Honley Feast (1854)

The 1854 Honley Feast took place between Sunday 24 September and Wednesday 27 September.

Attendance on the Sunday was relatively low due to poor weather, however the Examiner reported that there was no lack of roast beef which was "done ample justice by the fortunates who did arrive." The weather improved for the other days and, as usual, the newspaper took exception to the "occasional group of drunken reckless young men with their short pipes, disturbing the neighbourhood with their loud bawlings and oaths."[1] However, the Chronicle reported that "there has not been such hand-over-head drinking among the working-class as formerly."[2]

Thomas Hobson, Walker Marsden and George Heaps were charged with gambling on the public highway after being caught playing pitch and toss on the Monday of the feast. Superintendent Heaton reported that Heaps "was a manufacturer who knew better" and was determined to gamble "in spite of the law". Accordingly, Heaps was fined £2 whilst the other two were fined 5s. each.[3]

Around the time of the feast, Superintendent Heaton had apparently heard a rumour that gold could be found in a certain part of Honley. Together with some of his constables, they went digging and indeed found gold-coloured nuggets. However, when they were examined at the Guildhall in Huddersfield, they turned out to be worthless.[3]

Notes and References

  1. "Honley: The Feast" in Huddersfield and Holmfirth Examiner (30/Sep/1854).
  2. "Meltham: The Feast" in Huddersfield Chronicle (30/Sep/1854).
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Huddersfield: Unsuccessful Diggers" in Leeds Times (07/Oct/1854).