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Orangemen and -women

17 January 2014

January 16th, 1914.

[The Church Times, at this time concerned about the possibility of civil war in Ireland if the Home Rule Bill were passed, nevertheless seized the chance to strike a lighter note.]

THE Orangemen of Ulster have occupied public attention for a long time, and now it is the turn of the Orangewomen of Drury-lane. Ever since the Restoration period women have been permitted to sell oranges in or around the Drury-lane Theatre, but, owing to the congestion of traffic in these crowded days, they have been threatened with dismissal. It was not to be supposed that, with so long a tradition behind them, the orange-sellers would tamely surrender what they had come to consider a right, and accordingly they presented themselves the other day before the Home Secretary. Mr McKenna, we are glad to say, took the history of their industry into consideration, and removed the ban, but reserved to himself the power to reduce their number if it should be found necessary. For their own sakes, in the first place, we are pleased that they have made good their cause; and we are pleased, also for the reason that we are allowed to retain this relic of the life of that older London which is vanishing year by year under our very eyes. Orangemen are objectionable people, but they have their rights. Long, therefore, may the Orangewomen haunt Drury-lane and the Orangemen continue under the Union Jack.

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