Honley Feast (1886)

Jennie Lee as "Jo"

The 1886 Honley Feast began on Sunday 26 September.

As in the previous years, the feast rail excursions proved extremely popular, with over 2,000 going to Liverpool on the Monday from Huddersfield Station. The Chronicle "a very large number of the holiday makers must have gone away from home in search of health and enjoyment, and it is hoped that they have not sought in vain."[1]

With many workers on holiday, the Theatre Royal was packed on Monday evening, where Miss Jennie Lee[2] played "Jo" the crossing-sweeper in John Pringle Burnett's stage adaptation of Charles Dicken's Bleak House.[3] The Chronicle noted that Miss Lee made the role "all her own, and the power and pathos which she throws into it are such as move even the most hardened habitues of the theatre."[4]

On the Sunday of the feast, Police Constable Marshall and Police Sergeant Shuttleworth observed John Shaw, dyer of Armitage Bridge, drinking outside of the prohibited hours during Honley Feast at the Wheat Sheaf Inn, Honley. In court, he was fined a total of 14 shillings.[5]

Notes and References

  1. "Honley Feast" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (28/Sep/1886).
  2. Wikipedia: Jennie Lee
  3. "Honley Feast" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (28/Sep/1886). By this time, Jennie Lee had been playing the role to great acclaim for over a decade.
  4. "Theatre Royal" in Huddersfield Chronicle (25/Sep/1886).
  5. "Honley Feast" in Huddersfield Chronicle (09/Oct/1886).