Dilemma over the price of milk

Digest of stories from The Luton News: Thursday, September 26th, 1918.

An anxious time was spent by the Luton Food Committee on Tuesday evening at the Town Hall, especially on the question of the milk prices and supply. Under protest the Committee agreed to fix the maximum prices in the latest Order (three shillings per gallon, 9d per quart from October 1st to November 31st, and 3s 4d, or 10p per quart from November 22nd to April 30th, 1919).

One of the strongest opponents of allowing the full price was Councillor A. Attwood, who refused to stand up for the dairymen any longer. Councillor Primett declared that nearly all Luton's milk was bought from local producers and the accommodation price had not to be paid. A retailer delivering 30 gallows a day could earn 10 guineas a week.

It was pointed out that the effect of lowering the price might keep milk – one of the most necessary foods – out of the town, and the Committee even discussed the possibility of taking control and selling the milk themselves. This, however, was shown to be a tremendous task, especially in view of the labour shortage.

At one period of the discussion, however, there was an overwhelming feeling in favour of taking full control, and Mr T. Knight declared that the people were being bled white. They were faced with conditions which demanded attention to the problem.

The Town Clerk (Mr William Smith) pointed out that the coal shortage would be acute, and milk was one of the best fat foods for children in creating heat in the body. He had struggled to see that the largest families should have most milk, and he would not reduced the price so as to jeopardise the supply.

It was explained that the poorer people could have preferential prices through the Town Council's powers, and that a woman with five children could not afford 10d per quart out of the separation allowance.

The Chairman (Alderman J. H. Staddon) admitted that things were getting to a vicious state, and that they agreed to the maximum price only under protest. The price as stated were fixed less a penny per quart for over the counter sales.

  • Pte A. Snoxell, now in camp at Stevenborough, Berks, and whose home address is 84 Grange Road [now St Peters Road], Luton, sends us an interesting letter he has received from his son, Bert, who was well known in Luton junior football, having been goalkeeper for Stanley FC in pre-war days. Now with the Norfolks in France, he says: “I have seen Reg (his brother), and it was a funny time I saw him. My battalion and Reggie's were to go over the top, and while we were going Reggie's lot came up to us. Of course I enquired for him and found him, and it was rather a hot time as the shells were dropping all around. I didn't have much time, but I went and shook hands with him and told to keep up a good heart. He seemed quite cheerful and said, 'Don't worry about me, as I am just enjoying it. This is the third time I have been over the top.' We are now out for a day or two's rest, and Reg is only a few yards from us. I have just been over to see him, and he is quite safe.”

  • Mrs Green, of 19 Langley Place, Luton has received the unwelcome news that her husband, Pte T. Green, of the Bedfordshire Regiment, has been severely wounded in the lungs as the result of the heavy fighting in the Combles region. He is now in hospital at Shrewsbury. Pte Green joined up in 1915, previous to which he worked for Mr Olney, fishmonger of Albert Road, for about 20 years.

  • An accident befell E. W. Clements, of Claremont Road, Luton, whilst flying at Stonehenge, resulting in a broken arm. He is now undergoing treatment at Plymouth. Joining the RAF as a cadet, he was turned down by the medical board for flying, but since he has had many flights as observer. He was working at Vauxhall before joining up.

  • Mr C. H. Brearley, 25 Essex Street, Luton, has been notified by te War Office that his son, Pte A. C. G. Brearley, Welsh Guards, was wounded on September 15th. This was during the operations in which the Brigade of Guards captured over 10,000 prisoners and nearly 100 guns.

  • L-Cpl P. W. HobbsMr P. W. Hobbs (pictured right), of 53 Liverpool Road, Luton, who has been until recently a lance-corporal in the Queen's (London) Regiment, has been discharged from the Army with the coveted honour of the Military Medal, which he won during the British retirement last spring. Joining up in September 1914, L-Cpl Hobbs was for a time stationed at St Albans. He saw considerable service in France, and was transferred to the Machine Gun Corps, but has been discharged as the result of a gunshot wound in the knee sustained in March. The official description of the deed which gained for him the honour has not yet been made known, beyond that it was for bravery in the field.

  • The Rev Harry Coate, Vicar of St Matthew's, Luton, where he has loyally and faithfully laboured for 25 years, was installed a canon of St Albans Cathedral on Saturday afternoon at a choral evensong. The stall assigned to him bears the title 'John de Cella,' who was Abbot from 1195 to 1214.

  • There was a crowded attendance at the Swan Hotel, Bedford, on Saturday afternoon, when Messrs Knight, Frank and Rutley submitted to auction the Tingrith Manor Estate of 1,114 acres and other property in Bedfordshire, on the direction of Capt Trevor Battye JP. At £45,500 the estate was knocked down to Alderman A. Wilkinson, of Luton.

  • The presentation of a handsome gold watch and chain has been made at the works of the Diamond Foundry to Mr Alfred Bowles as appreciation of the very valuable first aid services he had rendered to the employees. Mr Bowles has been a member of the St John Ambulance Association, and has served with the British Red Cross and V.A.D. He is a sergeant of the Ambulance Section, 2nd Voluntary Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment.

  • The licence of the Hare and Hounds beerhouse, New Town Street, was provisionally transferred from William Hubbocks to Charles Creasy at the Borough Police Court yesterday. The newcomer said he was working for the Government on harness making in London, and his wife and 17-year-old son would manage the business.

  • An interesting wedding took place on Saturday at Christ Church. The contracting parties were Mr H. A. Bailey, son of Mr W. J. Bailey, plumber and decorator, of 64 Grove Road, and Miss Dorothy Alice Bull, of 46 Inkerman Street. The bridegroom went through the Gallipoli campaign with the Royal Naval Division (Hawke Battalion), and was 11 months on the peninsular. He was discharged after after about two years' service through wounds. He is now an active official of the Discharged Men's Federation in Luton.

  • Surely few military stations can surpass No. 6 Reserve Brigade, R.F.A., in regard to musical talent. In addition to the first class concert party and orchestra, a military band is now in existence and made a public debut a few evenings ago when they accompanied to the railway station a draft en route for a destination unknown. They are also playing for church parade, and it is hoped that in the near future they will be able to give performances for the benefit of the public at the entrance to Biscot.

  • Trooper P. W. Goodwin, now attached to the Gloucester Yeomanry, and whose home is at 147 Ashburnham Road, has sent an interesting letter, under date August 2nd from Egypt, describing a recent tour round the Holy City under conduct of the YMCA. Trooper Goodwin joined up early in 1915 in the Beds Yeomanry, and went to France just before Christmas of that year. He was invalided home shortly before Christmas in 1916 and, after leaving hospital, went to Ireland. In November 1917 he was sent to Egypt to join the Lincoln Yeomanry. That regiment was subsequently sent to France and incorporated in the machine gun section, but Trooper Goodwin was left behind on account of then being at a convalescent camp in Cairo. On being transferred to the Gloucester Yeomanry, the regiment stopped outside Jerusalem, and the men were allowed passes in order to visit the city. Here they joined up with the party about to be shown round, and esteemed themselves fortunate, as names generally have to be given in a day or so previously.