The year 1916 witnessed the British government impose State Management on the pubs, breweries and hotels of Carlisle. A vehicle of social control had been launched.
State Management was introduced due to drunkenness, vice and chaos in the city centre. Navvies from the Gretna munitions works flooded into Carlisle with high wages and a thirst to quench. Their eagerness to binge drink had the pubs packed to the rafters. Female munitions workers awaited them. The resultant wild behaviour shocked the respectable citizens of Carlisle. Hung-over munitions workers and explosives also did not mix well.
It wasn’t only the drunken antics that concerned the government. As World War I raged, 1916 saw the cause of Irish Nationalism explode into bloody conflict on Dublin’s streets. Many navvies were Irishmen. Could rebellion spread to Britain? Alcohol was to be curbed to dampen revolutionary fire.
State Management finally ended in 1973. Positive recreation and games were encouraged to turn men away from drink. Bowling greens appeared. Many notable buildings were designed by the architect Harry Redfearn under the scheme's tenure. All such measures were to change the image of drinking.
Many recent comparisons can be made. The smoking ban of 2007 and 2003 drinking laws showed a government attempting to regulate the social habits of Britons. The debate to whether these ventures have worked rages on.