Friday 7 July 1916
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Every parcel sent to soldiers at the front contained cigarettes and tobacco in great quantities and smoking, at least among men, was clearly commonplace. But columnist “Wanderer” had one aspect of the habit he wanted to see stopped: It is a few years since legislation was enacted which prevented the sale of tobacco to anyone under sixteen years of age and it was also an offence for young people to be seen smoking. The Act seems to have fallen into desuetude. Why? Serenity Our streets are full of young lads smoking cheap and nasty cigarettes. Smoking, in moderation, is conducive to serenity and equilibrity of temperament in adults; excessive smoking is harmful, but it is far more harmful to lads. This increase of smoking amongst mere boys grows more and more evident day by day. Can it be that the war is the cause? Absence of paternal
and weakness of maternal control have been put forward as the cause but I doubt it is the only cause. The increased smoking by boys should be stopped. Not only in their own interests but also for the sake of the nation and the generations which are yet to come. This smoking of cheap cigarettes by boys is harmful to the eyes and has a most deplorable action upon the heart. Possibly when the police have finished arresting conscientious objectors and shirkers, they will have time to control this evil which is assuming dimensions of a formidable character. Having warmed to his smoking theme, he turned his attention to pipe smoking. The heavy tax upon cigars has caused many to abandon this most costly
form of smoking for the more plebeian pipe and as an effect, an enormous impetus has been given to the briar pipe manufacture. White Heath Common as is the briar pipe, there are few smokers who could say offhand from whence their favourite comfort is produced. Briar is the root of the French white heath, a little tree which flourishes in most of the countries bordering upon the Mediterranean Sea. In briar, as in many other things which matter to our comfort and pleasure, there are differences and degrees. There is briar and briar. The aristocrat of the family comes from the Tuscan Maremma where it flourishes in the neighbourhood of Follonica, Cocina and Pozzeto. The roots which are grown in those places are in the greatest demand for pipe making owing to their superiority in aroma and brightness of wood.
“This smoking of cheap cigarettes by boys is harmful to the eyes and has a most deplorable action upon the heart”
Time to clamp down on ‘mere boys’ smoking
Rain had played havoc with the Bradford Cricket League fixtures for two weeks but the paper chose to mark a feat by a Saltaire player just before that. ‘Schofield Swithenbank (above), “mine host” at the Woolman, recently set up another batting record. It is the third time the stalwart wielder of the willow has established a record, when Queensbury have provided the opposition.’ Strangely they didn’t tell the readers what the record was but looking back to the match it turns out that Swithenbank had hit 124 in 100 minutes including 20 boundaries. Within that he had shared a stand of 90 in 35 minutes with Saltaire’s England star, Sydney Barnes. After the match the crowd contributed to a collection for the players, netting Swithenbank £1 19s 3d. The current report added: ‘He began his career as a cricketer with Saltaire a quarter of a century ago at the age of 16 and save for an occasional migration, has remained true to his native club. ‘ “Schofe,” as he is colloquially known is still a force to be reckoned with and we hope he will be with the Saltaire Club for many years to come.’
Big hitting from Schofe
Men from the 20th West Yorkshire Regt, in training ‘somewhere in the North’ were booked to appear in a boxing tournament to be held at the Palace Theatre, Bradford on 22 July in aid of the Convoy Fund. Top of the bill was going to be Fred Blakeborough (above) of Eccleshill and he was sponsoring another of the fighters, Pte Sugden of Shipley. ‘Blakeborough considers Sugden a very promising young boxer.’
Fred tops the bill
Pte Abram Atkinson of Idle, who was serving with the Royal Army Medical Corps in France, wrote home to say that the YMCA had created a cricket league at the Front. “There are eight clubs in all, five from hospitals and three are from different regiments. “We have had our first league match today and we were playing the 20th General Hospital team so you can guess we had a bit of excitement. “The patients who can come to the match at all, do so, and each lot cheer their own men when anything is smartly done. “Well, we won the game though we had two of our best officers absent. Out of four privates playing on our side, three of them were Yorkshire- men. “We are hoping to win the league and thus equal our football team.”
Cricket at the Front
Conference unable to decide on combining electricity supply
Representative of Bradford and Shipley councils’ electricity committees held a conference to discuss a suggestion made by the Board of Trade that they should make economies by combining. ‘The proposal is that there should be a mutual arrangement between the authorities with a view to securing national ends without adding to the cost of electricity for local users. Engineers ‘After a general discussion of the question, the conference found it impossible to decide on the information before them whether any very considerable economies could be effected by the linking up of the two systems.’ The matter was referred back to the two engineers who were asked to make recommendations to their own committees which could then be considered by a re-called conference.
Music critic ‘Musama’ reflected on two pieces of music, the National Anthem and Rule Britannia, which ‘have never been so much sung and prized as now.’ He went on: ‘Rule Britannia was composed by Dr Arne. It appeared in print first in his Judgement of Paris but was sung probably for the first time in his masque of Alfred in 1740 to commemorate the accession of George I. ‘It immediately became a household word throughout the country and has remained so to this day. ‘As regards to the authorship of God save the King, very great doubt exists. The late Mr Richard Clark published a book on the subject and tried to prove that the air was composed by Dr John Bull. ‘He adduced a manuscript volume of harpsichord pieces by that composer in which the germ of the tune was said to be found; but subsequent inquiry has shown that the manuscript has been altered and tampered with to heighten the resemblance and consequently, this theory was generally abandoned. Staunch loyalist ‘Others have tried to show that God save the King was originally written in Latin and sung in King James II’s Roman Catholic Chapel and certainly there is a good deal to be said in favour of this supposition. ‘Another theory is that it was of French origin and composed by Lully; but this has no foundation in fact. ‘The most probably supposition, however, is that it was the composition of Henry Carey. He was fond of composing loyal songs and was a staunch loyalist. Anyhow, he is the first man who is known to have sung God Save the King in public and he was quite capable of producing such a melody. ‘Though we are accustomed to hear it called an anthem, it is not an anthem, of course, but a national melody and more associated with secular occasions than with the service of the church. ‘It is interesting to learn that Beethoven was a great admirer of our national tune. He introduces it into his Battle Symphony and he was known to observe concerning his use of it, “I must show the English a little what a blessing they have in God save the King.” ‘
Puzzle over origins of National Anthem
The Shipley Times & Express did not hold back in responding to a letter from someone signing himself Civicus. The writer took them to task for an editorial that had criticised Bradford Council for trying to arrange planning permission on land that belonged to Shipley, without consulting Shipley Council. It had also accused Bradford of trying to ‘incorporate’ Shipley. Enterprise Civicus charged ‘apart from parties political, I should think nobody seriously holds your view. In any case, may I suggest that the average citizen will be delighted to find that whilst Shipley shows no enterprise, Bradford does. ‘More power to their arm, say I, and if at no distant date Shipley should become part of Bradford, I’m pretty well satisfied that Shipley would gain immensely by the change.’ The reply was blunt: ‘Only a person who is ignorant of the spirit of the people of Shipley and of what has been accomplished by them, would pen such balderdash as is to be found in the above letter. ‘It is high time that Civicus opened his eyes. A rude awakening is surely awaiting him. With him it appears to be not a case of the blind wanting to lead the blind but of the ignorant trying to lead the intelligent.’
Paper accuses reader of writing ‘balderdash’