Huddersfield Chronicle (24/Dec/1873) - The Christmas Market in Huddersfield

The following is a transcription of a historic newspaper article and may contain occasional errors. If the article was published prior to 1 June 1957, then the text is likely in the Public Domain.


For many years past Huddersfield has been noted for the excellency of its supply of beef, mutton, pork, and other substantial of life, and particularly so at Christmas time, when every butcher, game dealer, and others vie with each other as to who shall not only have the best show in quantity, but also in quality. This year, however, has in both these respects exceeded all its predecessors, for whether it be the carcases of oxen, sheep, calves, or pigs, nothing hitherto has approached the show made this festive season. Nor has the game been a whit behindhand, for never did such an immense quantity of hares, rabbits, geese, turkeys, snipes, pheasants, ducks, and other game arrive here as has been witnessed during the latter end of last and the beginning of this week. The grocers and other shopkeepers have also kept up their reputation for their neatness in the method of dressing their windows and the first-rate quality of articles exposed for sale.

In meat, Mr. Joseph Kaye, of Victoria Street, has a splendid show of beef, the best being a splendid prize oxen, bred and fed by the Duke of Cleveland, and which weighed over one hundred stone, the quality being unexceptionable. Large numbers of persons, notwithstanding the inclemency of the weather, inspected the show yesterday. In addition to this one, Mr. Kaye had several other animals equally good, but not so heavy, together with a large number of South Down sheep, each over 100lbs. in weight, and also a number of well-fed calves, reared by farmers in the neighbour hood — Mr. John Hudson, whose beef was well and solidly fed, and who slaughtered ten fine animals, several of them prize ones all Scots, and which weighed on the average 72 stone each, had also a fine show. Twenty fine South Downs, each 100lbs. weight, were also killed for him, the quality of which was unexceptionable. In this shop was also exhibited an extraordinary fit sheep of the Lincolnshire breed, the carcase of which weighed 224lbs., and one leg from it 29lbs. This was ticketed as follows:— “Shearling wether; first prize, Birmingham, first prize, Sleaford. Bred and fed by John Byron, Esq., Kirnby Green, Sleaford, Lincolnshire.” A number of well-fed calves in the immediate locality also graced this shop. At the establishment of Mr. William Henry Kaye there was an abundant display of excellently-fed, useful beef, the animals, before slaughtering, averaging 64 stone weight each. About a dozen well-fed Lincolnshire sheep, fed by Mr. Walton, and averaging 100lbs. each, were exhibited, and found ready customers when cut up. There was a number of first-rate calves, bred and fed by Mr. John Haigh, of Golcar. Mr Peter Kaye exhibited several first-rate Scotch animals that produced excellent and useful beef, besides a number of very fine sheep, fed by Mr. Joe Sheard, of Hopton, that weighed 100lbs. each, and several good calves, fed by Mr. B. Hirst, of Thurston Land. Mr. Thomas Sheard has an excellent show of good, useful beef, mutton, &c., and so has several other butchers in the Shambles. Mr. W.W. Abby, Kirkgate, has, according to his former efforts, again a fine show of veal, and a goodly number of calves, from Cheshire, gracing his shop. A large number of first-class pork pigs, from the same county, were also in the possession of Mr. Abby, the show of which was marred by the inclemency of the weather, as was also the exhibition of the finest supply of Cheshire geese ever consigned to him, but which were mostly cleared out last night, notwithstanding the high prices demanded. Mr. Ellis, Westgate, and Mr. Chapman, West Parade, exhibited extensive shows of first-class beef, mutton, &c., which were well patronised. Other butchers in the town, both on Saturday and yesterday, produced fine displays of useful flesh meat of all kinds, which met ready sale among the working-classes.

The game dealers in the town have surpassed all their former efforts in catering for the wants of the increasing population, their supplies of hares, rabbits, turkeys, ducks, &c., being on a much larger scale than ever was known before. The finest and most extensive display was at the shops of Mr. Joseph Bradley and Mr. John Henry Wood, Victoria Street, the fronts of whose shops were profusely decorated with evergreens. &c., from the eaves to the ground; at the same time there being rows of splendid turkeys, hares, pheasants, woodcocks, snipe, rabbits, and other poultry, while the shop boards groaned under the weight of Cheshire, Irish, and other geese, dressed rabbits, fowls, &c., for all of which there was yesterday an extraordinary demand. At the shop of Mary North, Westgate, there was a valuable exhibition of game, geese, &c.. the hares being of superior quality, all of which were from Cheshire, and although the prices were somewhat high, the demand for them was very great. In other articles, such as pheasants, partridges, ducks, rabbits, &c., Mrs. North fully maintained her reputation for excellence in quality and extent of choice. Mr. John Ellis, Westgate, also produced an excellent assortment of the same kind of supplies, and was most liberally patronised. Mr. Muir, of the Beast Market, both on Saturday and yesterday, had a splendid assortment of hares, rabbits, geese, turkeys, &c., many of the latter being the finest exhibited in the town, some averaging from sixteen to twenty pounds each, and two of them — exceedingly fine birds — weighed together forty-three pounds and a half. The shop was also most tastefully decorated, under the superintendence of Mrs. Muir, which had a very pretty effect.

The pork butchers have this year outshone all their former efforts, both as to size, quantity, and quality. Mr. C. Bernin, Cross Church Street, slaughtered twenty-five well-fed bacon pigs, averaging from fourteen to sixteen stone each, all of which were of extremely fine quality, and two enormous prize pigs, each weighing about forty stone, the dressing and decorations of which were neat, chaste, and ornamental. The finest — if there was any difference — was bred by the Earl of Ellesmere and fed by Colonel Fenton, banker, Rochdale. The other was bred and fed by Mr. John Wainwright, high bailiff to Colonel Fenton. In addition, a large number of sucking pigs were on view. The shop window had been artistically and gracefully decorated by Mrs. Bernin, and exhibited an enormous number of pork pies of all sizes, tempting to the eye, and no doubt to the palate. For Mr. Henry Falck, Market Walk, no fewer than 28 pigs, principally from 14 to 18 stone, were slaughtered, and the quality was equal to the size. In addition a monster grunter, bred and fed by Mr. J.W. France, manufacturer, Brockholes, was exhibited, which, by estimation, weighed from 43 to 50 stone, and was highly dressed and prettily decorated. Each side of this pig was flanked by two magnificent pigs, fed and bred by Mr. Garside, of Birchincliff, which weighed about 26 stone each, and were admired by hundreds who saw them. Several suckers were also in possession of Mr. Falck.

Mr. Sheppard, King Street, had 24 first-class pigs, ranging from 14 up to 45 stone each, all of them very pretty pigs. Among the number were two of the pure small kind, bred from stock of Mr. C.F. Hallas, Manchester Road, who for this breed has obtained no fewer than 10 silver cups and two silver medals — three being obtained this year — all of which were yesterday exhibited in Mr. Sheppard’s window. Among the remainder were four other prize pigs from Cumberland, weighing about 40 stone each. A large and choice assortment of pork pies was also exhibited in the shop window, which was neatly decorated. A fine young pig about four stone weight, of the Prince of Wales pure breed, was exhibited in the window, and attracted much attention.

The shop of Mr. George Croxton, fruitist, Westgate, was decorated with the choicest assortment of the most delicious fruit ever exhibited in Huddersfield. The exhibition included magnificent specimens of English and foreign fruit, especially grapes, pineapples, Jersey pears, American apples, St. Michael oranges, &c. There were also a large assortment of French boxes. Cosaques, bonbons, &c. Altogether, the display was rich in the extreme, while the perfume from the delicious productions was almost overpowering. At the establishment of H. Forsyth, New Street, there was a splendid show of both English and foreign fruit, together with a display of German, Italian, and other goods. Among the specialities were some fine and handsomely-grown English pineapples, grapes, melons, Jersey pears, Italian pears, French fancy boxes, bon-bons, crystallised fruits, and Cosaques of every description. In other departments Mr. Forsyth had a splendid display of German dried tongues, sausages, and Wiltshire smoked chines. One speciality in this establishment is the great display of English ox tongues, both smoked and fresh out of pickle, with an endless choice of German stock, York, and Norfolk turkeys, geese, pheasants, American apples, &c., &c. The only drawback to a magnificent show was the unpleasant weather, which prevented any outdoor show, and proved much worse to shopkeepers than if it had been a thorough downpour of rain.