Debra John - 'A Swansea Debtor'
Dressed in period costume, storyteller and actress, Debra John, enthralled our society members as she performed a poignant monologue entitled 'A Swansea Debtor.'
The story was based upon her research into the harrowing conditions in Swansea Debtors' Prison in the 1850s, then located in the tower of Swansea Castle.
Debra portrayed a Victorian lady, who described the circumstances of her husband's death, her consequential financial ruin and the harsh, uncompromising regimen within the prison. To quote an example - prisoners had to provide their own food,clothing and furniture otherwise the basic essentials of life were only available from the gaoler, often at exorbitant costs! This of course resulted in further debt. Should a debtor have no relatives to provide for him, or her, then the bleak outcome was death!
It's a sobering thought that such appalling penal conditions existed not so very long ago.