Reading the Crowle Advertiser can dispel an idea that life in the Isle of Axeholme a hundred years ago was mundane. Every week people might enjoy markets, steam fairs, circuses, picture house shows, and regular events and meals organised for the less well-off. There were Christmas festivities and decorations, town and village feasts, sport events, clubs and institutes, public house suppers, cycle club outings, market hall dances, shooting and fishing competitions, game fairs and country shows, regattas, and of course pub culture.
Many local people were entertainers and performers in their own right. Add to this the tapestry of varied occupations and preoccupations, and more intimate relationships between neighbours, with an experience that mortality could be close at hand, and we have a picture of a life that might seem more vital than today.
Times were undoubtedly harder, with people a lot tougher than they are now, but dull they needn’t be. There are court reports and tragic stories here. This might give a wrong impression that Crowle and the Isle were not particularly safe or law-abiding at the time.
It is reasonably well accepted that the only time ‘ordinary people’ were reported tended to be when they fell foul of law or fate. Court reports can often be the only place where we can see the life lived, and hear the actual words spoken, by our less well-off ancestors.
There are occasional wry and humorous reports too, pointing to the foibles, occupations and preoccupations of ordinary people, and giving some insight into the way life was lived at the time.
Some years have fewer articles, some more, as research was determined by personal focus. Up to 50% of copy could concern Local Board or Council minutes, or religious accounts; by and large these are not noted.