A Frome POSH and POOR Christmas

A Frome POSH and POOR Christmas 150 150 Frome Heritage Museum

Exhibition – December 2021

We decorated the Museum with a Christmas display for the 4th and 5th December 2021, which was also the Frome Independent Market weekend.

The theme was A Frome Posh and Poor Christmas to give visitors an insight into the sumptuous arrangements for the wealthy compared to the meagre fare for the poor.

The beautiful circular staircase was decorated with greenery, lights and ornaments. The traditional decorated tree took pride of place in the entrance.

Moving further into the museum let you see how the paupers celebrated Christmas, showing just how little they had during this time of year. Those in the Workhouse may not have been allowed anything different on Christmas Day, it all depended on the poor law unions being more lenient towards the inmates.

It appears that the Frome Workhouse was one of the better managed unions.

A report in the Somerset Standard 6 January 1899

The Chaplain of Frome Workhouse stated: “Unions vary over the country and Frome is one of the best. There have been a great many improvements of late to the hospital and new laundry. Tobacco is now given to the old men, tea and sugar to the old women and they are allowed leave of absence once a month instead of once every two months. The children are allowed to go out to Sunday School in the town and any distinctive character in their dress has been abolished.”