Exhibition to focus on UK temperance movement

An exhibition in Manchester called Demon Drink will focus on the everyday experiences of working people and their families regarding drink and abstinence.

The project will bring back to life a largely forgotten public movement.

The People’s History Museum, Manchester, is hosting the event that is centred around The Temperance Movement. During this time people took the pledge not to drink alcohol and temperance played an important part in the lives of many people in the North West region.

The event runs from 30 June 2012 until late February 2013.

On show will be the museum’s temperance collections and the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) Livesey Collection, as well as drawing on local and national collections to uncover this history.

The exhibition is part of a Heritage Lottery Funded project led by Dr Annemarie McAllister from UCLan, who is working in partnership with the museum.

The displays will combine unique historical artefacts such as Joseph Livesey’s rattle, archive film footage of temperance processions and oral histories collected from local communities whose families were involved in the movement.

Visitors will be able to take part in a whole host of activities, play on a human-scale temperance-related snakes and ladders game and tell their own families’ stories. A range of public events will accompany the exhibition, including illustrated talks, themed City Centre trails, craft and family activities, a temperance tea party and a Magic Lantern show.

The exhibition will also be accompanied by a virtual version that will be available for the public to access via the internet at www.demondrink.co.uk

Examples of the photographs from the time – which will be available to see at the exhibition – are on the following pages.

3 Responses to “Exhibition to focus on UK temperance movement”

  1. Annemarie McAllister says:

    Thanks for featuring our exhbition – I wonder if any readers can help me find material or even objects that show opposition to the Temperance Movement? We haven’t found much evidence in our archives, but there must have been some produced!

  2. Simon Fowler says:

    The National Archives in series COPY 1 has some nice Ant-temperance illustrations.

  3. Neil says:

    I went to the exhibition recently – it has some fascinating artefacts. I think it definitely benefited from having somebody explain the significance of some of the items to me as I walked round.

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