Task 2: Statistics and other facts in part of Rowntree’s speech

• Read the section ‘Writing to Persuade – Key Techniques

• As you read the speech you will find lots of examples of “QUES QUES FOARR”

• For this exercise, point to the parts of the speech where Rowntree uses statistics and other facts.

“With the boys we have sought to encourage manliness of character and self–control among other agencies by promoting outdoor games in leisure time and gymnastic exercise during the hours of work; the girls also receive gymnastic lessons, and we seek to give them some preparation for married life by lessons, under skilled teachers, on hygiene, cookery, and dressmaking.

York, in my childhood, was a very different place from what it is to–day. The population is three times what it was in 1841 (28,842). At that time fields or orchards were to be seen in the Groves. The streets to the north of Lawrence Street had not been built, neither had those between Holgate Lane and the railway. The city was then content with one bridge over the Ouse instead of the four with which the river is now spanned.

A striking fact is the diminution in the death rate. As late as the period 1861–1870 it was 24 per 1,000. Last year it was slightly less than half that, namely 11.9. This reduction in the death rate means the saving of over 1,000 lives a year in a city of 86,000 population.

The diminution in the death–rate has been brought about partly by the better understanding of the laws of health. But this knowledge would have availed little had it not led to definite action on the part of the City Councils.

We shall put first the improved drainage in 1866 , when the Act was obtained for purchasing the Foss Navigation and draining part of the city. Before 1866 the Foss was little better than an open drain. I distinctly remember how, as a child, I used to run quickly over the Foss Bridge to escape the stench from the water.

Another powerful agency was the adoption of bye–laws so that all new streets should be so wide that sunlight and fresh air should have free course in them, and that all plans for new buildings should come under the supervision of a committee of the Town Council. The city owes much to the steady and laborious work of those who have thus guarded and improved the health of the citizens.

We are told that about one death out of every ten in York, as in England and Wales generally, is due to tuberculosis, and that consumption is a preventable disease. A resolute campaign against this scourge, carried on for a few years, would probably be attended with great results.

The progress in popular education during my life time has been almost as remarkable as the improvement in public health. Along with an improvement in the buildings and equipment of the newer schools has gone a general advancement in the number and attainments of the teaching staff in all our elementary schools.

In England and Wales in the five years 1841–1846, approximately one in three of the men and one in two of the women who married signed the marriage register with marks instead of writing their names.

At the present time these illiterate marriages are almost unknown. Here again we may note how much the city owes to those who have served on the School Boards and upon the Education Committees of the Town Council, as well as to those who, in the days when the value of education was so little understood, labored in the establishment and maintenance of voluntary schools.

The Free Library, opened in 1893, takes its place among the powerful educational agencies of the city, with its more than 20,000 volumes in addition to its lending and reference library, magazines and news–rooms liberally supplied.

There is another improvement in the city, upon which we may look with unalloyed satisfaction. I refer to the vastly increased purity of our municipal and parliamentary elections.