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A temperance movement is a social movement against the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Temperance movements typically criticize excessive alcohol consumption, promote complete abstinence (teetotalism), or use its political influence to press the government to enact alcohol laws to regulate the availability of alcohol or even its complete prohibition.
The temperance movement began in the early 19th century (around the 1820s).
Fred Bailey found the following extract from The Parish Magazine dated December 1878 (and it was published in CHAIN Mail Sep-Dec 2015):
The following account of the establishment of a British Workman Public House in a country town in this Diocese may be interesting to our readers, and may perhaps suggest the question whether it would be possible and desirable to set up something of the kind in Hungerford.
"One of the first undertakings of our Church Temperance Society was the establishment in one of the worst parts of the town of a British Workman Public House The difficulties in our way consisted of the want of a good house, a good publican, and money to start with. The house we were fortunate enough to obtain soon, being a shop which was just vacated, but we had to guarantee a rent of £35 a year. The money seemed at first likely to be a great difficulty, as those who were able to give looked upon the whole thing with suspicion; though what they suspected I will not undertake to say. But a few friends at a distance gave us about £30, and upwards of £10 was raised in the town, almost entirely through the energy and zeal of our trades-people; and so with about £80 for furniture etc we started. We adver tised copiously, chiefly by hand-bills distributed by our shop-keepers on Saturdays and mar ket days.
On our opening day there was a rush of customers, and of course at first much was found wanting. But now that we have had eighteen month's experience we can give a very satis factory account of ourselves. Every night the Public Room is filled with working men, many of them from the lower ranks. Every morning about 5.45 some score of men call for coffee to take to their work. Mid-day is a busy time for dinner, and in the evening we are full from six to eleven, when we close. The Lower Room is quite free to all comers and at all times. It is fitted up as much like a Public as possible with little tables and a settle, spittoons etc. Two daily papers and the local papers are supplied. Two rooms upstairs, one a reading room, one for games, bagatelle etc. are open at a trifling payment. Smoking is allowed.
The only rules are:-
1. All bad language strictly prohibited;
2. No gambling allowed;
3. No intoxicating drinks allowed on the premises.
The Publican is a Shoemaker by trade, and has an active, bustling, obliging wife, who serves customers in the day time, the man being there at night. They live rent-free, and have coals and gas free, with use of all liquors sold there, and ten per cent on the gross profits. The takings are on average £4 per week. The gross profit £1. 1Os. Od per week. The net profit 8.1/2 per cent.
I think our Public, though not very profitable, may fairly be said to be successful. At all events there has been no loss, and I am sure that one started in a more central position would realise a good profit. The success of our present undertaking has shown how those who do not see their way to total abstinence have been able to co-operate with total ab stainers in a most practical and efficient manner in establishing in our little town, that which I pray God every Parish in England may one day have in the midst of it, and which I venture to say would do more to check and prevent intemperance than any amount of legislation."
The Temperance Movement in Hungerford:
The Trusteee Minute Book of 23 Apr 1902 records that: The Feoffess considered a petition from the Hungerford Branch of The British Women's Temperance Association and the Independent Order of Rechabites und the Free Church Bands of Hope with reference to the Coronation Committee's decision to allow the sale of alcoholic liquor during the festivities on the Common on June 26, and expressing the hope that the Feoffees would refuse to sanction any increased facilities for the supply of alcoholic liquor, or, at least, impose restrictions as to secure the maintenance of order and sobriety. No action was decided on the letter.
In about 1935 there was an advert (see Photo Gallery) for The "Premier" Temperance Hotel, run by Charlie Batchelor. It is NOT yet known where this was, but its address is given as "London Road, Hungerford, opposite Stradling's Garage" - which, from 1934, was just to the west of The Bear Hotel, and opposite 25 Charnham Street.
John Allen, in his research on Hungerford in 1937, found the following item in the Newbury Weekly News, 30 Sep 1937: More Money Spent on Drink: The increased money spent on drink and its challenge to temperance workers was discussed at the Annual garden meeting of the Newbury Branch of the National British Womens Total Abstainers Union. Tea was served afterwards.
- Advert c1935 for The "Premier Temperance Hotel"