Mexborough & Swinton Times – Saturday 07 August 1920
High Standard of Life
One of the aims for which organised labour has contended in its efforts to obtain higher wages and reduced hours, is a higher standard of life. This expression, I suppose, includes a more varied and increased diet, more commodious and better appointed houses, and, perhaps, a greater supply of clothing.
All these are desirable and necessary and entirely commendable, but everyone who is interested in the social problems of the times would add something to the above, There are other things which a ‘social’ reformer would like to see the captains of democracy interested in besides the needs of the body. There is an almost entire lack in small industrial communities, of any organised effort to raise the general level of intelligence of the workers. We need to provide facilities for the men of all villages such as ours, to spend a part at any rate of their increased leisure in a profitable manner, not with a view to make them better producers, but soley with the idea of giving them an increased interest in everything with which they come into contact.
Such facilities would include such items as vocal and instrumental music, lectures on industrial. social scientific and other subjects, debates on topical questions, and so forth. For the keener in pursuit of culture the above efforts would be supplemented by a musical society, a field club for the out-door study of nature, and, in addition, we need an up-to-date library. Nuclei of practically, all of the above have at one time or another existed in Conisboro where they have appealed to units, one would wish them to make their appeal to hundreds