Unveiling of the War Memorial

Unveiling the War Memorial

46: Unveiling of Loftus War Memorial – Saturday, 11th November 1922.  Built by Mr. C. Hebditch the Celtic Cross, made of Cornish granite, stands on a site in the High Street donated by Lord Zetland.  Mrs. G. Locker and Mr. W. Hoggarth D.C.M. performed the unveiling of the monument that commemorates the dead of the First World War.  The total cost of £815 was raised by donations and collections.  Sir Hugh Bell was guest speaker and a contingent of Green Howards and people of all religious denominations attended the ceremony.  In the background can be seen Olivers buildings – a house and a coachhouse, a butcher’s shop and three cottages which were owned by the Catholic Church and later demolished.  The dead of the Second World War were later commemorated on the monument.

From “Loftus in old picture postcards” by Jean Wiggins. Reproduced by permission.

(the eagle-eyed among you may notice that the photograph is, in fact, reversed.  Others in the same series of photographs were treated similarly and were rendered that way by the postcard’s publishers)

A Land Fit for Heroes?

Land Fit For Heroes45: On Armistice Night 1918, the streets of Britain were filled with cheering crowds, but behind the celebrations lay a harsh reality.  Many families had lost fathers, sons and brothers on the battlefields of Europe and most of the men who returned to ‘a land fit for heroes’ found themselves unemployed and often homeless.  It was impossible to resettle four million ex-servicemen when money that should have been spent on industry and commerce had been swallowed up by the war.  People in Loftus can still recall the ex-servicemen who knocked on doors selling haberdashery, cleaning materials and trinkets from a suitcase in order to make a living. Others drew sketches in indian ink and sold them in public houses or drew people’s portraits and sold them at fairs.  Some disabled men were reduced to begging.  Life after the war certainly did not live up to the promises made by the politicians.

From “Loftus in old picture postcards” by Jean Wiggins. Reproduced by permission.

11 November 1918

11 November 191844:The First World War ended at 11:00 am on the 11th November 1918.  Bells rang out, bonfires were lit and people paraded through their towns to celebrate.  The reasons for which the war began seem trivial in comparison with its cost.  Britain lost 750,000 dead and many more missing and wounded.  Her position as a world power was seriously weakened and she was left with massive debts after incurring huge loans from America to support the war.

From “Loftus in old picture postcards” by Jean Wiggins. Reproduced by permission.

The Coronation

Coronation Celebration

43: The Coronation of Kin George V took place in June 1911.  Everyone was in festive mood, not least the people of Loftus.  Flags and bunting hung from every house and across the streets from windows and lampposts.  Photographs of King George and Queen Mary were placed in the centre of patriotic window displays in all the shops.  Neighbours got together to provide street parties for their children, placing trestle tables down the centre of the road and contributing food for all to share.  The highlight of the day was a parade, seen here outside ‘Dodds’ shop.  Bonfires were lit in the evening and celebrations continued until after dark.

From “Loftus in old picture postcards” by Jean Wiggins. Reproduced by permission.

Work Hard!

Work Hard!

42: ‘Work Hard and Vote for Samuel’ is the slogan on this banner.  Herbert Louis Samuel, Liberal candidate, who was harassed by suffragettes whilst campaigning in Cleveland, was elected to Parliament in 1902 and in 1905 joined the Liberal Ministry as Under Secretary for Home Affairs.  In 1909 he entered the Cabinet as Chancellor for the Duchy of Lancaster.  From 1910 until 1914 he was Postmaster General and in 1914 he was again Chancellor for the Duchy and, for a short time, Home Secretary.  Samuel was knighted in 1920 and on his return from Pakistan (where he was High Commissioner) in 1925, he became Chairman of the Royal Commission on the Coal Industry, its report on conditions and pay in the mines being known as the Samuel Memorandum, which was rejected out of hand by the miners.  In 1931 he took a leading part in the formation of the National Government.

From “Loftus in old picture postcards” by Jean Wiggins. Reproduced by permission.

Votes for Women!

Votes for Women

41: Votes for Women.  This group, possibly outside the chapel at Carlin How, demonstrates once again the need that women of all ages and classes had to claim equality with men in the matter of the vote.  The word ‘liberty’ is written on one of the girls’ sashes.  Many well-to-do women resorted to violence, chaining themselves to railings, breaking windows, setting fire to houses and railway stations and destroying works of art.  When imprisoned, the women went on hunger strikes and had to be released.  The campaign continued until the outbreak of The Great War, when Mrs. Pankhurst lent her organisation to the cause of recruiting and munitions.  The war service of thousands of women did more to convince men that women should have the vote than all their previous demonstrations, and their aim was later achieved.

From “Loftus in old picture postcards” by Jean Wiggins. Reproduced by permission.

Adela Pankhurst at Loftus

Adela Pankhurst

40: Advocates of women’s suffrage, Emmeline (Amelia) Pankhurst and her family led thousands of women in their demand for votes for women at the turn of this century.  Many women in the north-east supported her cause and became increasingly militant.  In 1910 Winston Churchill, then a Liberal MP, who opposed the movement and his wife and family were visiting Sir William Watson MP at his home, Rushpool Hall.  The suffragettes, who were meeting at Loftus, travelled to Saltburn determined to protest and tried to push the Churchills into a small lake, being prevented only by the intervention of bystanders.  This photograph of a meeting being held by Adela Pankhurst in Loftus in 1910 shows many more men than women listening to her speech.  I wonder if they supported her cause?

From “Loftus in old picture postcards” by Jean Wiggins. Reproduced by permission.

West Road, Loftus

West Road

39: The houses on West Road were built in blocks of five to facilitate further development at the rear.  Unfortunately, through the depression and lack of demand, these plans did not materialise. The shop in the middle of the road, ‘Trevillions’, sold sweets and provisions.

From “Loftus in old picture postcards” by Jean Wiggins. Reproduced by permission.

The Station Hotel

The Station Hotel

38: The Station Hotel must have been the scene of great activity in the past.  The band contest was held nearby in summer, with bands and their supporters coming by train from all over Yorkshire.  In the 1930s the Wool Fair livestock sale was held in the Station Hotel field.  The auctioneer was T. S. Petch.  There was a quoits pitch at the back of the hotel.  The premier prize at matches was often a copper kettle.  Mr. Bales hairdresser’s and tobacconist’s cabin can be seen at the side

From “Loftus in old picture postcards” by Jean Wiggins. Reproduced by permission.

J. T. Bales, Hairdresser and Tobacconist

J. T. Bales

37: Mr. J. T. Bales outside his hairdresser’s and tobacconist’s shop.  Many people remember the green wooden cabin on stilts (to bring it up to road level) next to the Station Hotel.  The building was entered by a small bridge from the pavement.  It was later used as a Conservative committee room before being demolished.  No trace of it now remains.  Along Station Road was a shop owned by Mr. Arter, who made and repaired objects made of tin.  He was known as ‘Tinnerarter’.

From “Loftus in old picture postcards” by Jean Wiggins. Reproduced by permission.