168 Year Old "Sons of Temperance" Readies to Make a Landmark Change
Three years ago the Sons of Temperance Friendly Society "ceased the effecting of new long term business" which means they stopped offering new insurance to members, but they still have many existing policyholders.
At a Special General Meeting a few weeks ago in Warwickshire, UK, their membership "approved a radical scheme of reorganisation ." Next year, "At the 2011 AGM [Annual General Meeting], members will be asked to adopt a new set of rules reflecting the society's new circumstances." Simply stated, the Sons will cash out their assets and terminate any future insurance payouts.
From its formation in 1842, in New York City as a "Beneficial Society based on Total Abstinence" (from its founding call) members were required to pay insurance premiums. Today their present total assets are over £3,000,000 and their membership is under 6,000 people, almost all residing in the UK. £500,000 is planned to be held over to run the reorganized 'Sons' with the remainder to be distributed to members who bought and still hold policies, many of whom cannot be located.
Immediately upon organizing in September, 1842, the Sons acquired the procedures and regalia prominent to the Odd Fellows and Masons. Today these trappings are long gone. But it will not be until next year that the Sons of Temperance plans to finally end its charter purpose as a "Beneficial Society" which was also originally intended to distinguish it from the unprecedented proto-populistic Washingtonian total abstinence movement that surged into New York in March, 1841.
Nevertheless, in a perspective of institutional purpose and evolution, it might be shown that today's 12 step movement, which has never offered monetary benefits from dues paying, has more in common with the Sons of Temperance movement than it does with the Washingtonian Total Abstinence movement.
John Stamp and Christian temperance (article)
D. Colin Dews, "The Rev. John Stamp: Primitive Methodist Secessionist and the Christian Temperance Brethren," Proceedings of the Wesley Historical Society 57/5 (May 2010): 178-190. Dews is secretary of the Yorkshire branch of the Wesley Historical Society.
Beer goes to war (article)Lisa Jacobson, "Beer Goes to War: The Politics of Beer Promotion and Production in the Second World War," Food, Culture, and Society 12 (September 2009): 275-312. Her current research centers on a book, Cultures of Drink: Alcohol Promotion and Consumption in the United States after Prohibition Repeal. The University of California at Santa Barbara website describes this project, "a comparative study of vintners, brewers, and distillers [that] examines how alcohol producers, advertisers, popular media, tastemakers, and consumers forged distinctive (and sometimes antagonistic) cultures of drink in the four decades following Prohibition’s repeal in 1933."
Tea, China, and England (book)
Sarah Rose, For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World's Favorite Drink from China and Changed World History (Viking Adult, forthcoming, 2010).
Attempts to save an English brewery museum (articles)
Two short articles in the Museums Journal 108 (2008) about the fight to save the brewery museum acquired by Coors (which intends to close it as unprofitable). Gareth Harris (June 2008) reports that the National Trust has joined the campaign, while Patrick Steel (July 2007) quotes the minister of culture, Margaret Hodge, in support.
UK teenagers as binge drinkers
According to a recent study, United Kingdom teenagers are the third worst binge drinkers, after only Denmark and the Isle of Man (usually considered by foreigners as part of the UK. UK girls indulged in binge drinking even more than UK boys. For more, see here.
Maureen Ogle talks about CAMRA
In her series called "First Draft Follies" (material left out of her book Ambitious Brew) Maureen Ogle discusses CAMRA, the British organization whose full name is the Campaign for Real Ale. For more, see here.
Last Orders: Is the English Pub Facing Extinction?
Although 36 pubs close every week, Roger Protz is optimistic. He thinks good beer will be the remedy for the pub crisis. For more, see here.
Opium and British missionaries in China (dissertation)
Benjamin Louis Fischer, "'Opium pushing and Bible smuggling': Religion and the cultural politics of British imperialist ambition in China" (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Notre Dame, 2008).
Bean and gone: view from Scotland
The Scotsman asks whether the coffee culture has peaked. In the United Kingdom the number of branded coffee shops grew from 778 in 1997 to 2428 in 2005. Once a country of tea drinkers, 80% of adults in Britain now drink coffee at least once a week. But there are signs of change. Starbucks has closed many outlets in the USA and in Australia. In Scotland the chain Beanscene has gone into receivership as a result of a cash flow crisis. For more, see here.