Honley Feast (1894)

The 1894 Honley Feast began on weekend of 22/23 September.

Towards the end of August, the Huddersfield Rugby Union Committee wrote to all of the local district teams asking them to respond with the names of six players of their players, from which the opposition team to play against Huddersfield at the annual Honley Feast match would be selected.[1] The match took place on the Tuesday of the feast.

On the Friday before the feast, the Chronicle reported:[2]

This time-honoured observance of Honley Feast, which is kept up in many parts of the world by those who have gone out from the "affected" locality, commences to-morrow. As far as the immediate district is concerned the feast is certain to be kept up with vigour, and even though trade has not been so brisk as it might have been, the various housewives may be trusted to make the best provision possible for the visitors who are certain to visit the neighbourhood during the next few days.

The fairgound at Lockwood extended from the railway station to "the field behind Messrs. Whiteley's works" and was illuminated by "gas, oil, and electricity". In their observation, the fair was visited by "thousands of people".[3]

At least one visitor from Holmfirth was unimpressed by the facilitates at Lockwood station, particularly the need to cross the track to get to the other platform. Writing to the editor of the Chronicle, the author described who he'd witnessed a group who "had imbibed too freely of the feast beer" crossing the line, when one of them "toppled a helpless mass across the metals" — fortunately the approaching train was still some distance away and the man "was rescued, and sent home to Meltham to pad the hoof."[4] The writer ended by saying "it appears high time the company set to work to improve their stations on this branch line, so that they will compare with the Colne Valley station."[5]

On the Monday of the feast, the Salem Chapel at Berry Brow held a "love feast"[6] which proved so popular that "the chapel was literally packed" and upwards of 500 were seated for the meal.[7]

Notes and References

  1. "Huddersfield Rugby Union" in Huddersfield Chronicle (25/Aug/1894).
  2. "Honley Feast" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (21/Sep/1894).
  3. "Honley Feast" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (25/Sep/1894).
  4. To pad or beat the hoof meant to walk, so presumably the man was ejected from the station and was forced to walk home to Meltham.
  5. "Correspondent: Lockwood Railway Station" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (28/Sep/1894).
  6. Wesleyan Leadership: The Love Feast
  7. "Salem Chapel, Berry Brow" in Huddersfield Chronicle (29/Sep/1894).