From the archive - Decadence of home life - craze for pleasure

3rd September 2010 at 01:00
7 May 1927: Then, as now, disadvantaged underachievers finding solace in gang culture were causing concern

At the 17th annual conference of the National Federation of Christian Workers Among Poor Children, Miss Doris M Rose, secretary of the Girls' Life Brigade, said working girls were driven to a desire for pleasure, which amounted to a craze, in their leisure time. They sought this at cheap dances, halfpenny "hops" and cinemas.

Mr TR Ackroyd, of Manchester, speaking of working boys, said one of the problems was the decadence of their home life. Parents were now leaving the bringing up of their children very largely to the teacher, the preacher, and the State. The overcrowded home drove young people into the streets, and the streets of our towns were dangerous forcing houses of adolescent life. Many boys got swept into gangs and roved about in search of mischief and adventure, and many girls drifted into bad company and dishonour, because of the bad condition of their homes.

There were today in England on the Labour Exchanges 30,000 boys and 30,600 girls who had left school unable to secure work and who were tramping up and down our streets very largely under no control at all and losing the benefit that our educational system had given to them, physically, mentally and morally.

Mrs Philip Snowden, in a speech at the luncheon said that she believed that the flapper age ended at about 18 years. No young woman would be flattered if she were called a flapper.

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