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Lancaster LNU District: Garstang Branch

Taking the League of Nations Union to the countryside
Oddfellows Hall, Garstang, Lancashire Meeting place of the Garstag LNU © Janet Nelson"

Oddfellows Hall, Garstang, Lancashire
Meeting place of the Garstang LNU
© Janet Nelson

In 1925, members of the Lancaster League of Nations Union  (LNU) were informed at their AGM that a new branch had been formed at Garstang, 11 miles away. (1) Garstang was in the Lancaster LNU District Council area. It was a small market town in the centre of a rural area, with its economy dependent mainly on farming. (2) The new branch was constituted on the usual LNU lines, with an Executive Committee and officials. Meetings were held at the Oddfellows Hall in the town.

To date, reports of meetings between 1928 and 1933 have been found. (1) They suggest that the Garstang LNU was never more than a small group who were trying to promote knowledge and understanding of the League of Nations  in the area on a limited budget. The Committee invited Muriel Dowbiggin, Lancaster LNU’s energetic secretary, to their meeting three times. She spoke on disarmament in April 1928 and in the following November she provided a lantern lecture. On another occasion she illustrated the League’s principles by putting ‘the work of the League of Nations on trial before judge and jury when it was acquitted of all charges against it.’ The meeting ended with the LNU’s regional representative giving an address. In 1933, the group attempted to widen its appeal within the area, perhaps especially to local Quakers, by inviting the Secretary of the Northern Friends’ Peace Board to speak to them.

References/Further Reading:

(1) Lancaster Guardian, 9 Mar 1925, 21 Apr 1928, 17 Nov 1928, 31 Mar 1933 & 17 Nov 1933.
(2) T. Bulmer & Co, 1913. Bulmer’s History & Directory of Lancaster & District, 1912. Preston: Snape for Bulmer.