Friday 30 June 1916
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To coincide with the publication of a pamphlet on Thackley Open Air School published by Bradford Workers’ Educational Association, the Yorkshire District of the W.E.A. used the school for their annual meeting. Clearly impressed by what they had seen and heard, the Shipley Times & Express devoted considerable space in their opinion column to covering several aspects of education. The W.E.A. had been formed only 13 years before and the newspaper noted it ‘is not as well-known as it ought to be. Stimulate ‘Its objects are to stimulate and satisfy the demands of working men and women for education and to assist the development of a national system of education which shall ensure to all children – and to adults as well – such education as is essential for their complete development as individuals and citizens. ‘The Association is composed almost entirely of workers and it would have been very interesting to have recorded the occupation of those who
attended the meeting on Saturday. ‘One of the chief speakers is a cardboard worker, another, a railwayman from York, who had come down fresh from a summer course at Oxford and who waxed quite eloquent on the “Political and Educational Ideas of the Ancient Greeks.” ‘There were also tailors, wool sorters, carters etc., present and all of them evinced unusual interest in educational matters. ‘Such good results have been achieved by this organisation that we were struck with the thought while at the meeting that it would be wise to establish an association in every town and village. ‘The annual report as read at Thackley was a stimulating record. It shows that even in war time the interest of the workers in education is not flagging.’ The editorial then went on to support
a campaign the W.E.A. was heading against lowering the age at which children could start work in factories, which was being suggested to help cover the gaps left by men going to war. Ignorant democracy It quoted the W.E.A. report which claimed: “The plain fact that the child was being deprived of something that could never be restored does not seem to have been realised in many quarters.” ‘It is a wonderful and impressing sign of the times,’ the paper added, ‘that, while the Education Authority is willing, reluctantly we gladly believe, to lower the age, the workers, who are mostly concerned, are emphatic in their protest. ‘The problems of the future, even of the near future, demand more knowledge, not less and there is no danger which can threaten a nation more insidiously than an ignorant democracy. ‘A democracy we have and shall have and the Workers’ Educational Association stands for a well- informed and intelligent race of workers. Long live the movement.’
“The plain fact that the child was being deprived of something that could never be restored does not seem to have been realised in many quarters.”
W.E.A. creates well-informed, intelligent workers
The newspaper also praised the work of Thackley Open Air School and saw it as a possible model for the future. ‘Thousands of people have seen the special tram cars which bring the children in the morning and take them back in the evening. But everybody does not know what an important school it is. ‘It is a mixture of a hospital and a school. Nobody can attend without a certificate from the medical staff of the Education Committee and the doctor visits the school at least once a week. Robust ‘It may well be a fact that the Thackley School and others like it will have a permanent effect on the planning of schools, not only in England but throughout the world. ‘It is a matter of general comment how well and how robust our lads are looking after the open-air life at the military camps and at the Front. The world is taking a lesson therefrom and Thackley is bearing an important part in teaching the lesson.’
Thackley School and army life may hold the key to the future
CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING SIR TITUS SALT’S HOSPITAL, SHIPLEY The Governors are prepared to receive the names of Painters willing to tender for the work of painting the exterior woodwork etc., of this hospital. Applications for specifications to be sent to the Clerk on or before 14th July THOMAS LUXTON Clerk to the Governors WANTED OFFICE BOY wanted - Apply Geo. Vint and Bros, Friar Mill, Idle. WANTED,  a good Cloth WEAVER. -  W H Stephenson, Airedale Mill, Shipley SMART GIRL wanted, just leaving school, good wages - Apply George Dalton and Co, Wellcroft, Shipley. Two Woollen MULEPIECERS for night work; good wages - Apply W Towler and Sons Ltd, Bank Bottom Mills, Farsley. WANTED, at once, good strong BOY, just leaving school, to assist in shop - Manager, Cash Clothing Co., 33 Briggate, Shipley. BOY wanted for the Grocery Trade - Apply S Pitts, Albion Road, Idle. ERRAND BOY wanted - the West Riding Bakery, 11 Commercial Street, Shipley. LAUNDRY - Few sharp GIRLS wanted, also all-round hands - Crown Laundry, Lynthorpe Road, Frizinghall. BOYS wanted, full and half-time, good prospects - Apply Bookstall, Shipley. LAUNDRY - FANCY and PLAIN IRONERS, also Calender Hands and a few girls - Sandhall Hill Laundry, Baildon. APPRENTICE, boy or girl, smart and intelligent, for Drug and Optical business. - Apply H Pollard Ph. G. M.P.D.S, 28 Bingley Road, Saltaire. WANTED, Situation as Housekeeper to Gentleman or any position of trust; good cook and excellent references. Box Y 10 “Express” Office, Shipley.
The Independent Labour Party held an anti-conscription meeting at Shipley Glen at which ‘the speakers had to submit to a number of interruptions. The main speaker was a Manchester Quaker, James Hudson, who after the war became MP for Huddersfield. ‘He was opposed to compulsion and maintained that there was the utmost need for men in these days to stand by the ideal of the brotherhood of men. ‘During this war not only had men who had gone before the tribunals been on trial but the Christian Churches and Christianity itself was on trial.’ He went on to describe the treatment of campaigner Clarence Norman, whom he said had been ‘accepted before the war as an earnest, sincere social worker, standing for what he called international human brotherhood. Voice from the crowd ‘Recently he had been taken up, cast into prison and put into irons. ‘The commandant of the prison, Mr Hudson alleged, ordered him to be put into a steel jacket too small for him and he was left for a whole night gasping frightful agony. ‘He fainted in the middle of the night and was found unconscious in the morning.’ At that a voice from the crowd called out: “Serves him right.” Another speaker, Mr J Arnott of Leeds reminded his audience that cruel punishments like flogging in the army and navy had been abolished, not because of the military authorities, but because of the protests of pacifists of the time.
Anti-conscription meeting hears of campaigner abused in jail
Film stars were starting to attract big followings among cinema goers and one of the most recent was Aurele Sydney (above), ‘one of the most striking personalities in the British film world. ‘He created the character of “Ultos” in the first of a series of Gaumont-British productions. ‘Mr Sydney is a great favourite among picture-goers in the Metropolis and provincial centres will shortly have the opportunity of meeting him.’
Aurele attracts the fans
The supply of gas and electricity were both in the hands of Shipley Council, and both had reported a profit. ‘In regard to the gas undertaking, there is a profit on the year’s working of £238, compared with a loss last year of £1,761. ‘The public will no doubt conclude that the result is due to the increased price of gas but this is not entirely the case. ‘The price was increased not only to clear off a deficit but to meet the increased price which has had to be paid for coal. ‘The extra amount paid by consumers has realised £4,000 but this alone would not have enabled the Gas Committee to pay its way. Residual products ‘Substantial economies have been effected in administrative charges and the committee has found itself able to obtain higher prices for residual products such as tar, gas liquor etc. ‘The advance in the price of gas, which was made in June 1915, has enabled the committee to convert a
considerable loss into a small profit and the consumers may rest assured that a reduction will be made when the war is over and the price of coal has fallen to a normal figure. ‘Perhaps the electricity accounts gave more satisfaction than the gas accounts because there has been very little increase in the charge for electricity and the conversion of a loss of £400 into a profit of £800 is due mainly to an increased demand for electricity for power purposes. Industrial progress ‘This is a satisfactory indication of the industrial progress of the district and if the anticipation of the Engineer is justified, the committee can look forward to the future with confidence. ‘The adverse circumstances created by the war have caused a heavy rise in the price of fuel but the demand for electricity is continually increasing and as the committee have completed their equipment of the works to meet the larger demand, consumers generally may expect some concessions when time again become normal’
Council turn round energy losses
In a bid to boost dwindling numbers, Shipley Volunteer Force held two recruiting rallies and one of the members, Sgt Herries, explained how joining had benefited him. He explained that before the war he never took any exercise and ‘was content to get into my chair after the day’s work was over and spend my leisure in quiet.’ But he had been one of the first to join the Volunteers and ‘few things had given him more reasonable satisfaction. He was better for it in every way.’ Joke He acknowledged that many people made jokes about the Volunteer Force and they had been labelled “England’s last hope” But he would rather by far be a member of “England’s last hope” brigade than to be numbered among “England’s hopelessly lost.” ‘If there are men who are capable of drilling at all or able to handle a spade and dig a trench or do anything that mortal men can do and yet refuse to prepare themselves to do it when the call comes, these men are absolutely hopeless. The best think to do with them is to put them together in a convoy and send them over to Germany as a present.’
Volunteer sergeant on the recruiting trail
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