Thursday, 31 July 2014

The State of Trade in Halifax


Wool. – Business seems to be at a standstill.  The international position being unsettled, there seems to be no indication of the market improving, and there are no new orders to hand.  Wool prices remain remarkably firm.

Yarns and Pieces.—Worsted coating manufacturers are finding business very bad.  Everybody seems to be waiting to see what will happen, and thus there are no new orders.  Much machinery has therefore to be idle, and the outlook is dark.  Worsted spinners too, find trade dull, owing to the imminence of war and the holidays.  There are very few inquiries, and very little business is being done. The immediate outlook is anything but rosy. 

(Halifax Courier, August 1st, 1914 - report dated previous night)

[Interesting that war was viewed as imminent, but that the holidays were apparently an equally important influence on trade.]

Monday, 28 July 2014

About this blog

For the past year or so, I have been researching knitting and crochet in the First World War - mainly out of personal interest.  I have also put together a talk on the subject, "Useful Work for Anxious Fingers", which had its first outing in July at the Knitting & Crochet Guild convention -- the title is taken from an ad for Baldwin's knitting yarn.

While looking through newspapers and magazines for relevant information, I started to collect other material that I found interesting or illuminating.  Many of these other articles are about the lives of women during the war (though not so much at the very beginning of the war, when the newspapers were full of stories of mobilisation and recruitment).  This blog will be a repository for all those snippets - the pieces about knitting and crochet, and the other things too.

Some rules I have set for myself:  all posts will be from British sources.  There was a lot of knitting for the troops going on elsewhere in the Empire, and women in the United States were very busy knitting, especially after the U.S. entered the war, but you have to draw a line somewhere.  There will be nothing about battles, or the big events like Zeppelin raids - they will be adequately covered elsewhere.  I don't think there will be anything about casualties.  Mostly, the posts will have something directly to do with the war - but not always:  there's a piece about a Charlie Chaplin film showing at the cinema in Holmfirth, which amused me, so it's going in.  (I make the rules, so I can change them if I like.)

I'll add explanatory notes or comments sometimes, in square brackets:  [...]

As far as possible, pieces will be posted on this blog exactly one hundred years after they first appeared.  I aim to keep going until the end of the war, though probably less frequently later on.  We'll see how it goes.