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The Working Class In Winter

Hockey – No One Was Fatally Injured

Bonnie Durtnall 0 399 Article rating: No rating

Whereas Curling was a "gentleman's" game, Hockey was not. It was a rough and tumble sport in which factory and retail workers played against each other in an industrial or city league. Regional or national championships were not common but, in 1933, the Lancashire Felt hockey team became GCHA Champions.

The Working Class In Winter

Curling and Pleasure Skating

Bonnie Durtnall 0 446 Article rating: No rating

Winter was a time for lower wages. It was also a time for taking to the ice.  The higher classes formed clubs with uniforms and events during the working day or later at night. The working classes had early evening games and played in City or Industrial Leagues.

Summer Pleasures in Guelph

Bonnie Durtnall 0 429 Article rating: No rating

“Summer time and the living is easy.” This was certainly true for the upper echelons in Guelph during the 19th and early 20th centuries. There were summer soirees to attend, “At Homes” and even a Regatta or two. For exercise, the youth played tennis on the courts and lawns of local homes. Guelph formed a Lawn Tennis Club on April 7, 1884. It held meetings and played other local teams.

For the working class, summer did not mean lengthy holidays. In the foundries and factories, Guelph’s workers slaved away under stifling conditions. In woollen mills, the windows remained shut; in foundries, the heat continued to creep higher, resulting in necessary water breaks. Yet, for the working class, summer did offer some opportunities for enjoying the weather. These ranged from casual, unorganized events to annual affairs.

Swimming

Cooling down was an easy option. Guelph’s rivers and dams made water accessible for most people. Guelph’s youth took advantage of the Speed River at Goldie's, Spence's, Gow’s and Allan's Dams - diving into the water on the hot days. The Guelph newspapers report on seeing children in the river. There are also “Letters to the Editor” concerning the dress of these youths. They were particular enraged that the law did not enforce the Bathing By-Law on proper bathing attire - it must cover from the neck down). Many complained that they dressed improperly that the dress code “has been violated” with impunity. One person wrote “About Bathing”

Several complaints have been made about boys bathing just below the footbridge and annoying the neighbours with their unearthly racket….Young men and boys have been frequently seen bathing near Gow’s mills, right off the highway. The bylaw provides that no person shall bathe within 100 feet of any bridge or roadway, and they must wear proper bathing suit, either during the day or at night… Take warning, boys. Conduct yourself properly and no person will object to your bathing or learning that most useful accomplishment via the art of swimming. The temptation to go in too frequently and remain in too long should be guarded against, as it is very, weakening and dangerous.

 

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Guelph's First Labour Day Parade

Although it became a legal statutory holiday in 1894, Guelph did not hold a Labour Day Parade until September 1902.

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