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Post-War Middlesbrough

Ordnance Survey, 1954

After the Second World War, the way Britain was ran changed forever. There wasn't as much money, and a lot of soldiers came back looking for work but also distraught by what they had seen in the warzones abroad. Middlesbrough didn't escape the bombing, and by virtue of it being a trading port it was significantly targeted by the Luftwaffe.

The town, much like all the others in the Britain, benefitted hugely by the creation of the National Health Service, which served to help every British citizen 'from cradle to grave'. It meant money, or lack of it, was not a barrier in accessing good quality healthcare anymore. This was especially needed when considering how many soldiers had left work and were in dire need of help.

Other areas also changed. Education was totally changed with the Butler Act, meaning children had to stay at school until 15 with the aspiration until 16. The Labour government under Clement Atlee nationalised lots of Britain's industry too. This includes Iron & Steel in 1949, which are staples of Middlesbrough's industry. Therefore lots of the workers in Middlesbrough were actually paid by the government, and helped the country get back up and running after the war.

With more and more people having money in their back pockets, lots of people bought a car for the first time. More cars meant the government had to spent a lot of money on building big new motorways and infrastructure so people could get around as quick as possible. The A19 through Middlesbrough as well as the A66 are examples of the schemes to avoid congestion!


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