Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Temperance in The Felling

It would appear that there was a lot of temperancing going on in The Felling and there was undoubtedly a lot of alcohol consumption fuelling it. Times were tough and money was tight and there is no doubt that drinking alcohol was a drain on a family's  tight budget. On the other hand, work life was hard...the long hours and the physical graft and it is understandable that the men would want some relaxation. My own grandad (1882-1953) raised his kids in Holly Street in The Felling and he was a teetotaller. The financial drain on that family was my grandma who was addicted to  the flicks at the Imperial and the Corona. There were no religions nor movements advocating less cinema attendance.
Watch this space for more on temperance in The Felling in the form of pubs with no beer,  much Methodism, League of the Cross, Good Templars, Sons of Temperance and even prissy landlords who would only let their accommodation to abstainers.
The following is a Band of Hope A-Z message to the children.  The letters A and G deal with Ale and Gin which is understandable but O is for Opium, which seems a tad over the top. It might have been prevalent in San Francisco about this time but surely not in The Felling...?

Photo supplied by Gordon Stridiron, via Joan Hewitt

A Band of Hope Alphabet

A is for Ale, which makes people ill
B is for Beer and the doctor’s Big Bill
C is for Cider, that no one should make
D is strong Drink, which we never will take
E is for Earnest, we all ought to be
F is for Fetters from which we are Free
G is for Gin, that terrible stuff
H is for Health-we look Healthy enough!
I is for Inn, which on Sundays should close
J is for Jail, where the poor drunkard goes
K is for kind, which we all try to be
L is for Love, always lovely to see
M is for Misery, caused by strong drink
N is our Nation, which needs now to think
O is for Opium, that perishes the brain
P is our Pledge from all ill to abstain
Q is for Questions we ask when we think
R is for Reasons why no one should drink
S is for Sober and Safe and Secure
T is for Teetotal, the best thing, we're sure
U Useful our pledge is to you and to me

V is better than Vice you'll agree
W for Water, far better than wine
X in eXcel, our pledge you should sign
Y is for Youth, the best time to begin
Z is for Zeal, that our cause we may win
Now our Alphabet's finished
We know you will think
We are Band of Hope children
And HATE all strong drink

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