The Town Clocks
Isle of Wight Observer March 12, 1868
Dear Sir, Occupying my old position today at the hour of eleven am, I was struck by a most extraordinary coincidence, viz., that of my new friend, and old one of St Thomas taking into their heads to fight the battle of time together. This, I think, you will agree with me in thinking was an extraordinary piece of friendship on their parts, after so many hostile announcements from their iron tongues, and as I believe this to be the first “duet” together in public, the question I would ask is this:- Are they going to agree to go on together in unison for the future, leading their supporters to believe that they are acquainted with the “correct time”, or gulling them with the certainty that neither of them know anything more about it than “the man in the moon”, by their continued disagreements, and striking at variance with each other, like veritable opponents of that which they profess to teach? For my own part, if I am a little out in my reckoning, I refuse to proclaim my difference by striking them out for the information of everybody.
I am your’s respectfully,
Feb 27th, 1868 UNION STREET CLOCK
THE SOUP KITCHEN
Sir, A further, and I suppose final, issue of soup tickets have just been made to subscribers, may I ask you to permit me, through your columns, to speak one word of warning as to the way in which these tickets are distributed. – “Got any soup tickets t’home?” says one small boy to another in the street – “Noa”, is the reply; “Sell ye four for a penny if ye like,” adds No 1. A man who was by and heard the dialogue tended the desired coin to the small boy, but being recognised as living “up to the kitchen”, failed altogether in getting the tickets. His object of course was to take them round to the subscribers, whose names they bore, and who them how their intended kindness had been abused. The moral is plain – Don’t give soup tickets to children at all, unless you know them. They may be worse employed even than being sold at a farthing each, for in this case, they would at least probably have been used by poor people who were really glad of the soup; but they may be expended in “suck” tobacco, or beer; and the soup they produce may be but an adjunct at the dinner table of some retail tradesmen, who need it more than I do.
If subscribers cannot, or will not, take the trouble to ascertain that those to whom they give tickets are deserving, would they not do well to hand them over to the clergy, district visitors, dissenting ministers, or someone who from their position is certain to be able to give them to whom they will be most appreciated. The cook at the kitchen would gladly receive any number, and distribute them to the really deserving poor. Indiscriminate distribution of them, there can be no real question, does more harm than good. Yours &c.,
ONE OF SIX WEEKLY VISITORS TO THE KITCHEN.