Carlton Girls Born and Bred
The story of Ruth Bailey …. and her mother, Keziah … and her grandmother, Alice … and her daughters, Karina and Lisa.
Like her mother and grandmother, Ruth Bailey nee Blackburn was born in Carlton and spent virtually her whole life in two houses barely a kilometer apart. Interviewed in 2010, she recalled the details of a traditional upper working class childhood at 16 Rathdowne Street, a stone’s throw from the Exhibition (Carlton) Gardens, and shopping for everyday necessities in a still largely Anglo Lygon Street. Daily visits were paid to he home of her grandmother, across the road from what is today Carlton Primary School.
After marriage and the birth of two daughters, it was in this house at 149 Palmerston Street that Ruth spent the rest of her life, living through the upheaval of the Housing Commission’s demolition of huge swathes of Carlton just to her north and the building of the high rise flats in Lygon Street. Later she saw the original working class population of these flats gradually replaced by waves of refugees, most recently from Africa, and experienced the gentrification of a suburb once a byword for poor housing and crime.
Carton Community History Group