Honley Feast (1881)

The 1881 Honley Feast took place between Sunday 25 September and Wednesday 28 September.

The Lockwood subcommittee of Huddersfield Town Council approved the free use of Lockwood Baths so that the Lockwood Swimming Club could put on entertainments during the feast. At the same meeting, a proposal by the "Misses Brooke and Miss Seddon" to provide a tea and fork tea for the inmates of Deanhouse Workhouse, Thongsbridge, following the feast.[1]

On the first day of the feast, music was performed at Town Head, Honley, and then at Primrose Hill, Lockwood, to help raise money for Huddersfield Infirmary.[2] At total of £32 was collected.[3]

The Chronicle reported that attractions in the fairground off Albert Street, Lockwood, included "old-fashioned long swing boats, a marionette theatre, an exhibition of waxworks, a phantoscopic show, the usual contrivances to test the strength of those who tried them, and dotted about were several sets of canaries, who were supposed to pick up papers for 1d. each which would give the investor a knowledge of his planet and his past and future history."[4]

Elsewhere, a parish flower show took place at Newsome National School and there was a cricket match at Armitage Bridge between the Lockwood and Lascelles Hall teams.

The Monday of the feast also included a special event — the formal turning on the Corporation's water supply to Honley. The first part of the event was the turning on of a jet of water at Steps Mill which "was thrown [upwards] to a considerable height" to demonstrate the excellent water pressure. The procession then continued up into the village, testing the supply at the foot of Townsgate, at Townsgate Head, and at Lower Westhouse.[5]

The Leeds Times reported that three elderly residents of Paddock — Mrs. Amelia Taylor (aged 85), Mrs. Sarah Thornton (85), and Mr. Joshua Thornton (87) — were determined to visit the feast so took a cab to Honley, before walking over to Netherton and later catching a train back to Lockwood, from where they walked home.[6]

On the evening of the Monday, greengrocer Fred Hardy assaulted weaver George Bradley of Robin Hood Hill, Berry Brow. Hardy's wife had been squired in the face with liquid and seemingly misidentified Bradley as the culprit and pushed him to the ground, before punching him repeatedly in the face. In court, Hardy was fined a total of 14 shillings for the assault.[7]

At the meeting of the Huddersfield School Board following the feast, Edward Brooke expressed his concern that giving children a holiday from school to attend the feast meant that the children "had been thrown amongst a lot of drunken people for three days." Joel Denham responded that he hoped that parents had taken opportunity of the cheap rail excursions to give their children a memorable day's holiday.[8]

Notes and References

  1. "Huddersfield Town Council" in Huddersfield Chronicle (24/Sep/1881).
  2. "Honley Feast" in Huddersfield Chronicle (01/Oct/1881).
  3. "Primrose Hill Oratorio" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (18/Oct/1881).
  4. "Honley Feast Again" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (27/Sep/1881).
  5. "Honley Feast: Official Opening of the Corporation Water Supply" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (27/Sep/1881).
  6. "Huddersfield" in Leeds Times (01/Oct/1881).
  7. "Assault" in Huddersfield Chronicle (08/Oct/1881).
  8. "Huddersfield School Board" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (04/Oct/1881).