Ruyton of the Eleven Towns: The Annual Wakes
How to keep men away from the public houses
Extract from the Shropshire Chronicle, 1862
On Sunday last, the annual wakes commenced here; and on the following day a scene of a rather exciting character was witnessed. All the men, 124 in number, employed on the improvement of the river Perry for the drainage of Baggymoor, met at the bottom of the village, where a most appropriate prayer was offered up by the Rev E Elks, of the Hadnal circuit of Primitive Methodists. They afterwards paraded the principal streets, singing as they went favourite hymns, and then proceeded to a field near their work, where a temporary platform of wheelbarrows and planks had been erected. There they partook of a liberal supply of tea, coffee, and other refreshments of a more substantial character, and which were provided by subscription, under the management of Mr William Bowles, draining engineer, his object being to keep the men away from the public houses, an arrangement which we are happy to say was eminently successful. After breakfast, the men were addressed by Mr J Bowles, Mr J Higley, and the following ministers: Revds J Heath and J N Taylor, travelling preachers connected with the Hadnal circuit. In the addresses, the evils of intemperance were forcibly pointed out. In the evening, there was a large meeting in the Primitive Methodist Chapel, where 113 people partook of tea. The breakfast for the men and the tea in the evening were provided by Mr R Bullock, grocer, of this village, and gave great satisfaction.