Harry Rutherford's
Festival of Britain Mural

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Hyde In War Time (1914-16) Page7-8



In many directions the war immediately caused much dislocation, Continental work of local boilermaking and engineering shops was “ held up.” Chamois leather works in the Borough were seriously affected for several weeks, hat manufacturing was in a parlous condition, and Newton Bank Printworks went on three days a week. It was found necessary to protect the country’s gold reserve as far as possible, .and very soon 10shilling and £1 notes displaced the gold coin.. "Business as usual” became a very familiar motto with almost ,everybody, but our townspeople also soon realised that they must settle down to the practice of economy. Through the "North Cheshire Herald" the Borough Survey Mr.. James Diggle, issued a letter to all the Hyde Corporation workmen advising them in exercise the utmost care in spending, for the sake of their wives and children, expressing the opinion that we were entering upon a very disastrous period, and that fend would become dear.
Immediately on the outbreak of war the price of many foodstuffs advanced in Hyde In most instances flour rose by 2d. and 4d. per dozen pounds. During the threatened panic one or two local grocers charged up to 2s. and. a dozen, Or nearly a shilling above the normal price at that time. The rise was much encouraged by the rushing of housewives to get as much flour in stock as they could. Local butchers at once raised beef by 1d. per pound, and fish went up 1d. and 2d. Some of the local grocers' shops were, quite over-run with customers, and one or two establishments in the first few days repeatedly had to close in order to enable the staff to keep pace with the orders, and prevent the shops from being “taken by storm.” As the war proceeded, the tendency continued to be upward, and at the end of 1915, after nearly seventeen months of war, flour was selling in Hyde at 2s. To 2s 3d. ; beefsteak, 11d. or 1s., before the war, was 1s. 4d., to 1s 6d.; while the price of coal had risen in the same period from 11d, or 1s. to 1s 1s. 4d. and 1s 7d. per cwt., an increase of about fifty per cent. During the same seventeen months cheese had risen from 9d. to 1s. or 1s. 2d., bacon, from 10d. to 1s. 3d,; while lump sugar, formerly 2lbs.for 41/2d., was now 5d. per lb.
Inspection of the Corps - Colonel John Wood, M.P., acknowledging the Salute
Photo by Cuthill, Hyde

1 comment:

Tom said...

It's nice to see the good old £.S.D. system.. and the amounts of flour being bought... so easy to go out and buy a sliced loaf now... it was another reminder of the 'House-Work" that went on daily... Coal prices are mentioned.. just had a quick check and if I wanted a 50kg open sack of Deep-mined Anthracite, suitable for burning in Smoke Control Areas it would now set me back £19.53 delivered in the Hyde area.
One thing that stands out in the picture is the Scout with his sheath knife.. he be dragged off the street by armed police now.... no more playing "Split The Kipper" on the front lawn now.. Tomorrow the book starts to cover the time Hyde housed Belgium Refugees.