Virtual Cabinet of Curiosities
25. Cheshire Smiles, Laura Crawford, Postgraduate Researcher
These magazines are written by residents who lived in Cheshire Homes, which were residential homes for physically disabled people. The homes were set up by Leonard Cheshire who was a pilot in WWII. He wanted to help people following his experiences in the War. In 1948 he opened his home to young physically disabled people who had nowhere else to go. This then grew into a network of homes in the UK and overseas. Leonard identified a gap in the new welfare state, and the existence of these homes is revealing of broader trends in society at the time.
These magazines are a representation of the experiences of disabled people before community care options were available, as they are today. This research is in the field of historical geography and uses archival material to explore how disabled people shaped policy and contemporary care practices.