Honley Feast (1859)
The 1859 Honley Feast took place between Sunday 25 September and Wednesday 28 September.
The Huddersfield Chronicle reported that the week before the feast saw Honley a hive of activity, with housewives busy with "brush and broom in hand" and the local butchers preparing the large amount of beef that was expected to be consumed — "Such are the preparations for this noted village festival."
The Chronicle also noted that an unusual aspect of the feast was the unveiling on the Wednesday afternoon of a new organ at the Wesleyan Chapel on the High Street in Honley. Reported as having a "noble appearance", it had "18 stops, and has a fine, rich, and powerful tone."
The weather on Sunday was "boisterous and wet" but the visitors "poured in like an invading army" and the weather cleared for the afternoon.
Monday saw lots of food stalls being set up, with cries of "taste and try before you buy" ringing out. Small tents were erected for a circus, a theatre giving a performance of "The Babes in the Wood", and various curious sights, such as a "great fat lad, only one penny" to view. A cricket match also took place, which Honley lost.
Tuesday was reportedly a quiet day, with many of the visitors going instead to Huddersfield, and rain on the final day caused most people to shelter in the various inns and taverns.
Stallholders Catherine Murry, James Whiteley of Clayton, John Blake of Manchester, Hannah Haigh of Almondbury, James McGrath of Sheffield, and George Hinchcliffe of Holmfirth were also charged with using defective weights by Inspector Kaye.