Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Mills Go Silent as World War Breaks out ; SARAH WALTERS Looks Back at What Was Making the News 100 Years Ago

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Mills Go Silent as World War Breaks out ; SARAH WALTERS Looks Back at What Was Making the News 100 Years Ago

Article excerpt

August 24, 1914 SILENT MILLS: The splendid stolidity of the Lancashire cotton operative in the face of trouble is likely to be tested to its limits during the next few months if the war takes its worst turn. All over the country spinning mills and weaving sheds are being closed down, and no date is assigned for the re-opening, because their directors are so much in the dark as regards a resumption of operations as the thousands who have merely to wait silently for the call back to the looms or spindles.

"I have been to Oldham often in periods when all the mills have closed owing to strikes or lockouts (writes an Evening News reporter), but I have never seen on a working day so many people walking aimlessly in the streets as could be seen to-day. The men in their caps and the women in their shawls almost filled the footpaths at some points."

Out of about 250 mills in the Oldham district - the word being used to include also Middleton, Hollinwood, Chadderton, Shaw, Royton, and Lees - about 150 are closed for an indefinite period. "Till after the wakes," is the way the Oldhamers put it but how long "after the wakes" is nobody knows.

Tuesday, August 25, 1914 THE SUBURBAN GARDEN: Many people have taken the advice to endeavour to raise in their own garden a supply of vegetables for next year, and for the coming spring. Neighbours will compare cabbages and turnips instead of daffodils and wallflowers.

Carrots, turnips, cabbages and onions, as spring crops, had been particularly in demand. This change is, of course, affecting the sale of bulbs, which should at present be in full swing, but the man who has dug up his flower beds to sow onions will look upon hyacinths and so on, even when grown indoors, as a luxury.

Wednesday August 26, 1914 CALL TO ARMS: Lord Kitchener's grave warning and earnest appeal to the nation, coupled with the very praiseworthy move that is being made in Manchester business houses to encourage enlisting, was a general topic of discussion in the city to-day. Already there are indications that a new recruiting boom is setting in, and in this the employees of many home trade and other warehouses in the city are taking an active shape.

A few days ago one of the largest firms, Messrs. J. and N. Philips and Company, announced a scheme of special inducements to those who were willing to respond to their country's call.

Yesterday the Home Trade Association adopted a similar scheme, comprising the following inducements to workmen eligible for service: a minimum of four weeks' full wages to date of leaving; re- engagement on return guaranteed; half pay during absence on duty for married men from date when full pay ceases; special arrangements with single men who have relatives entirely dependent upon them; after the war all Territorials to be given to be given Tthree weeks' holiday, provided that two weeks are spent in camp. …

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