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Airton Band of Hope

The Band of Hope outside Clarke's Temperance Hotel in Malham, late 1800s.

The Band of Hope was a temperance organisation for working-class children founded in Leeds in 1847, in an era when alcohol was generally viewed as a necessity of life.
Along with other temperance organisations, The Band of Hope fought to counteract the influence pubs and brewers had on family life, with the specific aim of rescuing 'unfortunates' whose lives had been blighted by drink and teaching complete abstinence.
In 1855, a national organisation was formed, with meetings held in chapels and churches throughout the country. Members were enrolled from the age of six, taking a pledge of total abstinence and were taught the "evils of drink".
Local "Bands" met regularly to listen to lectures, which included Christian teaching, and to participate in activities such as singing. Music played an important role in the organisation and competitions were held between different Band of Hope choirs.

Certificates or members cards were usually issued on signing the pledge.

The Airton Band of Hope was set up in 1873 by members of the Wesleyan Methodists, based in their original Chapel at Scosthrop.

At a committee meeting of the Airton Band of Hope held October 2nd 1873 the following resolutions were passed:

1. That Arthur Waterfall be appointed President, Mary Cartwright Vice President.
2. That Robert Kidd Richardson be appointed Secretary.
3. That Henry Banks be Treasurer.
4. That the Band of Hope meeting be held the first Tuesday in every month. The first Meeting to be October 7th.
5. That one of the Committee attend every meeting beside the President.
6. That 3 Doz. Hoyle's Melodies be ordered.

The Committee consists of Arthur Waterfall, Solomon Harker, Thos. W. Waterhouse, John Wood, Hanah Slater, Mary Cartwright, Ellen Parkinson, Susannah Shackleton.

The Band of Hope Records at Airton Chapel only cover the years 1873-6 and it isn't clear how long the group was active in Malhamdale, however the first photograph is believed to be the Band of Hope, gathered outside Clarke's temperance Hotel in Malham and was probably taken in the 1890s. The information shown on this page is a distillation of the available information from the remaining records.

Airton Band of Hope roll 1873
Margaret Anderson   Ann Kirkley
Mary Banks   Sarah Kirkley
Mary Burton   Richard Metcalfe
Alice Cardus   Elizabeth Ann Moorby
Jane Cardus   Margaret Moorby
Elizabeth Clark   Ann Morphet
Mary Alice Clark   Ellen Morphet
John Fitchett   Elizabeth Parker
Elizabeth Gill   Elizabeth Redfern
Elizabeth Halstead   Alice Sidgwick
Reb Hawkins   Rachel Standige
Arthur Adison Henley   Ada Uttley
Edith Mary Henley   Annie Uttley
Isable Henley   Harry Uttley
Maria Ann Henley   Rebecca Warden
Margaret Hyde   Hagar Wood

Report on the first year:

According to the above Resolutions the Meetings have been held Regularly during the past year, and were all well attended during the Winter months; in Summer the attendance was not so good which may be accounted for by the length and fineness of the evenings. On Saturday January 31st a Tea was provided for the Members, which they thoroughly enjoyed.

After the tea a Meeting was held, when a short addresses were given by some of the Senior Members, also recitations by some of the Junior Members, at the close of the Meeting John Clark was presented with a New Book by Mr T. W. Waterhouse as a Reward for having found the most texts of Scripture in support of Temperance principles. Each Junior member having been presented with an Orange, the Meeting broke up, all been well pleased with the Evenings enjoyment.

Additions to the Band of Hope roll 1874-76
Maynard Anderson 1874   Arthur W Waterfall 1874
Henry Banks 1874   Jane Whitaker 1874
Sarah Bewsher 1874   Mary Whitaker 1874
William Brown 1874   Annie Wood 1874
Ann Cardus 1874   John Wood 1874
Dan Cardus 1874   Mary Foster 1875
Nanny Cardus 1874   Alice Standige 1875
Edward Carr 1874   Cecilia Standige 1875
James Carr 1874   Mary A Standige 1875
Mary Cartwright 1874   Jane Banks 1876
John Clark 1874   H Bateson 1876
Joseph Clark 1874   William Bateson 1876
Richard Clark 1874   D Bewsher 1876
William Clark 1874   Thomas Bewsher 1876
Joseph Harker 1874   Michael Cardus 1876
Solomon Harker 1874   William Cardus 1876
George Hyde 1874   Edwin Carr 1876
James Hyde 1874   Al Edmonden 1876
Robert Hyde 1874   Ed Edmonden 1876
Robert Kirkley 1874   Ros Edmonden 1876
Elizabeth Metcalfe 1874   Albert Edmondson 1876
Margaret Metcalfe 1874   John Hyde 1876
Edward Moorby 1874   Leonard Lister 1876
William Moorby 1874   William Lund 1876
James Morphet 1874   George Newsholme 1876
John Parker 1874   Henley Newsholme 1876
Ellen Parkinson 1874   H Parker 1876
R K Richardson 1874   M Parker 1876
Susannah Shackleton 1874   Thomas Parker 1876
Ann Sidgwick 1874   Ellen Ryder 1876
Ellen Sidgwick 1874   John Scott 1876
Hannah Slater 1874   Ellen Varley 1876
Ellen Standige 1874   Charles Waterfall 1876
Emma Standige 1874   George H Waterfall 1876
Margaret Standige 1874   Margaret Whitaker 1876
John Warden 1874        

The Drunkards Progress. Image from Wikimedia Commons External Website logo

The Wesleyan Methodist Young Abstainers League seems to have appeared briefly in 1921, though the record book shows only eight youngsters enrolled:

Young Abstainers League roll 1921
Dorothy Carlisle
Nelson Farm, Calton
Mary Carlisle
Nelson Farm, Calton
Isabella Dinsdale
Nelson Farm, Calton
Mary M Newton
Arthur Parker
Mount View, Airton
Wilfred Parker
Willie Pratt
Nellie Simpson


The 19th Century Temperance Movement

The outcry against the dangers of alcohol were loudest during the 1800s, at a time when unprecedented growth in a rapidly industrialising country made the problems of drunkenness more evident. It happened in two phases, the first in the 1830s had an emphasis on Temperance and Moderation mainly against the drinking of cheap spirits which had become popular in the 18th Century, whilst beer remained a staple part of the British diet.
The British Association for the Promotion of Temperance was formed in 1835 and The National Temperance Federation in 1884. The latter group became closely associated with the Liberal Party, whereas the Conservative Party tended to support the interests of the drinks trade. The second period came about in the 1850s when the Band of Hope was set up, and the emphasis had then hardened to one of Total Abstinence, as there were for the first time, safe and affordable alternatives to beer such as tea, pasturised milk and toward the end of the century, potable water.
It has been estimated that by 1900 about a tenth of the adult population were total abstainers from alcohol.

Temperance wasn't only the province of the Malhamdale Wesleyan Methodists, as the parish church also had its own group which ran around the same period as the Airton Band of Hope and was called the Malham Church of England Temperance Society and Band of Hope.
It appears to have started in 1875, when the Methodist Band was being very succesful, with 62 members in the "Abstinence Section" and 8 in the "General section", plus a committee of eleven members and the vicar, the Rev TC Henley, as President.
The last appearance in the Parish accounts shows it running up to May 31st 1888 and although it doesn't actually say it has ceased to function, the vicar notes "The Pledge Book is for the present kept at the Vicarage, where several new names have been recently inscribed." which seems to indicate that it was inactive.

Gin Lane by William Hogarth (1697-1774) Drunkenness became a major problem during the 18th century.
© Trustees of the British Museum External Website logo

The Band of Hope still exists today in the form of Hope UK External Website logo a national Christian charity dedicated to educating children and young people about the perils of drug and alcohol abuse.

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