Oldham Historical Research Group

Scan and page transcript from:
LANCASHIRE - Brief Historical and Descriptive Notes
by Leo H. Grindon
Pub. 1892

Oldham Historical Research Group - LANCASHIRE - Brief Historical and Descriptive Notes by by Leo H. Grindon  Pub. 1892

pages 170-171



THE primitive Lancashire character - industrious, frugal, sanguine, persevering, inflexible in determination- - has already been sketched in brief. Some additional features, observable more particularly among the operatives and away in the country, deserve notice, the more so since it is in a people's average tempera- ment that the key is usually found to their pursuits in playtime - after the songs, the most interesting chapter in a local history. The sum total of the private morals of working Lancashire probably does not differ pro rata from that which would be disclosed by a census of any other county. So with the manners and customs, for although in Lancashire the suavity of the South is soon missed, and though there is little touching of the hat or saying of "Sir," the absence of a courteous

Peculiarities                 171

spirit is more apparent than real, and in any case is amply compensated by a thoroughness of kindly sentiment which more polished communities do not always share. The "factory-folk," the colliers, and others, are usually considered turbulent and given to outrages. They are not so by nature. Though often rough, self-willed, and obstinate, the working population as a whole is too thoroughly Saxon for the riotousness one looks for while in the. presence of the Celt. Social conflicts, when they arise, are set on foot by mischief-makers and noisy idlers whose personal interest it is to promote antagonisms. Save for these veritable "disturbers of the peace " the probability is that there would be few or none of the "strikes " and "turn-outs" which bring so much misery to the unfortunate women and children who have no say in the matter. The people who "strike" are in the mass more to be pitied than held chargeable with love of disorder, for, as a rule, they have. been cruelly misled into the notion that it is the master's interest to pay as little as possible for their labour, the truth being that for his own sake he pays them the utmost the business will justify, so that they shall be strong enough, healthy enough, cheerful and good-tempered enough, to work with a will, thus augmenting his personal profits.

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