UCLan historian to discuss origins of ‘Demon Drink’ movement to national audience

Source: University of Central Lancashire 28 January 2022

A Preston researcher with expertise in the history and legacy of the UK temperance movement is to appear on the renowned BBC Radio 4 programme ‘In Our Time

Dr Annemarie McAllister, a Senior Research Fellow in History at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), will feature in the episode to be aired on 3 February at 9.00am and then available on BBC Sounds.

The UCLan academic will be in conversation with Melvyn Bragg and joined by two other scholars, Dr James Kneale (University College, London) and Dr David Beckingham (University of Nottingham) both with expertise in the history of temperance and alcohol.

“It’s a great pleasure to be asked to speak about my research on the temperance movement and the momentum behind teetotalism in nineteenth century Britain,” said Dr McAllister. “It was a time of great social change and total abstinence was the largest radical movement.

“I’m expecting a lively discussion as, despite what people might think, temperance history is anything but dry.”

UCLan has a strong link with temperance as Joseph Livesey, regarded as the founder of the UK temperance movement, helped to set up the University’s forerunner in 1828, the ‘Institution for the Diffusion of Knowledge’ in Preston.

Preston was recognised in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as ‘the birthplace of teetotalism’ and ‘the Jerusalem of temperance’ across the country, with the North West as one of the strongholds of the teetotal pledge.

The concept of ‘Preston Pledges’ continues locally and is used for a range of community building initiatives. Lancashire shares this rich temperance heritage.

Dr Annemarie McAllister researches the history and legacy of the UK temperance movement, using UCLan’s internationally significant archive, the Livesey Collection. In May this year she will be working with local history groups for ‘Temperance@190,’ in Preston and Chorley, an exhibition with events to commemorate the 190th signing of the pledge.

To find out more about her work on temperance history see www.demondrink.co.uk  or @demon_drink on Twitter.

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