Author Topic: rous nous  (Read 2786 times)

kelama

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rous nous
« on: September 05, 2006, 02:54:26 AM »
Anyone remember the Rous Nous (Rowton Hotel), a notorious flop house for drunks, the homeless the indigent and other down on your luckers...believe it was somewhere behind the old slaughter house....if it's still standing it's probably a multi million pound apartment complex.

john2000

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Re: rous nous
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2006, 07:30:31 AM »
Hi"Kelama, I beleave its still standing in fact its now a hotel come business centre, it was next to Highgate park, it was built back in the later 80's for workers who could find their way through their bad times,  was built by a lord Rowton, .
the Rowton house could offer a bed with clean sheets for the night, I think they had to pay 6 pence a night, ??
as a kid I used to play in Highgate park ( next door ) and you could see them( the drunks ) standing outside, but I'm quite sure it helped many a man who was down on his luck,
Growing old is mandatory..........Growing up is optional

Bannion

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Re: rous nous
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2006, 08:00:52 PM »
I have had occasion to call on the Rowton House back in the early sixties.
The cheapest beds were part of a room block of about twenty five and men had to sleep with their belongings under their pillows else they woke next morning minus them.  If they had a few extra pence they could sleep in separate cages.  Now these were cages, sides and roof, and the occupier had a key to get in.  In these he could leave his goods in a fairly safe environment.
Supper for the money paid consisted of two thick ,margarine and jam slices of bread and a mug of tea.
Morning they had a bowl of porridge.
Now to see the real down and outs one would have to go the the Spike up Dudley Road. Admission was free
No drunks - no admission after 11pm.  Stripped of clothes that were then steam washed to kill the lice and returned to them next morning.  Up at 5.30am Cooked breakfast for which they had to do tasks to earn previously - cleaning floors, bedding areas and furniture using carbolic soap and Dettol substance.
They could only stop there for two nights on the run unless medical reasons could be shown.
The place had a smell all of its own and it was not pleasant.   

Langstraat

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Re: rous nous
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2006, 12:59:51 AM »
I'm full of admiration for any one who could go through that and its good to be pulled up occasionally just when we think we're going through a bad patch. It makes you realise how lucky we really are. I suspect that many aren't able to rise from such lows.
A few months ago I went to Richmond a small Yorkshire town and while my partner went through the charity shops one by one I was drawn to a vendor selling hot roast beef sandwiches. We bought a couple and sat on a church bench. Lovely grub. On an opposite bench a shabbily dressed guy edged closer to the waste bin where others had deposited the remnants from their lunches. It was a bitterly cold day but we were wrapped well and cozy which was more than be could be said for this guy. I thought I would share my lunch with him and walked over to make contact. I was going to give him the remains which was a little too fatty for my taste. I decided not to give him my left overs and asked whether he would allow me to treat him to a roast beef sandwich. He nodded yes and we went back to the counter, the lady filled a large roll and topped it with a helping of onion gravy, a squirt of horseradish and a dash of mustard. I asked her to make up a polystyrene container of roasties and Yorkshires and finished it off with a large mug of tea. Now I'm not accustomed to doing this sort of thing and normally would have shied away from any contact. But when we had sat there wrapped up as snug as a bug I felt our presence was out of place. It cost me less than a packet of fags to help him and selfishly made me feel very good. After we finished our lunch we said good bye and left him to his feast and continued the charity shop rummage. I spotted a thick quilted jacket not unlike my own but at a fraction of its cost £2.50. Yeah. I took it over to him before we left. The feel good factor cost me £6.00 in all. The same it cost to park outside the central library in Brum. Rowton Houses were set up in several cities to help the casualities of our society. To some these drop outs may be thought as being self inflicted "but there for the grace of god go you or I" I hope someone buys me a Roast Beef sandwich one day and would'nt it be good if it was a guy from Richmond. :)
Never argue with an idiot, they'll drag you down to their level and try to beat you with experience.

kelama

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Re: rous nous
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2006, 01:11:07 AM »
Hi Bannion,I grew up close to Dudley road in the 50's and never heard of the Spike. were was it?

Bannion

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Re: rous nous
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2006, 09:32:22 AM »
The 'Spike' as it was locally known was situated some hundred to two hundred yards along Western Road, Off Dudley Road and at the side of Summerfield Hospital.
Not sure if it was a part of the hospital but I doubt it.  It had a frontage of possibly a hundred yards and its windows had iron grills over them. 
Access was via a small door having first rung a bell  and been scrutinized through a window further protected by a heavy grill. (Some of the would be customers could get quite violent when refused admission).  The National Insurance Card was always demanded as means of proving a person's identity.
Police would call on the place in the early hours and a list of occupants were taken and checked for persons wanted.   A return would be made if any where there and they would be removed before roll call later in the morning

john2000

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Re: rous nous
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2006, 09:40:07 AM »
 Langstraat : Maybe, that is the problem with us as a society today, we tend to forget others, and think of ourselves, even here in Holland we have the down and outs, eighter through drink, drugs or illness,.
you see them trying to sell small magazines, they stand out in the rain, cold and snow, just for a few pence, but that few pence pays for a bed wash and something to eat, as they try to save what is left of their dignity
I used just walk past when they offered me a small magazine cost 50p, nothing, but  then I remembered a guy, who had problems and had to sleep in his car for 2 months, going to the public toilets for a wash and shave, and only getting part time work, for 2-3 hours a day,but it helped, so now when I'm in the town I always pay the price of two. then give him one back, he keeps his pride and dignity... as you say, but for the grace of god goes I....John 2000
Growing old is mandatory..........Growing up is optional

Langstraat

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Re: rous nous
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2006, 11:02:55 AM »
John2000'

We could start a crusade  :D

We have magazine publication here called 'The Big Issue' it covers issues related to the homeless and can be seen as a little too political for my taste. I think I'll follow your lead and pay for the rag but with a wink ask him to look after it for me.
I think many would like to give but sometimes think the money will go towards drink or drugs and so avoid making a contribution.
As a child I would sometimes see vagrants/tramps there was one old guy who lived under a canvas sheet in a Lay-by at Coleshill I used to see quite often his worldly possessions were in three supermarkets trolleys which he used to push in 100yds stretches relay fashion. I saw him for many years through all seasons until he disappeared. We believe things are better today, but in actual fact it's worse large cities still have people sleeping rough many with a drug dependency.
Never argue with an idiot, they'll drag you down to their level and try to beat you with experience.

john2000

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Re: rous nous
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2006, 12:26:20 PM »
langstraat, If the money goes on food or beer, you have tried to help, and thats the most important thing is that you have tried, in all our big cities there are many that walk the streets at night with no where to go, maybe the few pence we give can get a warm bed for the night, maybe I'm wrong, but I feel we should look after our own before we start to send money overseas,...........John 2000
Growing old is mandatory..........Growing up is optional

Langstraat

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Re: rous nous
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2006, 04:27:24 PM »
John2000,

I have to agree that it doesn't seem sense to send money abroad but there is usually an ulterior motive and overseas export sales result from our benevolent attitude. In this world there's no such thing as a free dinner and countries which we help pay us back many times over.
That's just the way it is and has always been.
Never argue with an idiot, they'll drag you down to their level and try to beat you with experience.

Graham

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Re: rous nous
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2006, 11:41:36 PM »
The point of sending money abroad is to lift those people out of poverty so that they can start buying consumer goods from us so in the end giving us more work thus less unemployment. That's the way it is supposed to work, to help us in the end, not them! Anyway most of our money gets spent on  "administration" very little actually goes to helping those people get a better life, so in the end it is best to give that 50p. to the begger in the street, even if he doesn't spend it on food. Think about it.

Graham.