Honley Feast (1860)

The 1860 Honley Feast took place between Sunday 23 September and Wednesday 26 September.

The Huddersfield Chronicle reported in the days before the feast that the cabbage harvest had been poor, forcing up prices. However, given the volume of cabbage leaves littering the streets, the reporter felt there would be enough to go around. Similarly, the price of beef was higher than usual. However, there appeared to be plenty of the third key essential — beer.[1]

In their write-up of the feast, the Chronicle noted that that it took place "over an area of about twelve square miles" and an estimated £8,000 to £10,000 had been "spent in feasting". Both Pablo's Circus and Wild's Theatre provided entertainments, along with the "astonishing" Madame Salvi, who walked along a high wire 48 feet above the ground to the hushed awe of the crowds below.[2] This was almost certainly a misspelling of the noted French tightrope walker Madame Saqui, who was in her mid-seventies by that time.[3]

It was also reported that "Cheap John" was in attendance, of whom, the Chronicle noted rather cryptically, "nothing need be said."[4]

Notes and References

  1. "Honley: Signs of the Feast" in Huddersfield Chronicle (22/Sep/1860).
  2. "Honley: The Feast" in Huddersfield Chronicle (29/Sep/1860).
  3. Wikipedia: Madame Saqui
  4. This was a generic term for an itinerant cookware and cutlery salesman. However, there appears to have been a regular in the district whose name was Mr. Nicolson and who sold his wares from a caravan.