Be not amused. The National Archives and the National Trust today launched a website that offers a glimpse into the life of a workhouse in Victorian Britain.

The site is the product of five years of painstaking research by 20 members of the Southwell Workhouse Research Group. The researchers trawled through more than 14,000 records from 1836 to 1876 covering a Poor Law Union - or workhouse - in Nottinghamshire.

The website provides details of how paupers were treated. It also brings to life the activities of parish and union officers, detailing instances of cruelty and corruption. For instance - clothing was so poor, workhouse inmates used to burn their beds and clothes in order to have a chance of getting new (old) ones. Which kind of puts my 'the air-conditioning is too cold' gripe into perspective, doesn't it?