There are authentic scenes of pre first world war London and the sweatshops. Inhumanity was at the core of the drama, although Brendan Gleeson can never pull off the role of a baddie. Despite a beard and surly look as a policeman he still comes over as a benevolent being. Apparently it's the first film in history to be shot in the Houses of Parliament and it was done with the full permission of MPs, illustrating once again the importance these events had on the history of our country.
In a wonderful piece of irony Helena Bonham Carter plays the part of Edith Ellyn. Bonham Carter is the great granddaughter of Herbert Asquith who was Prime Minister from 1908 to 1916 and an opposer of the suffrage movement.
Earlier in the day we had the annual meeting of the Norfolk Family History Society which included a very interesting talk by Dr Romola Davenport who is Senior Research Associate of the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure.
She talked about the effects of Smallpox on death rates in the 18th century and underlined the disparity that existed between the north and south of England with the disease mainly affecting young children in the north but adults in the south. Thankfully the horrible disease has now been eradicated. One of the most interesting aspects of the talk highlighted the pest houses where smallpox sufferers were kept away from centres of population.
Dr Davenport will be working with Norfolk Family History Society to gather information on the disease in Norfolk.
The booby award for bad service today goes to Marks and Spencers. This organisation has scarcely endeared itself to us over the past few months due to a number of reasons. Today was the last straw. Because my wife has an account which includes paying £10 a month, she gets a number of perks. One of these was a birthday tea. You know the kind of thing - small scones and twee sandwiches and a cup of tea. After queuing up for over five minutes we were told that no more birthday teas were being served today. That's despite the fact that it was only 2.20 p.m. That's certainly not good customer service.