Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday, April 25, 1920

Went to St. Paul’s Cathedral and heard the Bishop of London preach a temperance sermon as the last of the Convention. We saw the pigeons that are famous like those of St. Mark’s. To have been welcomed by the Lord Bishop of London at St. Paul’s Cathedral and by the Lord Bishop of Crogden at Westminster Abbey indicates an unprecedented advance in public sentiment.

After lunch went back to our hotel and Mr. Cole came to “fetch me” where I was to speak in a primitive Methodist church. First I spoke before the S.S. and there were hundreds of little upturned faces so full of interest. It is always a joy to interest the children. How they did sing! The orchestra did well. Then I was taken into the auditorium to address the service proper. The pastor, the Rev. Mr. Wright, asked them to sing “America” in my honor and they gave me an American cheer. When I asked him what he wanted me to talk about he answered - “Tell us how America went dry.” I had the closest attention, was complimented for my pleasing accent and thanked over and over. I was taken home with the Coles and had tea in their beautiful English home. I enjoyed their garden and shrubbery. After tea we went to Campbell Morgan’s church and heard the Rev. Mr. Ward preach a temperance sermon. Temperance seems to be in the air. He referred to America and the Economic side and asked if, after their young men had given their lives to save Britain from the Huns, if they would allow the Public House to sink their nation. adding, “Can England drunk hope to compete with America sober!” After the services the Coles took me through a section of London slums and we stopped at a Public House. I cannot describe the disgust I felt, or ever forget the sight. The house was crowded to the doors - more women than men - well dressed women in the main. Outside, children ranging in years from 2 to 12, crying, hungry, dirty and unkempt, waiting for the ten o’clock closing hour when their drunken, staggering mothers would come out and take them home. Oh, for some Joan of Arc to lead the people out from the path of old traditions to broader ways! Returned to the hotel where we had a good-bye service, as our party would break up in the morning into smaller groups for travel. We sang “God be with you till we meet again.” Mrs. Armor led in prayer and Miss Gordon repeated a poem ending with “And shall I be afraid?”

1 comment:

  1. London is a very different city today. One would not find children hanging around a pub today for the heavy drinkers are those in their late teens and twenties. They drink in bars and closing time as such has gone for licensing laws changed with the hope that drinking would not be rushed in the short time before closing time. Instead it was hoped that with longer hours we would follow the continental (ie European) way of drinking with a meal.
    Many, many pubs have closed because drinking and driving leads to losing one's licence and alcohol is cheaper in supermarkets and punters prefer to drink in their own homes whilst watching TV.

    Brilliant blog, thanks so much for posting it here.

    Kind regards, Madeleine (aka PixieMum)