‘Teetotal and Proud’: Preston and the Band of Hope Movement, 1847-1939

Author:Bailey, Susannah Mary
Publisher:2019-07-01
Edition/Format:  Downloadable archival material : English
Summary:The Band of Hope was a non-denominational movement with membership open to all children who pledged to abstain from drinking alcohol. It began in 1847, grew rapidly and in some locations it maintained its popularity for over a hundred years. The thesis is an administrative/organisational study of the Band of Hope with special reference to Preston in Lancashire. The thesis period extends from 1847 to 1939, with consideration given to earlier years in order to reveal how middle-class moderate ‘anti-spirit’ temperance approval was overtaken by working-class total abstinence advocacy in adults, leading to total abstinence societies for children being formed prior to the establishment of the Band of Hope. The thesis will use primary evidence in nineteenth century Band of Hope publications and contemporary local newspapers, supported by secondary literature that places the movement in its historical context, to add knowledge to the history of Preston by examining how the Band of Hope operated in a town that is recognised for 1) its prominence in temperance history and 2) its religious make-up which distinguished it from towns of similar size and structure during the period covered by the study. Approximately half the town’s population belonged to the Established Church with the other fifty per cent divided roughly between Roman Catholic and Nonconformist churches. Significantly, Sunday school children who attended the different church sects provided the Band of Hope with a readily available group of potential recruits. In researching the Band of Hope movement in Preston in relation to its religious make-up, the study has identified that the lack of religious hegemony in the town produced levels of co-operation rather than discord between the main church sects in order to promote children’s total abstinence advocacy. This occurred despite disagreement between the churches over the question of whether moderate temperance or total abstinence should prevail in adult circles.