All League of Nations Union (LNU) branches had a Secretary but in the Lancaster branch the work at first was divided into three. Until 1925, George French held the post, with assistance from a Minute Secretary, R. F. Ewan – Headmaster of Skerton School [Skerton Council School and the League of Nations Union], and an ‘Organising Secretary,’ Mrs Muriel Dowbiggin. At the 1925 AGM Mr French retired through ill-health and Muriel took over, assisted by her husband until at least 1939. The post of Treasurer was filled 1920-1931, by Mr A. C. Haines, a local bank manager. In addition, a ‘Financial Secretary,’ Captain Fearon, Lancaster Docks and Harbour master, was appointed. The accounts were audited by W. Hamer, JP, of Mansergh’s the Drapers. At Burton-in-Lonsdale there was one Secretary and one Treasurer, with the accounts being audited by another member. (1)
One of the difficulties the Lancaster branch encountered was collecting the membership subscriptions, an essential job as they were an important part of the group’s income . In 1921, the Secretary and Mr Haydock ‘assisted to collect the subscriptions’ but as the membership grew, more help was needed. In 1931, Mrs Dowbiggin was reported as saying: ‘the branch membership was still about 700, but a much larger portion of subscriptions remained unpaid owing to the lack of collectors.’
(1) Burton-in-Lonsdale LNU Minute book, kindly lent us by Dr G. Price from his late father’s LNU papers, which he owns.
Lancaster Guardian, 19 Mar 1921, 23 Mar 1929 & 2 Apr 1931.
Kelly’s Lancashire Directory, 1924.
Frank N. Shires Ltd., 1939. Lancaster and Morecambe Directory 1939, Lancaster.