Perhaps I had ambitions to be an MP - or an undertaker!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Let us respect grey hair, especially our own. (J.P. Sears)


I don’t remember there being a Band of Hope organisation in our area when I was a boy. Certainly there were branches everywhere in my parents’ day, and I think that most working-class children in the years before the First World War would attend the meetings. There would be talks, magic lantern shows, singing and probably tea and a bun. More importantly, the children would be encouraged to sign The Pledge in which they promised to abstain from all strong drink.

Founded in 1847 in Leeds, the members of the Band of Hope by the mid-1930s numbered nearly 3 million. After the war the temperance movement declined, and eventually the organisation, realising it had to move with the times, became Hope UK which concerned itself with all aspects of child welfare.

I was delighted to discover this fascinating Mitchell and Kenyon film showing a Band of Hope procession in 1901.


The Mitchell and Kenyon company were pioneers in film making at the beginning of the last century. There’s a huge collection of their films in the archives of the British Film Institute.



A quiet home had Parson Gray,
Secluded in a vale;
His daughters all were feminine,
And all his sons were male.

How faithfully did Parson Gray
The bread of life dispense--
Well "posted" in theology,
And post and rail his fence.

'Gainst all the vices of the age
He manfully did battle;
His chickens were a biped breed,
And quadruped his cattle.

No clock more punctually went,
He ne'er delayed a minute--
Nor ever empty was his purse,
When he had money in it.

His piety was ne'er denied;
His truths hit saint and sinner;
At morn he always breakfasted;
He always dined at dinner.

He ne'er by any luck was grieved,
By any care perplexed--
No filcher he, though when he preached,
He always "took" a text.

As faithful characters he drew
As mortal ever saw;
But ah! poor parson! when he died,
His breath he could not draw! (Oliver Goldsmith 1728-1774)


FORGOTTEN FAVOURITES   Here Billy Mayerl plays his own composition “Marigold”. This was a piece I learned when I was having piano lessons.



For many years now I have begun my day on the computer by logging on to the Ecology website. By clicking half-a-dozen times, I’m making a donation to a Fund which helps to save rainforests and endangered wilderness. So far I have personally saved more than five and a half acres.

I then log on to the Hunger site and my click results in a sponsor donating a cup of food. From the top of the Hunger site page you can access more charity sites - Breast Cancer, Child Health, Literacy, Rainforest and Animal Rescue, and by clicking at the relevant place on each one you are making donations at no cost to yourself.

The two addresses are -


Finally this will bring back memories for my family. The song was included in a Johnny Cash album which we had.


No comments: