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Martinborough in 1908 - the Mecca of merry and thirsty souls

Observer, 26 September 1908

Quaint, quiet little Martinborough has broken out again. Spring is coming, for the swallowers have come back to tell them so. Martinborough is the Mecca of merry and thirsty souls — the place where the roads are lined with dead marines.  

It will be here that they will carry prohibition in the year 9999. Every other place this side of Mars will have been prohibited by then. The Martinborough guzzlers have no sense of the fitness of things. When they get off on a wild jamboree, they lose count of time and place. The full tide of feeling, and circumstance, and beer — chiefly beer — carries them afar oft from reasoning things out. 
On a recent Saturday night, the Martinborough night watchman discovered a brace of drinkers in the Catholic Church. They had provided themselves with a reasonable store of liquor — something like four dozen of ale and a stock of whisky. The curious thing; is that now the fine weather has set in up there the Saturday night revellers run for shelter.

This writer happened in Martinborough back along in June, when it had rained for three weeks, and was still going strong. A large number of the male population of the town were drowning their sorrows in beer at that time — all the time — all day Sunday, too. But they didn't want to get in out of the wet. They just dropped around anywhere. You could see them lying in the hotel yards like leaves in an orchard in autumn. Church-goers had to take to the river — some called it a road— to leave the footpaths to the post-hilarious. Why this perversity of intoxicated conduct? And also why do they take to the churches for their outbursts?


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