Programme of the 1927 Brighton, Hove and District Band of Hope Union’s Grand Musical Pageant.With the opening of the Sussex Beer Festival in March, many will be enjoying the huge variety of beers that will be available.
While nowadays this is billed as a fun event, there were those in Victorian Britain who were very concerned by the adverse effects of alcohol. In 1868 the Brighton Branch of the Sons of Temperance was established and in 1882 a youth section, ‘Cadets of Temperance’ was set up.
By the 1900s, the Sons of Temperance had set up a convalescent home in a large detached house in the Queen’s Park.
However, the society was also active in providing members with life assurance, sick pay and extra money during times of unemployment and retirement.
In 1934, the society cleverly made use of a popular advertising slogan at the time and turned it to their advantage. The slogan ‘Beer is Best’ became ‘Beer is Best Left Alone’.
The Brighton History Centre has a number of programmes which relate to various temperance events held at the Brighton Dome in the 1920s.
The Object of the Month is a copy of one of these programmes which can be seen in the Temperance Case in the Exploring Brighton gallery in Brighton Museum & Art Gallery. The front cover shows the reigning queen, ‘Queen Julia’ and her court with the Lord Chamberlain carrying a pennant decorated with the two dolphins which appear on the Brighton coat of arms. The programme began at 6pm at the Dome and during the ceremony the new temperance queen was crowned.
Other objects relating to temperance in Brighton can also be found in the gallery including the crown used in the temperance queen’s ceremony.
Paul Jordan, Senior History Centre Officer