A memorial in Preston commemorating the history and success of the Teetotal Movement has been granted listed status by the Government.
The Preston Abstinence Memorial in Preston Cemetery has been given Grade II listed status by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the advice of Historic England.
Recognising Preston’s integral part in the 1800s campaign against alcohol, known as the Temperance Movement, it is surrounded by monuments to Temperance activists including the ‘Father of Teetotalism’, Joseph Livesey, inset, from Walton-Le-Dale.
Aidan Turner-Bishop from the Preston Historical Society said: “It’s a huge part of Preston’s heritage. Preston was known as ‘the Jerusalem of the Temperance Movement’ because it was at the centre of the teetotal programme.”
Aidan explained that “it was really important at the time” and “the equivalent of people coming out against drugs today”.
The 69-year-old added: “Alcohol could ruin families if people became addicted to drink. It meant children would starve.”
The listing follows an appeal by Historic England to find the secret and less-known murals, statues and tributes in the North West.
Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England, said: “At a time when our national statues and memorials are under increasing scrutiny, we’re delighted to shine a light on these often undiscovered and under-appreciated but precious markers of our past.”
The Temperance Movement
The Temperance Movement was, and still is in some capacity, a social movement against drinking alcohol.
The ‘Father of Teetotalism’ is Joseph Livesey, from Walton-Le-Dale, who put Preston on the map as the centre of sobriety in the 1800s.
Local historian Aidan Turner-Bishop, who brought the Livesey Collection to the University of Central Lancashire in the 1980s, explained how at the turn of the twentieth century a quarter of all children under 16 were members of the Band of Hope – a temperance organisation for working class children.
“It was huge and Preston was at the centre of it all,” Aidan explained.