A Utopian Vision
Temperance Pioneers sought a better world for all, in identifying intemperance as a contributory cause of poverty and family strife. For many Temperance became a crusade: they sought a nation sober and free.
With the advent of Temperance, it became morally and socially acceptable to be alcohol free with the aspiration to improvement and respectability.
"The drunkenness of our country has been increased by ignorance regarding liquor..."
Joseph Livesey, Lecture on Malt Liquor
For the People by the People
The Temperance Movement was arguably the mass movement of the Victorian Age.
It captured the imagination of working people and gave a voice to those who otherwise were without power. It gave a sense of belonging and an identity to a class of people who, other than selling their labour, had little in common and few opportunities to bind together in mutual self interest.
It was therefore an important driver in the creation of the idea of the Working Class. The movement inspired hearts & minds with readily identifiable symbols, parades, rallies and mass meetings.
As the century progressed the working class sought representation within the Liberal Party, organised in the Trades Unions and eventually sought and returned their own representatives to Parliament. They had been well schooled in campaigning, advocacy and activism in the Temperance movement.
The Temperance Movement was born as the Georgian period came to an end. The Georgian era is documented as an age of excess and drunken revelry, unforgettably illustrated in Hogarth's iconic image of Gin Lane.
Alcohol dominated all levels of society: employment, leisure, culture and business. Temperance Pioneers were utopian in their vision as they sought a better society and a more civilised way of life.
However, after Temperance took hold British Society would never be the same again. There was now an alternative to the Inn, Pub and Gin Palace.
Temperance created its own culture and millions of people would benefit from alcohol free activities and venues where lectures, talks, travel, excursions, sport, music and educational activities all took the inspiration of reform and self improvement.
We continue to promote self help for personal improvement.
A Movement for All
In a century when Women were denied many rights, the Temperance Movement saw Women appointed to important positions of power and administration within orders and societies. Women went on to initiative branches and excel in their own organisations. We believe an alcohol free society should and would benefit all genders, races and social groups.