Three Bazaar Days, Success, Hopes and Fears

Three Bazaar Days, Success, Hopes and Fears (including some words of warning, and a hint of what was to come.)

Each day was opened by a different prominent guest, and chaired by a local Councillor.   As befitted his status as President of the Club, the first session on Thursday 16th April, 1914, was opened by Arthur Dugdale, Esq., of J. Dugdale and Bros. local landowners, and major employers at Lowerhouse Cotton Mill, and was chaired by Alderman George Haworth.

Alderman Haworth thanked all involved in such a magnificent effort, particularly the Ladies Committee, and although he was not often to be seen at games, Mr. Dugdale’s continued financial support was much appreciated. Alderman Haworth looked forward to the day when Lowerhouse would no longer be just a village, but would expand  as a result of the railways and canal, to become “the centre of Burnley. (Hear, Hear!!)”

Mr. Dugdale, whilst he was pleased to see everyone coming together to help the club,  warned that the club needed to look closely at itself. It should be self-supporting. It should have been able to repay the cost of pavilion and fencing in 12 years, and if it did not take steps to resolve matters, it would find itself in the same position again in a few years.(Was he right? See “Postscript”).

He felt that playing and watching cricket had gone out of fashion, as the County Clubs were also struggling.  “Everybody wanted to live fast nowadays, thousands paid to watch others play football, they should save their money till summer and play cricket.”  It is unlikely that the audience totally agreed, in view of the rapturous welcome given to the Clarets when they arrived at Rosegrove Station with the F.A. Cup, just over a week later.

A very successful first day. Receipts £230

Day Two, Friday 17th April 1914, was  opened by Edward Drew, Esq.,  from the other major family of local employers, Drews Calico Printworks, (his cousin Alan Drew was Honorary Vice President of the Club), and chaired by Councillor William Heap.

Councillor Heap particularly praised the work of the ladies, saying whether they believed in Women’s Suffrage or not, “in bazaars the men could not do without the women, but the ladies could do without the men.”  With a side-swipe at Mr. Dugdale, he said he understood that speeches had been made saying the club should be self supporting, but this was impossible, and the club had done wonders to compete with the likes of Burnley, Nelson and East Lancs.  Hopefully the bazaar would be so successful, they would never need to have another. (Was he right? See “Postscript”). He looked forward to seeing “Burnley FC bring home the English Cup and Lowerhouse the Lancashire League Cup! (Applause).” Well it could still happen in the same season…..2019 anyone?

Mr. Drew admitted he had not often been on the ground, but took a keen interest in the club, although he was more of a football man.  He felt that the ailing county game could learn from the Lancashire League, and inject a bit more enthusiasm into the way they played the game. He urged the club to always particularly encourage the junior players.

Another good day. Receipts £135 5s. 3d.

Day three, Saturday 18th April 1914.

Secure in the knowledge that they had already raised enough to clear the debt, the workers re-assembled happily for the final day of the Bazaar, opened by Councillor Dr. Clegg and chaired by Councillor Wm. Thornber.

Councillor Thornber broke with precedent by being brief, and was glad to see such unity amongst all sections of the community.

Dr. Clegg, on the other hand, spoke at some length, and his speech contains themes which seem to foresee what lay ahead for some of the young men, as summarised below.

“Cricket brought forth a great many of the best qualities of men”.

“Disciplined, trained in obedience to their leaders” there was no game like cricket for developing “true manhood”.

Cricket was “suited to the phlegmatic and deliberate temperament of the British, rather than the exciting games now coming to the front too much.”

“From cricket they learned to respect their opponents, to be fair and not to take undue advantage of them.”

“Young people should be taught that they were merely units in a bigger system and always endeavour to “play the game.”

And much more in a similar vein,as though he knew these were qualities which would be expected of young men before long.  (See postscript.)

A successful final  day, total receipts over the three days were declared as £492, which gave a net profit in the 1914 balance sheet of £378 7s 7d.  The debt was not only cleared, but the club had a sound footing for the future. (See postscript)

Next : Postscript and aftermath.

Part 3 coming tomorrow

By Anne Cochrane

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