We’ve taken two documents from the Broadsides collection that give differing opinions on the temperance movement, first up we have “Drink When You’re Dry” and secondly “Clench the Nails

“Drink When You’re Dry or the Groans of an empty Beer- Barrel” was written by ‘John Barleycorn‘ (who is a personification of the crop barley) in January 1820 to “his old friend” John Bull (who is a personification of Britain), in which he lays down his opposition to the temperance movement, stating,

“What! Quarrel with good liquor! The juice of sweet barley! The poor man’s cordial, the sinews of this strength, and the beverage of his forefathers! O it’s a monstrous piece of folly! And as rank treason against the constitution of an ENGLISHMAN, as ever was hatched in the skull of a mounteback.”


The date of the  second document “Clench the Nails” is unknown. It implores

“Parents, teachers, when you give instruction Clench the Nails with the Temperance Pledge.”

Verses and a picture on the subject of temperance entitled "Clench the Nails". New Mills.

We also have photographs within the Manchester Local Image Collection of buildings that hold special significance to the movement, such as Temperance Billiard Hall.

Temperance Billiard Hall, m18044, c.1958

Also from the Local Image Collection are two photographs of pro-temperance  demonstrations from 1906 and 1890.

Temperance Demonstration, Droylsden, 1906 ,m68985
Temperance Party, c.1890, m68983

We have plenty of fantastic archives related to the temperance movement, which you can search for here and why not check out The People’s History Museum’s,  Demon Drink! Temperance and the Working Class exhibition, which runs until February.