DISTRESS IN THE BOROUGH
MANY MILLS CLOSED
The silk industry, one of the chief trades of the town, is also undergoing a slump. One can quite readily understand why this is the case. In times of general depression, naturally only the necessary things are worn, and silk to most people is looked upon as a luxury. ....
So serious is the position locally that the Mayor and Corporation have considered it needful to ask employers of labour to meet them and discuss together the best ways and means of alleviating distress in the district. On every hand can be seen signs of distress, and Brighouse would appear to be one of the local areas to be most seriously affected up to the present.
To a man with a spark of humanity in his heart the scenes are distressing. Young men in the bloom of health, strong, hearty and well, are by the score wasting time because there is nothing to do. Women and children are perambulating the streets, picking up stray morsels of coal and coke, and bearing upon their faces the pinch of hunger. A mite of less than twelve summers pitifully pleaded with our reporter this morning to be told where she could get "some cinders to make a fire at home." Just then a coal cart passed along, and away shot the little girl looking wistfully at the coal which refused to tip over the edge of the cart.
(The Halifax Courier, August 15th, 1914.)
[I wonder how many of the young men who joined the army in August and September 1914 had lost their jobs at the start of the war and so might have felt that the army was their best option.]