In Manchester, unlike London, the conditions in which the most distressed people live are not well screened off from the wealthy central area and university precinct. This is still true now, but was even more the case in 1951, when the welfare state was in its infancy, when thousands of vulnerable, sick and old people were killed off each winter by the smogs;
when the housing stock of the inner-cities (and in particular Manchester)
was dilapidated; and when anyone looking west or south-west from an upstairs window anywhere on the Manchester University central campus would find themselves looking not at comfortable, middle-class housing but at Moss Side, the poorest suburb of Manchester, where
many newly-wed couples still lived with their parents for lack of any other home; where tenement slums still existed, terraced houses could still shelter several families sharing a gas ring and a single lavatory and where families would still find they would have to wait up to 10 years for a council house.