Honley Feast (1882)

The 1882 Honley Feast began on Sunday 24 September.

The Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (25/Sep/1882) reported:

Yesterday, being the Sunday following the 19th of September, the annual celebration of the noted Honley Feast, took place. Thousands of persons, of all ages and stations in life, were to be seen from the early morning making their way both in conveyances and on foot towards the villages within the "bounds," at all of which the feast is rigidly observed. Not a few of those visiting the feast availed themselves of the special trains to and fro during the day and evening. Lockwood was especially busy, and was visited by a large number of people during the day. Two musical services were announced to take place at Honley, in aid of the Huddersfield Infirmary.

The weather on the Monday of the feast remained dry until around 6pm, when rain began to fall for around 30 minutes. By the evening, the fairground in Lockwood "presented a very animated appearance [...] in consequence of he lights on the outside of the shows", the most popular of which was reportedly the "ghost show." The other attractions included the "Great European Circus", a "temple of mystery", exhibitions of "fat ladies" and "mechanical inventions", and a "dog, monkey and goat show." Amongst the booths was one containing "friendly Zulus" and another with "the smallest child in the world." In one corner of the field was "Tom Parfitt's Sparring Pavilion" and elsewhere was Ginnett's Circus, who "paraded the principal streets of the town."[1]

On the Tuesday of the feast, Ginnett's Circus moved to the cricket field at Holmfirth. Despite poor, attendance was high with "Funny Fred Hall" and his "performing ponies and donkey" causing "considerable merriment."[2]

As in previous years, the issue of whether or not to close the local schools during the feast proved contentious. At a Huddersfield School Board meeting, Owen Balmforth reported that attendance at local schools in the two days before the feast began was 2,150 but that it dropped to 1,121 during the Monday and Tuesday of the feast.[3]

Notes and References

  1. "Honley Feast Monday" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (26/Sep/1882).
  2. "Ginnett's Circus at Holmfirth" in Huddersfield Chronicle (30/Sep/1882).
  3. "Huddersfield School Board: The Board Schools and Honley Feast Week" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (04/Sep/1883).