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Temperance in Wymeswold

Isobel Foster

'Temperance' was a word to conjure with in Victorian days, and in their view meant total abstinence from 'drink', not restraint or moderation. Many were the Temperance Meetings and Rallies where adults and even very young children were encouraged to 'sign the pledge' and never touch the 'Demon Drink'.

Wymeswold was no exception to the rallying call for temperance: ten public houses, inns or front rooms provided alcohol [1]. The handbill (or 'flyer' in present day language) illustrated below shows Wymeswold's involvement. Its author, Mr T R Potter, lived at the Hermitage in Far Street, where his school was very well-known. He was a local historian of some note as well as editor of several local newspapers (see WHO Newsletter 1999). I have not discovered if he was the organizer or helped to organize the event.

According to trade directories and Gray's Almanac of Trades, the printer, Thomas Stain, had his printing press in Baxter Gate, Loughborough from 1864 to 1872. He was listed as a printer and bookseller at 21 Market Place in Kelly's Directory of 1876.


1. According to Alec Moretti, the following are listed in various directories and census returns: The Three Crowns, The Bull's Head (now Collington the butcher), The Fox, The Shoulder of Mutton, The Rose and Crown (two doors from the Three Crowns and also called The Gate), The White Horse, The Hammer and Pincers, The Windmill. Thomas Screaton (six-day licence), and perhaps The Red Lion.

Wymeswold Temperance Fete, August 9 1869

Originally published in the WHO Newsletter 2000.

Copyright the author.

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