Temperance and Children

The four pictures below, are of pages from "How to establish and Sustain "Bands of Hope". Important points are highlighted.

Runcorn's Sunday Schools delivered temperance education according to the doctrine much repeated in the Methodist Temperance Magazine. In May 1873 the magazine issued guidance to Methodist Sunday School teachers in Runcorn, Halton and the surrounding area on how to set up and maintain a Band of Hope and this was the basis of all Bands of Hope established locally.

Secretaries had to be suitable intelligent abstainers, clear thinking, energetic, genial and patient; his head full of light and his heart full of love to God and man.

The Comnmittee should be composed of persons who, if not abstainers, heartily sympathize with the movement.

Meetings should be held weekly and at least once per month. Two speakers should be heard, three recitations given and three melodies sung, thus ensuring variety and the unwearied attention of the audience. The Pledge should be as short as possible. The children are not free agents and should never be allowed to promise more than they can perform. Some pledges included Sabbath breaking, cruelty to animals, bad words and the giving or offering of drink to others.

Sunday school scholars taking the pledge became members of the Band of Hope. Signed pledges were strung together and raised like a "Streamer" over the platform whenever the band of Hope was in session and the children were given a pledge card to remind them of all they had signed up to.

Temperance hymns came from a special hymn book, not the familiar Methodist hymn book, and recitations were given from Tweedie's The Onward Reciter and Graham's Temperance Reciter.

In Runcorn, Halton and Widnes, leaders of the bands of Hope were told to obtain these materials from Mr Rigby of 17 South John Street, Liverpool, or from the Lancashire and Cheshire Band of Hope Union at 43 Market Street, Liverpool.

Although in the best Methodist tradition local organisers were allowed to use their own initiative regarding the raising of funds, the Secretary was directed to select two "of the most intelligent and affable lads" to act as booksellers selling The Methodist Temperance Magazine, The Band of Hope Review and other similar publications. In practice, selling magazines was not very successful and in Runcorn and district members paid a penny per week subscription until well into the twentieth century.

Next page "The Temperance Movement and adults"