Solway Plain - past and present by the Holme St Cuthbert History Group

Band of Hope Certificate

The Band of Hope was a Temperance organisation for children founded in 1847. The members had to ‘sign the pledge’ and promise to abstain from all alcoholic drinks. There was a very active branch in Mawbray.

Mawbray Old School

It met in the old school building, just off the coast road, which became known as the ‘Band Room’.

Each group had its own banner which they would carry in processions. Mawbray’s banner is dated 1870. It was found in the barn at Sycamore Lodge where it must have lain for many years.

Mawbray Band of Hope Banner

It was probably stored there by Catherine Osborn who was a teacher at Holme St Cuthbert School and gained her Certificate of Merit from the Band of Hope Union of Cumberland in 1903.

Brayton Hall and Parkland, Aspatria

The children at Catherine’s school were often given holidays to attend Band of Hope festivals. These were usually held at Brayton Hall (above) in Aspatria. This was the home of Sir Wilfred Lawson, MP. His wife, Mary Lawson, was secretary of the Cumberland Union.

Catherine Osborn and her pupils

Catherine Osborn, who is seen here with some of her pupils, was born at Mawbray in 1884. She entered the infants’ class at Holme St Cuthbert School in 1890. She became a monitor and then a pupil teacher. In 1904, she was appointed as assistant teacher on a salary of £45 per year. She continued to work there until her retirement in 1944.

She is remembered by her former pupils as a good teacher, especially kind with the infants, but stricter with the older children. Her corrective action was a tap on the head with a thimble!

Allonby Band of Hope Trip
Allonby also had a very active branch of the Band of Hope. Above, they can be seen setting off on an outing, sometime in  the 1920s.

You can read more about them and their famous annual trips in our latest book "More Plain People"

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The Band of Hope