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Fun Facts: A Temperance Miscellany

Here are a couple of miscellaneous temperance fun facts for history buffs, ranging from the views of Thomas Cook to the origins of Vimto.

Thomas Cook

The founder of the well known British holiday company was a committed abstainer.

Thomas Cook Temperance

On 5 July 1841, Cook arranged a railway excursion to take a group of Temperance campaigners from Leicester to Loughborough and this trip is widely acknowledged as an important step in the founding of the holiday industry in the U.K. He escorted around 500 people who paid one shilling each. In the following three summers he planned and conducted outings for local temperance societies and Sunday school children.

Tony Benn

The veteran Labour MP who died in 2014 came from a family with a long radical dissenting history.

He was a lifelong abstainer and was said to consume at least a pint of tea an hour. He once calculated he had drunk enough tea to float the QE2.

In this autobiography "Dare to be a Daniel" he recalled "Father asked me never to drink alcohol and I never have do so, although when I joined the RAF in 1942 he gave me permission to do what I though right. But long ago I decided to keep alcohol for my old age which today seems as far away as ever".

Manchester City F.C.

Between 1923 and 2013 Manchester City FC played their home games at Maine Road. Originally called Dog Kennell Lane, the road was re-named due to the influence of the Temperance Movement who owned the land.

West Ham United F.C.

In a previous incarnation, West Ham United were founded as Thames Ironworks by A.E.Hills. Hills was a staunch vegetarian and Temperance campaigner. West Ham have named a corporate hospitality suite at their new home Queen Elizabeth Park the Arnold Hills Suite.


Vimto was launched by John Nichols in Manchester in response to the 1908 Licensing Act and the demand for soft drinks by the Temperance movement. Originally it was sold under the name "Vim Tonic". The drink was launched as a health tonic or medicine but later reclassified as

a cordial.

Sir Donald Bradman

Australian cricketer Sir Donald Bradman is widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen of all time. He averaged a test average score of 99.94% having scored 29 centuries in 52 test matches. Bradman was an abstainer and spoke of his experiences: "There were those who thought I was unsociable because at the end of the day I did not think it my duty to breast at the bar and engage in a beer drinking contest."

These are some fun facts about the temperance movement. Do you have any historical fun facts to add?

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