Small coal mining town (pop 15 - 20k) and was forced to be frugal by necessity - free school meals, subsidized school uniforms were all taken advantage of (means tested, of course).
Fortunately, low family income also meant free tuition and also a "grant" to live on at university so parents never had to spend a penny on college for us. (4 kids in a 2-bed row house - subsidized housing from the Coal Board).
However, 5 mins walk to beautiful countryside and beaches and cliff tops - great childhood memories.
Retired in Jan, 2010 at 55
Now it's adventure before dementia