By the end of the nineteenth century, Peterborough city had over 100 different places where one could buy and drink alcohol; walking around what is now Cathedral Square offered you the choice of ten or more such places. This day's Peterborough Advertiser newspaper gave significant space to reporting on a sequence of meeting organised by the Women's Total Abstinence Union. They had begun on Tuesday evening at the Temperance Hall on the Lincoln Road, when Revd Thomas Barrass had presided over a good attendance that had come to listen to Mr F. Hinde, barrister at law, give an address on 'The Genius of Teetotalism'. He claimed that the great influence of drink on the present-day society could be attributed to much of the poverty and crime extant to the intemperance which prevailed. Citing statistics, and quoting from testimonies of several eminent men 'past and present', he set out to prove that achieving the greatest mental capacity was associated with the practice of total abstinence. In summing up, he claimed that 'a moderate drinker was a vast improvement on a drunkard, but a teetotaller was a great deal better than even a moderate drinker, physically and morally. (Peterborough Advertiser)
Taken from The Peterborough Book of Days by Brian Jones, The History Press, 2014.