Tuesday, May 23 – 1899
Yesterday Alderman John Houlding opened the fifth biennial three-days industrial exhibition of Aughton and district in the Christ Church Schools, Aughton. – The Rector of Aughton, the Rev. R.F. Markman, M.A., having opened the proceedings.
Alderman Houlding said that in being asked to perform such an opening ceremony his mind was carried back to a time long before the Education Act of 1870 was passed, when that neighbourhood was purely an agricultural one, and when farmers thought more of putting their sons in the field as early as possible rather than of sending them to school. Forty or more years ago sons of the farmers came from Scarisbrick work in Liverpool, and he gave employment to three of them, not one of whom, however, could write his own name or read a line of print. Now in those districts there was not a boy or girl who was not educated to their sphere of life. That showed the advance of education that had taken place in one man’s lifetime. Many years ago, when he used to come out to Aughton to visit his farming friends it was simply an agricultural place, whereas now he found it had become a sleeping-chamber for the better-class people who had business in Liverpool. He claimed it was the introduction of Liverpool energy that had made Aughton what it was, for otherwise its inhabitants would simply be farmers, toiling from early morn till late at night (Laughter.) He was glad to see that the boys and girls of the district were receiving technical instruction, and that their minds were profited by the making of all kinds of fancy works in their homes during the long winter nights. Whilst travelling in Switzerland he noticed in the villages that whilst the villagers were unable to any farm work they were industriously engaged in wood carving and other such pursuits. He was glad they in Aughton were following that example, and he hoped the country generally would emulate Switzerland and other parts abroad in such evening occupations. Such work set the young people’s brains to work, and, as they developed, they were better able to fight the battle of life, so that when they commenced work they were enabled to bring to bear the intelligence thus gained. He felt sure that as the hard-headed lads of Lancashire had their brains expanded they would most certainly make their marks on the ladder of progress by their perseverance. He then declared the exhibition open amidst applause.
(Liverpool Mercury, 24-05-1899)
Christ Church, Aughton. Picture found here.