Monday, 31 August 2015

Female Tram Conductors in Berlin

From the Glasgow Herald, 31st August 1915.


The Berlin Tramway Company has greatly increased the number of its female employees owing to the constant drain on its male servants by the military authorities.  The number of female conductors at the end of June was 2000.  It has now been increased to 2700, and it is stated that should the drafts for military purposes continue the entire staff of conductors, numbering 4900, will be comprised of women in the early autumn.  Hitherto no attempt has been made to use women as drivers, but it is understood that the military authorities have informed the company that the male drivers will all be wanted in a short time, and that it will be necessary to begin with the training of women.  Some 250 intelligent women have been already selected by the company for instruction.

[British newspapers evidently liked to report on things that were happening in Germany, especially when it could be slanted towards showing that the British way of doing things was better.  As here, newspaper articles often referred to the fact that there was conscription in Germany, but i don't detect any suggestion here that women should not drive trams.]    

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Send More Soap

From the Illustrated London News, 21st August 1915.

Text: Dear Susie, Received your letter & parcel quite safely. You are a brick!  Of course all the good things you sent - except your love! -  were shared with my chums and you can guess that we had a good time.  Best of all was next morning when we got a good wash with that Wright's Coal Tar Soap you sent. It's grand stuff that! makes you feel absolutely fit.  Tell all the other girls to send some, we shall soon use this.  Heaps of love.  Yours, Bob.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Absence of Fashions

From the Derbyshire Courier, 28th August 1915.


Lady Juliet Duff, whose husband has died upon the field of honour, has inaugurated a society for economy in dress and no new fashions during war tone.  The League which she established decrees that all luxuries and extravagances of other kinds besides those in connection with clothes shall be taboo whilst the country is still fighting.  No men servants, except those ineligible for military service, are to be employed, no motor cars to be used, except for stern necessity or in connection with war work and charities.  This is a step in the right direction, and from the right people.  Many ladies of rank and wealth are enrolled, and are pledged to turn from every kind of luxury.  Beyond the money that will be saved, there is the lesson it will carry to our Allies that we have really wakened up to the struggle before us, and it will also demonstrate to our enemies our determination to spare nothing to bring victory to our armies.

[Lady Juliet Duff's call to ignore changes in fashion had also been discussed in The Illustrated London News.]  

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Sister Susie and Soap

From The Illustrated London News, 21st August 1915.

[Sister Susie, originally the main character in a comic song, had become a shorthand way of referring to the women left at home when their menfolk went to the Front.]   

Friday, 21 August 2015

'Standard Dress' for Women

From The Illustrated London News, 21st August 1915.


Women's dress will very likely be permanently affected by the war.  The removal from working life of so many of our men in the prime of their productive powers must necessitate the permanent continuance of a large number of women in the novel tasks that they are now undertaking, and it will become clear that their dress must be suitable for the work that they must do.  For instance, the women "postmen" in the country districts now ride the official bicycle, and many of them do so, as common-sense requires, in knickers.

For the period of continuance of the war, a committee of Society ladies has just been formed to promote economy amongst women, and one of their pledges is not to take any notice of changes of fashion.  Lady Juliet Duff is one of the Hon. Secretaries, and the office is at Denison House, Vauxhall Bridge Road, London. It should be noted that the suggestion now made that there should be a standard dress for women, instead of constant changes of style, was practically almost adopted even before the war as far as workaday costume is concerned; a coat-and-skirt was, and is, now, almost universally worn, with a simple loose blouse under the coat for indoors.  This uniform—for the slight diversities in cut, braiding, buttons, and so forth, are so unimportant as not to affect the essence of the matter—is worn for business in town, for country life and for travelling, so generally as to constitute it a "standard" dress, in fact.  Yet so recently as five-and-twenty years ago, Miss Clo Graves, the clever woman who has now won fame under the nom-de-plume of "Richard Dehan," was considered to "dress like a man" because she always wore, both for day and evening toilettes, a severely simple coat-and-skirt.

Mr. Rochfort Maguire suggests a standard evening-dress.  The very name implies that the dress is only to be worn in the shelter of the house, and a certain fragility and fancifulness are in keeping with those conditions.  Laces and embroideries that are already possessed, at any rate, may as well be worn, even in war-time.  Change of costume is the only sort of variety in many women's lives; and love of colour, and of harmonising it with the individual complexion, eyes and hair, is a harmless indulgence that need not be costly, while the result gives real pleasure both to wearer and onlookers.  Again, we must remember that any abrupt changes, such as the universal adoption of a simply made black satin evening gown for every woman, as Lady Tree suggests, would disorganise a vast mass of labour and cause much misery.


A FASHION OF THE MOMENT. This fashionable coat-and-skirt is of burnt-orange Gabardine with black braid; with it is worn a blouse of black-and-white striped silk, with black buttons. The hat is of black taffetas and white ribbon. 

Thursday, 20 August 2015

A Knur and Spell Match

From the Cleckheaton and Spenborough Guardian, 20th August 1915.


About 2,000 spectators attended the Armytage Arms Grounds, Clifton, on Saturday afternoon, the attraction being a striking match between B. Wilkinson, Cleckheaton, and M. Oldham, Liversedge, who met to play 25 rises each, with ½oz. pot knurs, for £40.  Both men used the spell.  Wilkinson conceded five yards start, and after a very close measure proved the winner by 8ft. 3ins., with a hit which measured 9sc. 2 yds. 1ft. 6ins.  Oldham’s best attempt measured 8sc. 19yds. 2ft. 3ins., which included his start.

[This is nothing to do with the War, but I couldn't resist including it, because it is such a gem of local history.  Knurr and spell was played in the north of England, but especially in Yorkshire.  The knurr was a small ball, in this case 'pot' or ceramic, which was thrown up in the air from spring-loaded gadget, and then hit by the spell, a sort of bat.   (A very particular sort of bat, with a whippy metal section in the middle and a small hardwood striking end, in the ones I have seen.)  The idea is just to hit the knurr as far as possible, as you can tell from this account.   I suspect that there was betting involved, though of course it is not mentioned by the reporter (because it would be illegal). 

It is all in imperial measurements, of course.  The ½oz. knurr weighs about 15 g.  The length is measured in inches, feet, yards and (I assume) chains - all familiar to me from primary school, where we had to do sums involving all these measures (though I haven't seen the abbreviation 'sc.' for chain before).   There are 12 inches in a foot, 3 feet in a yard, 22 yards in a chain.  And when I was 10, I would have been doing sums like the one involved here: 9sc. 2 yds. 1ft. 6ins.  -  8sc. 19yds. 2ft. 3ins.  But I can't get it to work out - the difference seems to me to be 14ft. 3ins., i.e. it's 2 yards adrift.  So maybe there's a misprint, or I wrote it down wrong, or I've misunderstood something or I can't do this kind of arithmetic any more or...... 

It does seems an odd way to play a match anyway - from 25 'rises' (i.e. hits) for each man, apparently only the longest counted.  And I don't know what 'both men used the spell' means - how else would they do it? ]


Wednesday, 19 August 2015

How We Can Save

From the Brecon County Times, 19th August, 1915.


[From a pamphlet issued by the Parliamentary War Savings Committee.] 


As chiefs of the domestic spending departments, women can exert an all-important influence.  If they will once make up their minds to the uncomfortable necessity for spending less on our homes and our families, and our amusements and pleasures, the revolution in our national habits that is needed for the war will soon be carried out.  They have done a great work for the nation in recruiting.  They can do a still greater work for their country in saving.  It is they who have to tell us how to save, to show us how to do it, and ultimately to carry out most of the saving that can be achieved in our homes, by cutting off the things that we can best, in their opinion, do without.  With their sympathy and help our great problem of financing the war is comparatively easy.  Without them it can only be solved by methods which will lessen our staying power and leave us at the end of the war much poorer than we need have been.

No one should build a house for himself at this time.  Moving (unless to a cheaper house) should be avoided.  Those who are obliged to move, or who are setting up house for the first time, should avoid neighbourhoods where rents are high.  The wealthy landowner with more than one estate should reduce his establishments as far as practicable, and the business or professional man with a town house and a country cottage should consider whether he could not dispense with the cottage.  Decorations and enlargements should be cut down as much as possible.  No furniture or other household requirements should be bought beyond what is absolutely necessary.  The expenditure on pictures, pianos, ornaments, &c., should be severely curtailed.  The expenditure on flower gardens should be reduced, and as much of the garden as possible should be used for growing vegetables.  Less money should be spent on cut flowers.  The staff of servants should be reduced wherever possible, and, in particular, male servants should not be employed.  The washing bill might be reduced, more washing being done at home.

The expenditure on coal, gas and electricity should be greatly reduced.  When fires are necessary in the sitting-rooms one fire might be made to serve, instead of having two or three burning; and this might often be lighted only for a few hours in the evening.  There should be no fires in bedrooms except where they are required for invalids.  The gas should remain unlit, or turned very low, except in the rooms where it is in use; the electric light should be turned off when not in use, and one light might suffice instead of two or three.  A very considerable saving in the light and fuel bill might be made by going to bed at an earlier hour.

Under this heading the most obvious saving that could be made is in the abandonment or greatly-reduced consumption of wine, beer, and spirits. The custom of “treating” should be given up as a fruitful source of unnecessary drinking.  Also, although tea is cheap to drink, its consumption by many persons is immoderate, and might be reduced with benefit to their health and with an appreciable saving of expense.  The same may be said of sweetmeats, which are wholesome in moderation but are undoubtedly eaten to excess by many people, especially children.  Luxuries of all kinds should be avoided.

Special attention has already been publicly drawn to the necessity of reducing the consumption of meat.  Much saving might be effected by a more scientific choice of foods, by better and more economical methods of cooking and by the avoidance of waste.  The Board of Education pamphlet, entitled “Economy in Food,” gives various recipes for cooking wholesome and inexpensive dishes with little meat.

In many establishments more could be saved by a return to simpler meals than even by economy in the quantity or quality of the articles consumed. The mere change from a five-course dinner to the old-fashioned two-course meal might enable some families to dispense with one servant, quite apart from other economies.  Eating and drinking between meals should be discouraged by public opinion.  Such customs as the serving of an early cup of tea before rising, or of coffee and liqueurs after dinner, should be dropped.

There is, perhaps, more scope for the saving of money on dress by women than by men, and especially by women of the richer classes.  A great variety in dress is not necessary, and should be avoided.

With the stoppage or great reduction of entertaining there should be little or no demand for evening dresses, dress suits, etc., and for ordinary purposes garments of a serviceable description should be worn.  Changes of fashion (one of the greatest causes of extravagant expenditure on dress) should be ignored, if they cannot be suppressed.  Women should take a pride in making their dresses last as long as possible.  All not strictly necessary extras, such as veils, white gloves, furs, silk garments, should not be bought.  Many women might save quite substantial sums by spending no money on scents, cosmetics, etc., and by avoiding unnecessary visits to the hairdresser and manicurist.  Women might make much of their own and their children's clothes and underclothing, and cut down old garments for their children, as was the general custom of a generation ago. Time formerly spent on fancy needlework would be more profitably spent in this way.

Men can save by having fewer changes of costume and by spending less on golfing or holiday suits, or other clothes for occasional wear by having their suits and overcoats cleaned and pressed instead of buying new ones; by spending less on gloves and ties, and by having still serviceable boots mended, instead of buying new ones.

Excessive expenditure on mourning clothes and on funerals generally should be avoided.

Expenditure on extra subjects, such as music and dancing, might be stopped in cases where such expenditure is incurred merely as a matter of custom and the child has no aptitude for these pursuits.  In the case of young children the expenses of nurses and nursery governesses might often be saved if mothers would look after their children themselves more than they do.

Unnecessary travelling should be avoided, and many of those who travel first-class might well travel third, especially on long journeys.  “Week-ends” and travelling for pleasure should be reduced to a minimum.  No motor-cars beyond what are absolutely necessary should be used, except for charitable purposes.  If they remain unused the expense of petrol and upkeep may be saved, and the chauffeur, if one is employed, can be released for productive work.  The expenditure on tennis, golf, rowing clubs, etc., should be strictly limited, as also subscriptions to West End clubs.  People should only indulge in theatre-going to a moderate degree, and those who go might content themselves with cheaper seats.  Theatre dinners should be discouraged.  Much might also be saved by less frequent visits to picture palaces and music halls.  The habit of taking taxicabs for journeys where trams, or trains, or omnibuses are available should cease.

Among the well-to-do classes expenditure on hunting, shooting, horse-racing, etc., should be abandoned, except in so far as the killing of game for food is concerned.  Entertainments of all sorts at private houses should be kept within the most moderate limits; and all entertaining at restaurants entirely abandoned, on account of its excessive cost.  The smoking of cigars and the consumption of tobacco generally should be greatly reduced.

The giving of presents on all sorts of trivial occasions should cease.  Where presents are given, such as on the occasion of a marriage, they should not be costly, and should be articles of real service; in many cases they might take the form of War Loan vouchers.  Testimonials and tips to servants might also take this form.  The purchase of jewellery should be discountenanced.

In this connection it may be suggested that the custom of taking children for long holidays and the giving of many treats and parties and of costly presents might be greatly curtailed, while many persons would find it possible to save by spending less on their hobbies.

[This article appeared in many local papers in August 1915.  Considering that British governments before the War thought that meddling in citizens' private lives was not the business of the State, this is very bossy.   It's interesting too that many of the strictures are aimed at the better-off.  The middle and upper classes had always been keen to meddle in the lives of the working classes (for their own good, of course) - as shown by the Tipperary Rooms opening around the country, which were ostensibly to provide meeting places for women whose husbands were on active service, but really were inspired by wanting to keep (working-class) women out of the pub.  I wonder how the upper and middle classes felt about the Government telling them how to behave?      

It all sounds very dreary.  The approach in the Second World War, was I think very different, where keeping up morale in the civilian population was seen as important.] 

Monday, 17 August 2015

Cars instead of Horses

From the Cambrian Daily Leader, 14th August 1915.

Text:  The COMMANDEERED HORSE leaves a sudden gap in the organisation.
In every profession, in every industry, as well as in private affairs, the need for an efficient means of transport is keenly being felt.
Close the gap with a Ford Car and discover how great an economy -- of money, time and labour -- has been wrought.
A Ford Car will do the work of four horses -- quicker, better, more efficiently.
In first cost and running cost, in power and general service, there is not the equal of the Ford in the world. And the owner is never more than a few miles from the Ford Service Station.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Saving Food

From the Abergavenny Chronicle, 13th August, 1915.



Hints on the subject of economy in food are given in an article supplied by the Parliamentary War Savings Committee.  It is based on a booklet, compiled with the assistance of experts, to be issued shortly by the Committee.  Stating that the great bulk of our food supplies comes from abroad, and that vast sums of money have to be sent out of this country to pay for it, and vast numbers of ships and men have to be constantly employed in carrying it, the article continues:

Every scrap of food that is wasted, therefore, means a dead loss to the country in money, ships, and men.  If spread over a year it would be found that millions of pounds had been absolutely lost in this way, and that many ships and men had been making useless voyages when they were so badly needed by the country for other work.

If all the food that is now being wasted could henceforth be saved and properly used, the country would have more spare money; more spare ships, and more spare men to devote to the war; each family would have more money to save and invest, and the prices of food materials would be kept down.

There is another side of the food question in which every one of us can help to strengthen the position of our country in the face of the enemy.

We can consume less of certain foods which are more difficult to obtain in full quantities in war time, and which, therefore, rise in price.  In the case of some of these—meat, for example—we can replace them, in part at any rate, by other food materials which are cheaper and more plentiful.

In ordinary times we get about half the meat which is consumed in this country from abroad.  This is carried frozen in ships which have to be specially built for the purpose, and are, therefore, limited in number.  Since the war began these ships have had to carry meat not only for our civil population and our Army, but also for the French Army.  It has, therefore, been a difficult task to keep up the foreign meat supply, and some shortage of this must be expected to continue.  It is this shortage which has raised the price of meat, and may lead to our cows, which should be kept for milk, being killed for meat.  This shortage of meat would disappear, the price of meat would fall, and our milk supply would no longer be threatened, if everyone were to eat less meat than they have been accustomed to, especially during the summer and autumn months.  Most people would not suffer in the least in health or strength by so doing, especially if they were to include in their diet a fair proportion of food which can supply the same kind of nourishment as meat.

Cheese is one of the best and most useful substitutes for meat. Weight for weight it contains more of this particular kind of nourishment than meat itself.  Milk and skim milk also contain this form of nourishment in a high degree.

Peas, beans, and lentils also contain these properties, and after thorough cooking should be freely used where the amount of meat in the diet is reduced.

It is on bread that most of us rely for our main nourishment.  Four-fifths of the wheat from which bread is made comes from abroad.  Bread is the article which is most commonly wasted of all our food materials, and it is the one which the circumstances of this war require to be most carefully husbanded.
There are two ways in which bread can be economised without any real stint: —
1. By using every crust and crumb of it for food and throwing none of it away.
2. By only using bread which is at least twenty-four hours old.

Fresh bread is not so easily digested as bread which is a day old. The latter is more satisfying and less of it needs to be eaten.


Immense quantities of food materials, such as barley, wheat, and maize, are used in this country for the manufacture of beer and spirits.  As beer and spirits are almost valueless as food, and can only be classed as luxuries pure and simple, all this grain is lost for food purposes.  If this grain were available for food, both for man and beast, the prices of bread and meat would be lowered.  It has been estimated that the average expenditure on alcoholic drinks in this country amounts to something over 6s. 6d. per family per week.  If every family in the land were to cut their drink bill down by, say, one-half and invest the saving on this one item in the War Loan, the amount would come to £80,000,000 per annum.  The waste in lowered ability to work now resulting from the consumption of alcohol would be largely removed, and the gain in national working capacity would be even greater than is represented by this monetary gain.


In ordinary years we buy from abroad goods (imports) to a considerably greater value than we sell abroad (exports).  This normal difference is met by the earnings of our shipping and by the interest we receive from our investments abroad and banking and other services that we render to foreigners.  But the present abnormal excess leaves a balance against us which has to be paid for in hard cash—that is, by sending gold out of the country, or by selling securities abroad, or by borrowing abroad.  As it happens, many of the goods we buy from abroad are "luxuries," i.e., things we could do without altogether, or, at any rate, use much more sparingly.  Some are things we cannot grow at home, like tea and tobacco, wine and pineapples; others, like silk manufactures, are things of which we import the greater part of what we use.  Hence, when we are told to save on imported things, it means more especially saving on "luxuries."

[Feeding everyone - the civilian population and the armed forces - was already becoming difficult, and would become much more difficult as the war went on.  

It's interesting that the article warns against eating fresh bread - I remember that when I was a child, fresh bread was thought to be very indigestible.  Fortunately my mother didn't apparently believe that - one of my earliest memories is eating the end off a fresh loaf while coming home from the shops with her. And then at home she would tear off the top crust  (it was a tin loaf, so the top crust was the brownest bit) and spreading it liberally with butter for me and my sister.]  

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Horse Meat in Glasgow

From the Glasgow Herald, 11th August 1915.



In our article on the sale of horse meat in Glasgow it was stated that the three shops opened in the city are conducted by Belgian refugees.  We are now informed that the shop in Anderston district, which is situated at 589 Argyle Street, has been opened by a Glasgow citizen, Mr W. P. Morrison, who up till the outbreak of war was connected with the export trade in worn-out horses to the Continent, a business which he conducted from premises in Castle Street, Townhead.  Mr Morrison, who is "not the least bit ashamed" of the venture, opened the shop in Anderston on Friday last, after issuing circulars among inhabitants of the locality announcing his intention.  These circulars were printed in both Flemish and English.  As to the attitude of Glasgow people towards horse flesh as food, Mr Morrison states: —"I find that the Scots housewife is going to be my best customer, and I feel sure that once many of those who at present feel repelled from using horse flesh begin to realise the value they are getting they will give it a trial."  Mr Morrison slyly adds that he has been struck with the number of cats in the district, and has been surprised at the generosity of their owners to them.  Sometimes, he states, they buy two quarters of meat a day for the cat!

Monday, 10 August 2015

Fashions in Skirts

From the Illustrated London News, 7th August, 1915.


THERE has never been in my recollection a season in which the dress described and depicted as "fashionable" was so little to be seen in real life as is the case this year.  Hardly one woman in thousands even attempts to look like a current fashion-plate at present, and only restrained and quiet styles are worn even by rich Society ladies.  This is easily to be understood.  .... the actual dress worn represents now partly the lack of money and partly how we all feel the seriousness of life at present.

However, some new clothes are indispensable, and by degrees change comes about.  Fuller skirts are thoroughly establishing themselves; and to buy, at however low a price, a narrow skirt, unless it can be taken into wear and disposed of immediately, is most short-sighted and unwise.  Very full skirts are as inconvenient as the absurdly tight ones that some women have been wearing, and such a moderate fullness and slight swirl as is now usually made—inordinately wide ones being really not seen—is most sensible.  Especially will it be desirable to retain but a slight increase of fullness in the new autumn skirts, when the heavier fabrics proper to the coming colder weather have also weight of their own which it is detrimental to health to increase by unnecessary fullness of cut. ...


Some skirts are to be cut on the umbrella or circular principle; others have a fitted hip-yoke, with a fuller portion put on below it; and, yet again, fine, soft, and pliable materials in fine wool or silk and wool are conveniently fitted to the hips by several rows of gauging, the material thence falling loosely at its own will.

A reliable forecast is of the use of fur rather largely for trimmings this autumn.  Basques in some form are to be fashionable, and short skirts will remain in use.  The combination of a certain degree of full "flare" and shortness of the skirts is an indication that petticoats are to be worn, naturally fairly close-fitting; taffetas and satin are the best materials, and the make need not be at all elaborate, since the short skirt is, of course, never held up to show the under-skirt. ...


Saturday, 8 August 2015

Do Your Bit for the Courier Comforts Fund

From the Halifax Courier, 7th August 1915.




You cannot all fight or make munitions, but you can all give and, though your gift be verily a mite it will be your little bit for the good cause.  The requirements of the lads at the front, the wounded in hospital, and the prisoners in Germany are so many and urgent as to make us nigh despair of meeting them.  But we have never yet appealed in vain, and we have faith to believe that we never lack the means of responding to the call of the brave fighters.

During last Saturday’s street procession our collectors gathered £58 10s. 2d.  This is a sum we greatly appreciate, particularly in view of the small number of young ladies who responded to our appeal for collectors—a number far too small to cover the whole route of the procession.  We leave the public to estimate what might have been gathered with a larger body of helpers.  Our sincere thanks are due to the loyal few who worked so well on Saturday.  The result of their efforts was splendid, and the amount they reaped greater than we dared to expect from 50 boxes of limited capacity.

To the Fund Manager.  Dear Sir, — I am most grateful for the trouble you have taken regarding bivouacs.  I can assure you that we shall look forward to their arrival.  Yours sincerely, R.T. Bullock, Major.
We still require £28 to pay for the 90 bivouacs ordered.

At £150 a week every local unit fighting might have comforts every 6 weeks.  Is this too often?  They get less frequently otherwise — must do. 

Hundreds of acknowledgments of Gifts (from Continent, Internment Camps and Sea) can be inspected at the Fund headquarters.

Managed without administrative cost.

All accounts can be seen.

No haphazard buying.  Prisoners and isolated men supplied fortnightly till the Fund reaches larger proportions.

Collecting boxes for shops, hotels, clubs, &c., and placards announcing mill collections, may be had at our office.

[The Halifax Courier Comforts Fund was struggling to raise enough money for its commitments - the bivouacs referred to were waterproof tents for the Halifax Artillery, appealed for at the end of July.  Meanwhile, the paper had reported that the Alexandra Rose Day in Halifax had been a great success, with  3,000 helpers and raising over £1,000.] 

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Alexandra Rose Day in Halifax

From the Halifax Courier, 31st July 1915.




Alexandra Rose Day, observed in Halifax on Saturday, for the benefit of the Royal Halifax Infirmary and the Nursing Institution, was attended with all the success it deserved.  This was due primarily to a committee whose enthusiasm knew no bounds, to quite 3,000 helpers who reflected the committee's ardour, and not least to the splendid weather.  So ardently did the rose distributors work that the proportion of returned roses was small.  Large as the call for them was, awkward as was the task of keeping those in the busy parts well supplied, there was no hitch, thanks to the committee's splendid organisation.

The feature of the rose selling was undoubtedly the Mayoress's stall in George-square.  Here the Mayoress, with many helpers, dispensed real roses of every description.  Her helpers included as persuasive sellers as she could have wished for in some of the wounded soldiers staying in local institutions.  Of the 14 of these men who helped, six of these men assisted the Mayoress and rarely did they appeal in vain.  In fact, they had not to solicit, being kept busy by voluntary purchasers.  It is of interest to state that, at the Mayoress's stall, the first gold was given.  The presence in George-square until noon of the Depot Band, under Mr. Hancock’s direction, considerably helped in drawing attention to the stall.  Selections of a bright and happy character was ably given.

Residents of Crossfields have made it a condition never to let a fete day pass without adding their quota to the rejoicings.  They were up early to make their none too lovely surroundings bright and gay.  Streamers in loyal colours, flags, vari-coloured lanterns, ivy, ferns, and flowers were brought into use.  All the little by-ways were thus adorned and if any street was more attractive than another it was Milk-street, which was veritably hidden 'neath these decorations.  “We've done it all ourselves,” said a proud housekeeper, as she scrubbed the doorway to make it more in keeping with the occasion, “for all our husbands have gone to the front.”  During the day a piano organ (arranged for by Mrs. W. W. Burrell, who had had charge of the district), and Southowram Band, gave selections, their presence drawing coppers from sightseers.

It was a happy inspiration of the Halifax Automobile Association to add to the fete by arranging a decorated motor car competition, not only thus helping to push the sale of roses; but providing a spectacular event which was worth seeing.  The excellent weather, no doubt, accounted for the large crowd which assembled to watch the judging.  More than 20 cars were presented for competition.  Everyone agreed that the car of Mr. Wm. Greenwood, President of the Automobile Association, was the feature of the competition.  It had been surmounted by a framework, fitted with imitation funnels, that gave it the appearance of a steamer, and the whole absolutely covered with red, white and blue sweet peas, set in smilax.  Mr. Morris's car had a huge crown of roses, while roses and other blooms clothed the whole, wheels included, in a most ingenious way.  ….

… What the profit will be can, of course, only be estimated yet, but it is safe to say that it will be over £1,000.  When the meeting was held some weeks back deciding to hold a rose day, an offer was made from Huddersfield that their rose baskets, etc. could be lent for the day.  But our neighbours had another collection on Saturday, which made it necessary for the Halifax committee to purchase all the required things, hence the initial expense was heavier than anticipated.  Seeing, however, that the rose day is to be held annually, future expense will be much less.

At Ripponden and Rishworth, Rose Day undoubtedly caught on.  The large staff of flower sellers seemed very enthusiastic about their work.  Wagonette parties and motor cars coming from over Lancashire were “held up” until the inmates had patronised the flower sellers, a request which was invariably readily acceded to.  Upwards of 60 boxes were out at Ripponden, and each lady was relieved after two hours' duty.  The first supply of 4,000 roses was practically sold out in a few hours, and a further 2,000 were obtained, and these, too, were sold early in the evening.  The streets presented quite a gay appearance, flags, etc., being hung from several shops, houses, and buildings, and everywhere the festival spirit prevailed.  The garden parties undoubtedly attracted a number of people to the district, and at both Ripponden and Rishworth large numbers paid for admission.  At Brigroyd, the residence of Mrs. Ayre, the grounds were in an excellent state, and were greatly admired.  Over £6 was taken at the gates for admission.  Various games, including bowls, croquet, tennis; clock golf, etc., were well patronised, whilst an Aunt Sally stall, too, did good business.  The Blackburn Valley Brass Band and the Ripponden Church Handbell Ringers gave pleasing selections of music throughout the day.

[Alexandra Rose Day was started in 1912 by Queen Alexandra, widow of Edward VII, to raise money for  her favourite charities.  The first Rose Day took place only in London, but it rapidly spread to other towns and cities.  Sellers offered either paper roses or sometimes (as at the Mayoress's stall in Halifax) real ones, in exchange for a donation.  A film of Alexandra Rose Day in Sheffield in 1915 can be viewed on the British Film Institute's web site. 

 The Alexandra Rose Charities  still exist - currently supporting poor families to eat healthily.]