Considerable discussion ensued at the meeting on Thursday of the Council committee which is charged with the preparation of the programme of peace celebrations. It was decided to set apart two days as a festival for the juvenile element.
General regret will be occasioned by the news of the decision of the local branch of the Discharged Sailors and Soldiers Association not to take part in the official peace celebrations until all discharged and demobilised men have been found employment.
A serious situation has arisen locally with regard to fire insurance owing to the attitude adopted by the offices concerned. In consequence of several big fires – one at St Albans and others at Luton – the claims made by the staple industry have been out of all proportion to the premiums paid, and the official view is taken that the risks have been immensely increased by the smoking habit which has largely developed since the war.
Just two days before the armistice would be signed, a letter from Lutonian L-Cpl A. C. Payne (Royal Marines on HMS Serie) with the naval force in Russia told how his war had not ended and he had been sent to battle the Bolsheviks. He wrote:
“Having written an account to you of my experiences on a monitor at Constantinople and the Dardanelles in January last, I must let you know I have lefts that theatre. After some time in the Black Sea, we returned to Constantinople, and the ship paid off her commission.
Six months have elapsed since Luton Corporation were persuaded to give approval for the erection of 1,000 municipal houses – less than half the number, it was stated at the time, required to meet the deficiency which has arisen through the war and its after-effects.
Unemployment was one of the major grievances of demobilised soldiers on their return from war service. One unidentified discharged man who had served throughout the war wrote the following distressing letter to The Luton News (June 19th, 1919) which gave an insight into problems experienced locally:
“I am an ex-serviceman, having served since August 4th, 1914. I am writing these few lines, hoping it will catch the eyes of the employers of labour in Luton. I think it is time something was done for us in the matter of employment.
Now that All Saints (illustrated above) has become a separate entity in the church life of Luton and is well on the way to the achievement of its ambition of a new church and parish, the way has been made clear for a practical move to be made with the project for a new church for the St Andrew's district of Christ Church parish.
The discovery of the body of a Luton hat manufacturer's daughter on the sands below cliffs at Dieppe in France on June 13th, 1919, presented a big mystery about the circumstances of the death, wrote the Beds & Herts Saturday Telegraph (June 21) in breaking the news in Luton.
Concert parties at Wardown have not been invariably successful in the past, at any rate when they were seeking to make daily performances a commercial success, said an editorial comment in the Beds & Herts Tuesday Telegraph (June 10th, 1919). This year they are to be tried again, but on different lines, an occasional Wednesday evening performance being what we understand is proposed.
Yesterday a still more serious position arose regarding the pattern makers' dispute at the Davis Gas Stove Co's works [Diamond Foundry, Dallow Road]. Called out by their Society, 13 pattern makers did not return to work after the Whitsun holiday.
An extension of unemployment pay to demobilised soldiers is announced. No one grudges the £1 per week while out of work, but we cannot help thinking of the 'splash' made by Mr G. H. Roberts MP when, in his position as Labour Minister, he told a Luton audience that men would be released only when there were jobs for them.