"We could pay. But what if we could not?" Boxing Day in the Blitz
Today we all transferred to the Hanging Gate Hotel across the moors on the Huddersfield Road to a village called Diggle. The landlord, appropriately named Mr. Moorhouse, was a big, fat individual, bald, with a lady I thought was his mother but was his wife. He said he was willing to take in any evacuees and homeless people from Manchester as long as they could pay, and the blitz was good for business and laughed his head off at his ‘joke’. He seemed quite unconcerned.
Outside the hotel, which was beautifully furnished and appointed, was a hand-painted sign: ‘This gate hangs well and hinders none. Refresh and pay, and carry on.’ We could pay. But what if we could not?
…On Friday… Auntie Mollie and Barbara and Joan… went by bus on a very cold day to Salford and Stretford town halls respectively to try to arrange urgent repairs to their home… They were told not to be impatient and that they were not the only ones with a problem and if they could afford to spent time at a hotel they were obviously not desperate for help. They had lost all their ration books and identity cards and insurance policies. They were so upset at the callous attitude they were in tears.
From Blitz Diary