Rhos Drunks upset the Chapel goers
In 1892 a Vigilante Committee was set up at & meeting held in Rhos in an effort to combat Sunday trading. Mr Isaac Smith was elected secretary.
Most deacons of the nonconformist churches were present, but Capel Mawr was criticised for sending only their minister.
The Rev R. Roberts, Bethlehem, said it was a source of great grief to him to see so many milk carts on the streets on Sunday. It was upsetting to the people on their way to worship. He proposed that a letter be read from the ‘pulpits asking members not to patronise such traders. Mr Roberts was supported by the Rev Robert Jones, Capel Mawr, but he thought that Sunday’ drinking was a greater problem. It grieved him to see men lying helplessly drunk in the street gutters on his way to chapel.
Although there were laws against Sunday drinking licensees flouted these’ by sending “presents” of beer to various houses, and collecting the money on weekdays. The increasing practice of taking Sunday trips was also disgraceful.
Mr Edward Ellis thought the police were afraid of the publicans, but William Edwards said it was useless the police taking cases to Ruabon when all the magistrates did was to dismiss them.
Mr Evan Evans said some members of the force were unprincipled and often broke the, confidence of a complainant by divulging his name to the publican who then stopped his beer on weekdays.
The Rev. Thomas Roberts (Wesley) thought parent’s encouraged non-observance by letting children play on the streets on Sundays. Chapels set a bad example by sending children on house – to – house, collections on Sundays for missionary’ purposes. They were also at fault by selling books at the end of their services in their chapels. They might be on religious themes but the principle was just the same as selling milk in the streets and beer in the pubs.
It was decided to send a deputation to meet Police Sergeant Roberts to impress upon him the importance of Sunday observance.
The Vigilante Committee did not have it all their way. After instituting an enquiry, Chief Constable T. J. Leadbetter found that the allegations made against the police were untrue. But the committee refused to apologise.
The publicans were also annoyed and called a protest meeting that called upon the vigilantes to stop besmirching the good name of Rhos. Such allegations caused outside people to look down on the village.
But the committee were unabashed and decided to continue with their clean-up campaign.
Source: Llangollen Advertiser.