Honley Feast (1891)

The 1891 Honley Feast began on Sunday 20 September.

The Chronicle reported that it was one "of the most dreary Honley Feasts known" due to the heavy rain. However, as they noted, "holidays of this character cannot be altered or changed in accordance with the vagaries of the Clerk of the Weather" and "with that determination so characteristic of Yorkshiremen, the people were not altogether dismayed."[1]

The Lockwood fairground was situated in a field behind Messrs. Whiteley's Ironworks, although the weather "interfered with the business". However, both the Theatre Royal and Rowley's Theatre of Varieties "were both crowded to their utmost capacity" with the former performing the drama "The Grip of Iron". At Rowley's, there was "the remarkably clever acrobatic display of the Carlo troupe" as well as the "witty sayings and funny doings of Lisburn and Omarr."[2]

On the Monday of the feast, the Huddersfield and District Cycling Association held the first of what they hoped will be an annual 100 mile race from Huddersfield to Retford and back. On offer was a 25 guinea cup which the winner would hold for the year. The association also arranged to hold a "grand lantern parade" on 30 September to raise money for Huddersfield Infirmary.[3]

On the day of the race, eight competitors turned up: F. Collins, F. Beaumont, W. Turner, T. Thorburn, W. Blamires, J.W. Collins (Marsden), J. Siswick (Paddock), and F.L. Beardsell. Mr. H.A. Crowther was the judge, and he travelled by train to Retford to confirm the timings for those who made it that, before returning by train to finish line on Ravensknowle Road, Dalton. The heavy rain made "the roads a miserable condition", with the cyclists starting from Emmanuel Church at Lockwood. Beardsell only made it as far as Honley before his bicycle failed, and Thorburn broke down before reaching Barnsley. On the return leg, J.W. Collins gave up at Doncaster and F. Collins at Barnsley. The winner with a time of 8 hours 52 minutes was W. Turner.[4]

Also on the Monday afternoon of the feast, a rugby union match took place at Paddock between Huddersfield and a District team, watched by around 100 spectators. The weather made handling the ball difficult and the Chronicle described the play as "scratchy" for the most part. The Huddersfield team won by four goals and one try.[5]

Charles Rich, who claimed to be a pedlar from Doncaster, was charged will picking the pocket of Emma Sykes, wife of Charles Sykes of Netherton, on the Tuesday of the feast. Emma had felt a hand in her pocket and turned round, finding her purse missing. She accused Rich who was detained by the stallholder until the police arrived. He was sentenced to three week's hard labour.[6]

William Lambert and Henry Harman were charged with gambling with dice at Honley on the Wednesday of the feast. Sergeant Anthony and Police Constable Marshall saw a large group of men crowded around Lambert and Harman, but on seeing the police approach, the crowd scattered. As Lambert had a previous conviction, he was sentenced to a month's hard labour whilst Harman was sent to gaol for 2 weeks.[7]

Notes and References

  1. Huddersfield Chronicle (26/Sep/1891).
  2. "Lockwood: Honley Feast" in Huddersfield Chronicle (26/Sep/1891).
  3. "Cycling" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (04/Sep/1891).
  4. "Huddersfield Cycling Association" in Huddersfield Chronicle (26/Sep/1891).
  5. "Huddersfield v. The District" in Huddersfield Chronicle (26/Sep/1891).
  6. "Alleged Pocket Picking" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (25/Sep/1891).
  7. "Gambling at Honley Feast" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (25/Sep/1891).