The start of the decade took its toll on the Institute’s finances, with the heavy cost of repairs to the building and increased running costs of coal and electricity. This was coupled with further concerns about falling attendances, due to a significant increase in club subscription fees. Some activities fell by the wayside, including the scouting group ‘It is with much regret that we have to report the suspension of this valuable work. Our Scoutmasters, Messrs, Sanley, Adams and Leech, were much handicapped by pressure of private work, and were reluctantly compelled to forego many of their evenings with the boys’.
The appointment of a Superintendent, Mr A. Townsend, formally known as ‘the Warden’ was an effort to reinstate order at the Institute: ‘The break of continuity and the general relaxation of discipline occasioned by the war’, made ‘this (club) work exceptionally difficult’. It was hoped that the foundations for an effective and flourishing Boys’ Club could be laid, which would emulate the successes of the Institute’s heyday.
Efforts to revive Saturday night concerts were made, but disappointingly failed. However, there was some success in regards to dances, which proved satisfactory and a credit to the Institution, organised by the Florence’s ‘Old Boys’.
On a more positive note, the Florence’s gymnastics had success at the L.U.B.C. Gymnastic and Physical Training Competition, where they won both trophies. NOTE: pos photograph in HRC Preliminary rounds of the L.U.B.C. Boxing competition were held at The Florence, with a little help from the local police, who were kind enough to loan their boxing ring and two officers who put on ‘an excellent exhibition bout’. The closing of allotted football pitches in Sefton Park hindered Florence Richmond, Florence Olympic and Florence Albion’s seasons. However, there was a strong revival for the Cadets, which received many enquiries and the drive to reinstate it in early April.
An urgent push for volunteers to help restore the ‘usefulness of the Institute’ was arranged between The Florence Committee and headmaster of The Liverpool Institute, who suggested connecting with its own Old Boys Association. The School gave generous financial support and two to three volunteers each day, except Saturdays. Further support came from the Workers Committee who volunteered two older lads, two nights per week, to run the Club and superintend the issuing of games.
At the end of the year a friendly billiard match between the members and the Essex Police Station was arranged, for what was ’a very social evening’, despite a mauling from the police. Never the less this only determined the members to call for the installation of a small billiards table for the Juniors (under 18’s). A thirst for knowledge and for chess was in demand under the leadership of the Old Boys of The Liverpool Institute, who admitted boys in batches of 8 into the quiet Reading Room.
THE FLORENCE INSTITUTE
Registered Office: The Florence Institute Trust Ltd, 377 Mill Street, Liverpool L8 4RF. Charity Registration No: 1109301. Company Registration No: 05330850 (registered in England and Wales).