THE Temperance Movement has reached out through the decades and banned alcohol at a spring fair – costing the local churches £1,000.
Organisers of the annual event on Manley’s Hilary Howarth Playing Field – held to raise funds for Alvanley and Manley churches – were planning to serve beer donated from the White Lion pub worth £1,000.
But the Howarth family, who gifted the land to Manley Parish Council in 1934, say they will take the field back if any alcohol is sold or consumed there as it would invalidate the deeds – because the man who gifted the field was part of the Temperance Movement.
Committee member Diane Stredder said: “It’s a blow, we stand to lose about £1,000. We live in the 21st century and we’re bound by something from 1934 that may not exist.
“We’re not going to spend thousands of pounds on legal fees to find out if it’s valid but we don’t want to lose the field.”
Despite planning the fair since October, and successfully applying for an alcohol licence in January, organisers were only made aware of the agreement two weeks ago. “People want to see beer and wine for sale on the field,” added Diane.
“These are the facilities that people want and they see elsewhere.”
The community event will take place on Bank Holiday Monday from 11am.
Owner of Eddisbury Fruit Farm in Kelsall and former organiser of Vale Royal Farmers Market, Monica Howarth, whose grandfather-in-law gifted the land to the parish council, said: “It was given by Grandfather as a playing field for the children to play on.
“He didn’t approve of alcohol at all, he was part of the Temperance Movement.
“Beer has never been sold on the field.
“There’s a perfectly good village hall that’s licensed to sell alcohol. I could take the land back if I wanted, it could be removed, but it’s not what we want to do.
“We are not unreasonable people, if it’s what the committee want then they should have approached us as trustees to see what can be done. It’s a church event, I don’t think alcohol is appropriate.”