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Minute Book, Band of Hope, transcribed by John Collins
Band of Hope 1919-1921
A Band of Hope ticket Mr B Vorley
A ticket for the meeting - but we have no year
Mr B Vorley - President 1917

1919 - 38th Report of the Rushden & Higham Ferrers, Irthlingborough & District Band of Hope Union

At the very commencement of this our 38th report we all wish to join in thankfulness that after 5 years of peril we are once more in a land of safety and are at peace and also the pleasure of seeing so many familiar faces who have returned. But alas some we shall never see again, to those returned whether present tonight or if they hear of our welcome to once more return to their accustomed place in the Band of Hope as in their absence it has be a struggle to keep the work alive and we are hoping now we have no lighting restrictions that parents may more freely allow their children to attend the meetings. Our last Annual Meeting was held in conjunction with the Jubilee of the I.O.G.T. Grand Lodge and a visit was received from the Grand Chief Templar who was the chief speaker at our Public Meeting. In February we held a Special Meeting to discuss the question of reorganising our Societies but as the season was so far advanced I am afraid little was done and we centred our work in connection with a Special Educational Lantern Lecture which was given in the B.W.T.A. Hall. The subject Mr Turnbull had selected was Gods Gifts of Flowers, Fruits and Foods and quite 200 children from the various societies in the town by invitation ticket assembled. The children were given to understand that this was not an entertainment although the lecture was splendidly illustrated by the Unions Lantern under the supervision of Mr Desborough by more than 100 lovely pictures. The children were asked to send in a written essay and no less than 17 of these were received. These papers were adjudicated on and prizes awarded to the best. The minimum of marks to receive a prize was 80 out of the 100 and one lad sent in a specially intelligent paper and was awarded the full marks of 100 and was awarded a special prize. This lad was Charles W Carter and belongs to the Salvation Army and if this body can turn out many such lads it is to their credit and one special feature of commendation of this body is that only total abstainers are taken on for membership. The others receiving prizes included Dennis Knight, 98 marks; Olive Mayhew, 95; Edith Clarke, 95; Winifred Page, 90; Grace Compton, 90; Bertha Hawes, 80 and William Holmes, 80. In addition to these prizes, which were awarded as Union prizes, Miss Denton on behalf of the Independent Wesleyan Society added two other books to scholars of this Society. The others under 80 marks each received a nicely illuminated Certificate of Merit. A special gathering was held in the Primitive Methodist Chapel in connection with the I.O.G.T. Lodge, Mr Claridge presiding and Mr Turnbull taking part. The next event of interest was a gathering of a very unique character arranged by the Temperance causes of Stanwick to pay tribute to the sterling qualities of the character and sacrifices of one of our respected members in the person of Mr S. Pettit on his attaining his 80th birthday and several from our Union had the pleasure of attending this function and joining in the tribute so worthily gained. By his interest not only in his own village but being a member of the County Executive it shows his interest in a very wide area. I am sure our Committee very sincerely join in the wish that he may yet be spared to carry on his usefulness in this and these directions. A visit was paid by the Rev. R. C. Gillie, the President of the National S.S.U. in connection with our local S.S.U. and at a tea table conference he gave some useful advice in connection with our work which showed his keen interest as it should in one holding such a position in connection with child life. Your Secretary, as a County Union delegate attended the May meetings of the U.K.H.B.U. held in Sion College and those meetings which were of the pre war nature and extended over two days were of a very uplifting and useful nature. The presence of Mr Avery Roff the new General Secretary in place of Mr Charles Wakely who had held the office for 35 years and been associated in the cause for 50 years. A great gap was caused through the absence of the veteran Mr Fred Smith and no meeting to which he was accustomed to attend seemed the same in his absence and we deeply regret that within the last few weeks this stalwart, and we might say the children’s champion, has passed to his reward. Many in Rushden remember his keen interest in music and the times he has visited even in the hall to rehearse the choir which helped to make one of the 3 choirs of 5000 each which were such an attraction at the Crystal Palace on the Great Band of Hope Fete day when from 70 to 80 thousand persons generally were present and when Rushden could send a Temperance Cricket Team who could well hold their own and our President was one of the number. In making this report short I will only just mention one or two other items of interest to us. Temperance Sunday was well taken advantage of and in most schools and places of worship was the topic of this day. One of our vice Presidents, Mr R. P. Payne, J.P. has had a very serious illness but glad to report great great progress towards recovery. We have much to daunt us at times but our cause is right and that should give us courage. The other day I came across this account of what our work is telling in Canada. A Rev. John Holland, while staying in Toronto, took special pains to discover the reason for the strong temperance atmosphere of that great Canadian city. So clad in mufti and made to look as unlike a minister as possible he had interviewed all sorts of people. The best and most reasonable explanation was given by a policeman. Its like this sir, he said, there’s a rare lot of people in this city who came out here from the old country. In their young days those people used to attend Band of Hope meetings, belong to Sunday Schools and various Temperance Societies. While they were at home and surrounded by drinking people their opinions didn’t count for much, but when they came out here and settled down and found this was a chance to get rid of the drink entirely their early training taught them what to do in the matter. Mr Holland suggested that it was quite evident that although Band of Hope workers and others had so often deplored the futility of their efforts to arrest the drinking habits of the British people the seed sown in Britain had bee harvested in Canada and that this amply rewarded the teachers for their labour. The subject of this address from which this reference is taken was a Harvest of the Band of Hope work and our hope and prayer is that even yet England may soon awaken to its dangers that such words can be applied to her.

Nov. 4/19

1920 - 39th Annual Report

In presenting this the 39th Annual Report of this Union there seems so little work of a character to report on and yet all through our district there has been the steady and plodding attention paid to our activities which have been steadily and persistently carried on. At our last Annual Meeting which was held on Nov 6th, 1919 and was of a varied and successful nature as after our usual business we had the first of a series of programmes which have been compiled by our County School Lecturer gone through by a selected number of children from the various Bands of Hope of the town. Mrs Norman had interested herself and carefully trained these and it was gone through in a most interesting manner and showed how a programme for an evening can easily be arranged and the main idea is to get the children more interested than in the usual Meeting by taking part in the responses etc. as if by getting more to take part the interest of the child lies. Our Committee had these programmes in their minds and to help and encourage societies have purchased the series numbering 6 and are anxious for any society to take advantage of them free of charge. The subjects are as follows:

No. 1. Kindness and Helpfulness.

No. 2. Some Reasons for Signing the Temperance Pledge.

No. 3. Total Abstinence – A Safe Path.

No. 4. Steadfastness in Refusing Intoxicating Drinks.

No. 5. The Nature of Intoxicating Drinks.

No. 6. Mind not what others think – but Trust in God.

So you will gather from such a variety of subjects available no Society should lack material suitable for a good evenings meeting. On November 26th an entertainment was arranged in connection with our Union on behalf of The Children of Blinded Sailors & Soldiers in connection with the work of Sir Arthur Pearson at St. Dunstan’s Hostel. A good programme was provided but the effort did not meet with the response such an object ought to have done. The Nett Proceeds of £3.5.0 was kindly acknowledged by Sir Arthur Pearson. In view of the sale of drink which now ceases at 9.0 on Sundays in both Clubs and Public Houses and the great interest shown by the Liquor interest to the extension to the hour of 10.0. I have sent a request from our Union that we hope no change will take place. The persons who have been written to are as follows: Mr W. Joyson Hicks, Bt. M.P., Rt. Hon. Lady Astor, M.P. and our Divisional Member Mr R. W. Smith, M.P. Owing to the Railways still being under Government control no arrangements would be considered as to our [December] trips, although the three Unions, Wellingborough, Kettering and Rushden made the overtures to the County. Our County being of such an extent and the restrictions of 3 Lectures for each set of Children prohibits our School Lectures from visiting us as often as we should wish and one fears many Children pass through our Day Schools without hearing a series of his convincing subjects of these school lessons. During the past year one of our workers passed suddenly away in the person of Mr E. Robinson who was a real enthusiast for Temperance work and who still kept in mind the pit from whence he was dipped. As one looks around one cannot find no department of effort which is more vital to the well-being of the individual and the nation than this work of prevention. The Future of the Nation, its Efficiency, its Prosperity, its very Continuance are all bound up with the health, welfare and training of the Child. Alcoholic Liquors are proven agents of inefficiency and disorder. To train the child in national temperance principles is to do a great national work and prepare a sober, intelligent, healthy, free people, ready for the rapidly approaching days of keenest international competition, when health, restraint and spiritual ideals will tell most in the race for commercial and industrial supremacy. To this work the Union and the workers should stand concerted. Helpers and means are needed for the safeguarding and safe training of the young to enable them to free themselves in the day of temptation from handicap, to fit them for the great tasks of works and citizenship and for the Rational Enjoyment of Leisure and thus ensure a Happier Childhood and a Better Nation. This report would not be complete without reference to the efforts made by the County Cinema and we are glad that our Union contributes a worker to that in Mr Desborough and the programmes provided both at the Park Road Baptist, the Mission and to the crowded audience of children who were delighted for an hour and a half to a programme that can only leave a good impression on the minds of the young. I regret the lack of interest of adults in this effort. This year several of the Societies are commencing their meetings at an earlier hour and we commend this new venture as in the past Meetings for Children have been at too late an hour. Our experience last night was that there was no trouble to get an audience, even at 6 o’clock. Our County Union is in great need of funds. I wish to commend the work to all Subscribers and state that as a Collector I have been able to get a good proportion to double their subscription. As it is only for persons to know the work to ensure their interest and help. B.V. Nov 25 1920.

1921 - 40th Annual Report of Rushden & District Band of Hope Union

This being the 40th Report I regret that it will contain various items that make it the saddest report during this long period. In a review of the various events in connection with our last Annual Meeting we held a big rally of the members of our Societies in the Queen St & a very large audience eagerly enjoyed this programme of camera pictures arranged by Mr Turnbull and Cyril Desborough in connection with our county Union apparatus. A very fine and enjoyable programme was provided & at a Special show for adults the audience was of a very disappointing nature. It seems very regretful in arranging such a gathering that so few in a town of our size seem so indifferent to be interested in what we are doing for the young people as that was the idea in arranging such a gathering. The work of our societies has been carried on during the year by most of our affiliated societies. The Junior I.O.H.T.? carries on its meetings all through the year with just a long holiday for August. The new feature initiated from the B.W.T.A. & carried on under their auspices as the Children’s Pleasant Hour has had a series of fortnightly meetings through the year & into the summer months when gatherings in the open were arranged, interested persons opening their gardens and lawns for this purpose and it is to the credit of Mrs Norman and Miss Clipson that the interest of this branch of work is progressing so favourably. Our affiliation to the British Temperance League has continued but we have not taken any help from their services. The trip this year we reorganised from Wellingborough and Kettering and a good time was spent at Southend. At the request of our Union a train was run from here and a good number took part. And now I come to the sad part of the report. You will remember this is the 40th and during the year we have lost two of the founders. I gave at the County Meeting following his homegoing: “In the loss of our President we all realise without a doubt his loyalty and consistency as a life long abstainer and his love for the Band of Hope and Temperance cause further. In what ever activities he took part, the civic duties of the town in which he was born or the educational duties to which he was called to serve in town or county or in the philanthropic work in which he was so engrossed or the more humane part in which he rendered such valuable and long service to the suffering and his interest in all such matters yet above all these no cause was so dear to his heart as the one to which he as President of our Union gave him the opportunity of proving by his long life conviction that a life can be more useful and to engage to the full of all its interests without ever touching and having anything to do with intoxicating drink. What ever company he moved in he never lost his conviction and his example to the young lives of the town in which he spent his whole life and of which he had just cause to be proud of and so we have lost one who helped as a collector for the county Union for a great number of years and was one of its most generous supporters and so his loss leaves a gap that it will not be easy to fill but here in the flesh today his word would be to still carry on our useful work and urge others to come forward to take his place. A Resolution of Sympathy was passed at our meeting and sent to the family and thanks from the same have been received.

B. Vorley

Oct 20th 1921

NRO Ref : ZB701/39
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