINNESS!!" This is a true story.
Now, Aged P was a rather likeable example of his type, being merely
deaf; there must have been many more who were deluded, deranged,
forgetful, confused, frightened, depressed, suffering from Alzheimer's,
Parkinson's, diabetes, and so on, all of which illnesses would have been
unfathomable back then, and one can easily imagine the temptation there
must have been to quietly slip them some drink or draft that would bring
a peaceful night's sleep, at last, not only for Aged P but for the rest
of the family as well. I wouldn't be at all surprised if this begins
happening again before too long, if it isn't already. We all know that
it is currently rife in nursing homes, in the form of tranquilisers.
Tranquil! What a tragic word. Numbifiers, pacifiers or stupefiers would
be more accurate.
There, now that's cheered you all up! And me too! If there's any
consolation, I would say that anyone who does regular exercise stands a
greater chance than average of staying healthy and alert - and as all us
listers doubtless know, exercise can be done by the brain as well as by
the body. Chin chin!
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|RE: [Ess] Re:Saffron Walden coroners reports by "La Greenall" <>|