Honley Feast (1895)

The 1895 Honley Feast began on the weekend of 20/21 September.

Huddersfield Chronicle (21/Sep/1895)

On the feast Monday, a couple of trotting events took place at Mr. Robert Taylor's new horse racecourse at Harden Moss, "situate equi-distance from Holmfirth and Meltham railway stations" and "below Wood Cottage Hotel." The track was 900 yards in distance. Taylor had reportedly just finished erecting a grandstand and, together with the adjoining enclosure, could accommodate "about 1,000 people".[1]

On the day, the Chronicle estimated between 6,000 to 8,000 attended the races but complained that the new grandstand didn't give spectators a view of the entire racecourse. Two horses were disqualified for galloping (named "Just in Time" and "Stanley R") and both trotting races were ultimately won by "Jolly Boy."[2]

For the feast week, the Theatre Royal staged "the great and spectacular drama 'Human Nature'", written by Sir Augustus Harris[3] and Henry Pettitt[4], under the direction of Henry Dundas.[5]

The Moorbottom Congregational Chapel held a "annual travellers' tea and Gospel temperance meeting" on the Sunday afternoon, which was attended by around 50 people. The Chronicle noted that "this event had long since established itself as one of the great events of Honley Feast."[6]

Huddersfield Chronicle (21/Sep/1895)

Rather than playing their Honley Feast rugby football match against district team, Huddersfield played Oldham at the Fartown pitch.

The Salem Methodist New Connexion Chapel at Berry Brow held its annual "Love Feast" on the Monday of the feast — "This annual gathering has been held for more than 60 years, and friends come from far and near to recount their religious experiences."[7]

In their summary, the Chronicle reported that "never within recent years has beautiful weather been associated with the celebration of this popular feast" and that it had been "quite hot and summerlike." Due to the weather, the cheap rail excursions to the coast proved extremely popular. The main fairground was located at Moor End, Lockwood, and was "visited by thousands."[8]

John Ibberson, horse dealer of Firth Street in Huddersfield, celebrated his 49th birthday on the Tuesday of the feast with friends. Unfortunately, the worse for drink, he was stopped by the police on Manchester Road at around 11:15pm and charged with "being drunk whilst in charge of a horse and trap." In total, he was fined 15s. 10d.[9]

Notes and References

  1. "Harden Moss and its Racecourse" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (20/Sep/1895).
  2. "The Harden Moss Races" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (24/Sep/1895).
  3. Wikipedia: Augustus Harris
  4. Wikipedia: Henry Pettitt
  5. "Claude Duval at the Theatre Royal" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (17/Sep/1895) and "Next Week at the Theatre" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (20/Sep/1895).
  6. "Honley: Moorbottom Congregational Chapel" in Huddersfield Chronicle (28/Sep/1895).
  7. "Salem Methodist New Connexion Chapel, Berry Brow" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (27/Sep/1895).
  8. "Honley Feast" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (25/Sep/1895).
  9. "Enjoying a Birthday" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (26/Sep/1895).