Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Monday, 11 March 2013

Ale and spirit drinking is the cardinal failing of the men of Weardale.

I came across this interesting chapter in a book called
WEARDALE
MEN AND MANNERS
BY
JACOB RALPH FEATHERSTON
OF
BLACKDEAN
IN THE
COUNTY OF DURHAM

DURHAM
PRINTED BY FRANCIS HUMBLE, ADVERTISER OFFICE
1840



CHAPTER XXIV

Ale and spirit drinking is the cardinal failing of the men of Weardale.
This cannot be disputed – as witness the waste of money – the frequent fightings – the loss of work – the disordered body - the remorse of conscience – torn clothes and bloody shirts – late hours and distressed friends – with a number of other ills.
Of all the vices which belong to us, this is the first we should try to overcome. Into this error, I confess, I have too frequently fallen, without any plea to offer in justification. Unfortunately there are too many of the same description. Even if country life, particularly in winter, be gloomy and solitary, and company be oftentime to be sought for in the tavern, it is a paltry excuse, and will not bear the test of next morning’s reflection. It is my firm and decided, because well considered, opinion that, be the yearly pays ever so good, Weardale will never be in a reasonably prosperous state till this foolish and expensive practice be consider-ably diminished. We drink and spend in days as much as would serve some people, in other countries, weeks ; though let it be mentioned and borne in mind that there is no systematic tippling among us as there is in towns.