Temperance bar

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Fitzpatricks in Rawtenstall

A temperance bar is a type of bar, found particularly during the 19th and early 20th century, that did not serve alcoholic beverages.

In the late 19th century, a number of such bars were established in conjunction with the Temperance Society. Originally, these advocated a moderate approach to life, especially concerning the consumption of alcohol; later, they moved toward abstinence from alcohol. Temperance bars with full temperance licences (allowing them to serve on Sundays despite English trading laws at the time) were once common in many high streets and shopping areas in the North of England. The movement had a massive following, fueled mainly by Methodists.[1] The bars quite often asked their patrons to sign a pledge of temperance, meaning that they would abstain from intoxicating liquors. Temperance bars were the first outlet for the drink Vimto in the early 20th century. They were also sometimes called "temperance taverns".

Typical drinks[edit]

Temperance bars served such brews as


Fitzpatrick's Herbal Health in Rawtenstall is thought to be the last original temperance bar. The Fitzpatricks, a family from Ireland, came over to Lancashire in the 1880s. A family of many herbalists, they turned to building a family-run chain of shops throughout Lancashire. These shops dealt in their non-alcoholic drinks, sold herbal remedies, and cordial bottles. At their peak, the Fitzpatrick family owned 24 shops between them, all brewing drinks to the original recipes brought over from Ireland. However, as new drinks came over from America, the temperance bars slowly waned away. Fitzpatrick's, being supported by fiercely loyal customers, was able to survive. The Rawtenstall branch of Fitzpatrick’s was run from 1891 until 1980 by members of the family. It is now run by new owners, with the objective of returning Fitzpatrick's Cordials to the market. Following a brief closure in early 2016, Fitzpatrick's reopened for business on 25 March 2016.[2]

Fitzpatrick's is notable for its old copper hot water dispenser which was originally a fixture at the Astoria Ballroom in Rawtenstall.[3] It is also won an award as the country's "Best Sarsaparilla Brewer",[4] and an award for its Dandelion & Burdock,[5] a year later.

A new temperance bar opened in Rotherham in 2013, The Whistle Stop Sweet Shop & Temperance Bar [6] The bar was planned in response to demand for Sarsaparilla, a type of root beer, and it is constructed in a retro style.


  1. ^ "Bar from a bygone age has healthy interest in its past". The Bolton Evening News. 17 January 2003. 
  2. ^ Stephanie Brawn (2016-03-24). "IN PICTURES: Joy in East Lancashire as the UK's only remaining temperance bar re-opens (From Lancashire Telegraph)". Lancashiretelegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-01-21. 
  3. ^ Freethy, p. 83.
  4. ^ Waitrose.com - Mr Fitzpatricks Temperance Bar and Cordials Archived April 27, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ "Mr Fitzpatricks UKs Last Temperance Bar providing non alcoholic soft drinks and cordials". Mrfitzpatricks.com. Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  6. ^ "The Whistle Stop Sweet Shop". The Whistle Stop Sweet Shop. Retrieved 2017-01-21. 


  • Freethy, Ron (2004). Riverside Rambles - Along the Mersey. Wilmslow, Cheshire, England: Sigma Press. ISBN 1-85058-812-0.