(May 2004) A page from the past

An earnest appeal
to the
Labourers of the Banbury and Oxford Districts
of the N.A.L.U.

Brethren – For the last nine years I have been a member of the N.A.L.U. and in some few instances I have taken upon me to write in defence and support of this Society, and at all times I have studied to serve both the people and the Society to which I belonged. But being occupied during the whole of this time in the cultivation of the soil, my opportunity for doing this was rare and my efforts in this direction somewhat crippled. But being lately appointed by the Executive Committee of the above Society to serve as a Delegate for the above named districts has invested me with greater opportunities. and opened up to me a more extensive field for my labours. I shall therefore, all being well, commence to hold meetings in the above districts during the Winter months of the present year. Will you aid in my efforts by attending these Meetings in good numbers, if so I am satisfied as to the result.

Remember. I am one of yourselves, having been a tiller of the soil from my boyhood. l therefore understand the subject on all points, having worked for one gentleman nearly twenty years and if I can by any means he of service to my fellow Labourers, by seeking to infuse into their minds, habits of sobriety, thrift, and Unionism, I am desirous of doing it. Let every man aid me by coming to listen to what I have to say, and also by any other means he may suggest. Rich and poor are both respectfully invited. Let those who wish to join the Movement, come. Let those who will not or cannot join, come. Their presence will cheer me on. Will you Let the answer be both loud and decisive — WE WILL.

Yours faithfully, W. H. GOLDER


Union song
[TUNE: “Onward Christian Soldiers.”]

Forward! honest toilers. Let us not delay.
Marching on to victory.
Through life’s chequered way.
Let us then with vigour, duties paths pursue;
Never weary, till we. Grasp the prize in view.

Forward! honest toiler, marching to the fight;
Every foe we’ll vanquish if we all unite.
For our cause is righteous
And will bear us through,
If with honest effort, we our path pursue.

Forward! honest toiler. Sin’s stronghold assail;
If your courage fail not, truth will soon prevail.
Gird you on your armour, freedoms cause defend;
Pause not in the conflict
Which shall in victory end.

Forward! honest toiler,
Wave your banners high.
Led by Arch your Captain,
Heed his warning cry.
Soon shall vile oppression
Vanish from your site.
Each defeated tyrant
Shall confess your might.

Forward! honest toiler.
Soon the strife shall end.
Be your watchword ever.
God will the right defend.
Soon each fertile valley jubilant shall be
With the gladsome tidings England sons are free.

Sibford Ferris,
W.H. Golder, 1881