Living Hell vs Care: Workhouse Meets Poorhouse | Ray Noyes

The conditions in workhouses were usually just as bad as we imagine. However, this was not always the case. The earlier rural poorhouses were founded out of legitimate care. The Church paid for these with the help of the wealthier people in a given parish. As people left the land and went to work in […]

Punishment Fit for the ‘Crime’ of Being Poor? | Workhouse Q&A with Ray Noyes

There were two types of punishment in use in workhouses, often used just for the (non-) crime of being poor. These are explicit and implicit punishments. The explicit punishments were openly cruel, such as the denial of food and use of cold water plunge baths. These techniques were lifted directly from prisons. More subtle, hidden […]

‘Full of Welsh humour’ | Disaster In His Wake, by Ray Noyes

DIY as you’ve never known it! I was gripped right from the first page and laughed all the way through the book. Our hero, Horatio, masterminds DIY projects which fail spectacularly and which the author relates with vivid humour. I had to ration my reading in order to make the book last longer! I can’t […]

How My Physics Background Helps Me to Write History | Ray Noyes

Physics and history are both exercises in fact. Having become habituated to this in his engineering career, this was a natural transition for Ray: it was easy for him to avoid too much speculation or conjecture, while inserting the vital narrative element that makes any good work of hisotry. Q&A Video Series with Ray Noyes […]

Tell Us About Your Time at CERN | Q&A with Ray Noyes

CERN was the most exciting part of Ray Noyes’ career. Formed in 1945, it brought the best of Europe’s engineers, physicists and mathematicians together to find out how the universe works. Going into each day with that on his mind gave Ray a sense of purpose. Q&A Video Series with Ray Noyes In this Q&A […]

Do You Have Two Top Tips for Aspiring Local History Writers? | Q&A with Ray Noyes

Of course, originality and accuracy are critical to writing history. This is Ray’s first, fundamental tip. Beyond this, however, he says you must ensure you produce a compelling narrative, otherwise, a long list of disconnected facts become boring. Q&A Video Series with Ray Noyes In this Q&A video series with Ray Noyes, we find out […]

How my local history book became a set text at Cardiff University | Ray Noyes

Urban Development in the Victorian Era is Ray’s book about the historical development of Grangetown’s architecture. It became a set text for the master’s degree in Architecture after Ray happened to chance upon a banner advertising a project about Grangetown’s architecture in particular. He popped in and spoke with a Senior Lecturer and then a […]

‘Cannot put it down’| Rubicon | Tom Holland | Ray Noyes

History books can be ones that present the reader with a set of facts, with little or no narrative. They can be overly academic and not an attractive read for a Sunday afternoon. This one is different, very different. Tom Holland has a knack of providing us with sound academic research in riveting story form […]