Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, 1897

Buckingham Advertiser, 1 May

  A public meeting convened by the Oddfellows’ Lodge to consider what steps should be taken to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, was held at the Bell Room, on Monday evening.  Mr. G. D. E. Wigley presided, and was supported by Mr. T. P. Willis, Dr. Kennish, Mr. W. S. Neal, and Mr. E. A. Illing, and amongst others present were Messrs. F. Lomas, J. Walker, A. J. Clear, W. Wise, C. Langley, W. H. Stevens, C. Freestone, J. White, W. Walker, C. Watson, W. [?J.]Gates, G. Pass, E. Parrott, J. C. Hawley, J. Jennings, E. Sturgess, Hancock (Great Horwood), etc.
  The Chairman in opening the meeting, said that although all over Great Britain the celebration of the Queen’s Jubilee had been taken up warmly, yet in Winslow they seemed to be moving rather sluggishly, and it had been left for the loyal Western Lodge of Oddfellows to prove their loyalty by taking the initiative.  At the same time, however, they had no idea of putting anyone else in the shade, or preventing them from taking part in the celebration, but simply because no one else was moving they were taking the matter up, and he thought it behoved every loyal subject in the town to warmly support them.  The scheme that had been drawn up was to have a band of music for the day; to secure the services of some clever acrobats; and also to give a tea, but exactly to what extent, and for whom the tea was to be, was not settled, but he thought a tea for the school children and the older and poorer inhabitants.  The question was whether the tea should be free or not, and he believed the general opinion was it should be free, if so, the cost of the whole, including band, acrobats and tents, would be £60 or £70, and if Winslow could not rise to such an event as the celebration of Her Most Gracious Majesty’s 60 year reign to that amount, it would be a disgrace to it (applause) …
  A suggestion was made that the same people who receive the bread charity should have the tea.
  Mr. T. P. Willis said the charity trustees always gave great thought and consideration to the allotment of the bread and other charities, so that they might be given to the deserving poor, and he should like on this occasion to see those considered deserving, who brought up their families respectably, and not a lot of loafers (applause).  He believed he was right in saying, and he did not mind it going forth in the press, that the reason the Parish Council had the list of charity recipients printed was because they believed a good many of them did not deserve it.  He would like to see every child have a tea, and the old people have a meat tea if there was funds enough, at the same time there would be sure to be grumbling from those left out, and the committee would not have a very pleasant job …
  Mr. F. Lomas said give the children and the deserving poor a free holiday, and let the rest pay.  At the gate and granted a fine day, they would take £20, they had taken £19 before, and he was sure they would get plenty of people from the villages, so that if they could secure £40 the rest would be covered by the gate money.
  Mr. Neal proposed that Mr. Lomas’ suggestion be carried out.
  Mr. Osborn seconded it, and it was carried unanimously.
  After a little more discussion, it was resolved on the proposition of Mr. Parrett, seconded by Mr. Neal, that the children be given a tea, and the deserving poor a meat tea, and that the Oddfellows’ Committee be empowered to carry out the arrangements - Mr. Parrett saying he thought it would be quite satisfactory to the town.
  A vote of thanks to the Chairman concluded the meeting, which lasted two hours.

Buckingham Advertiser, 5 June

  THE JUBILEE.- At a special meeting of the Oddfellows Jubilee Committee, it was resolved to entirely abandon the Jubilee scheme in consequence of the pecuniary support promised by the townspeople being insufficient, but to hold their own annual fete on the Jubilee Day.  As far as is at present known, this means the entire dropping of the public holiday, with the tea for children and deserving poor, the only other scheme before the public being a suggestion of the Hon. Rose Hubbard’s, “that a sustentation fund for the assistant ministry of the Parish Church would be a suitable form for the expression of our loyalty.”

Buckingham Advertiser, 12 June

  We are glad to be able to announce that in consequence of subscriptions coming in the Winslow Oddfellows’ Jubilee Committee will be able to give the children’s tea as originally intended - and it is also possible that the meat tea for the old people will be given as well, but this is not certain.

Buckingham Advertiser, 19 June

  Winslow people are just at the last moment making a strenuous effort to hold a memorable Jubilee Day- as will be seen by the following programme:- 6, peal of bells from the Church Tower; 7, roasting of three fat sheep; 11, grand procession, headed by the Fenny Stratford Prize Band, followed by gentlemen bicyclists in costume, Oddfellows, etc.; 12-30, public dinner in the Bell Assembly Rooms; 2-30, ladies’ floral bicycle show and parade; 3-15, gymnasts; 3-30, Old English and other sports; 3-40, tea to the children of the town; 4-30, meat tea to women and men; 5-30, gymnasts; 7-30, dancing.

Buckingham Advertiser, 26th June

  As intimated in our column last week, the inhabitants of this parish at the last moment, made up their minds to celebrate the Jubilee most loyally.  Stimulated, no doubt, by the gift of three sheep for roasting and by the additional pecuniary help from gentlemen of the town, so that at the close of the week the Committee commenced to make their arrangements in good earnest.
  On the Sunday there was the special services at the Parish Church, each service concluding with a verse of the National Anthem, and the Te Deum at the close of the day, while in the afternoon there was a special floral service in connection with the Sunday School.  At the Congregational Church, there were being held the annual Sunday School services, but the hymns included a specially chosen patriotic hymn, and the preacher, Rev. W. T. Bailstone, offered special prayers, and the National Anthem was also played as a voluntary by the organist, Miss Wigley.
  On Tuesday, the day was ushered in by a merry peal of bells from the Church tower.  The next thing was the carrying down of the Jubilee sheep (given by Mr. T. P. Willis, Mr. Geo. Wigley and Mr. H. Dancer), on a spit from Mr. J. Colgrove’s to the Market Square, where before a brick furnace, constructed by Mr. J. Keys, they were roasted under the superintendence of Messrs. J. Colgrove and W. Ingram, to the no small interest of a number of sightseers.  About 10 o’clock, the Market Square began to fill with people waiting to see

Sheep roast in the Market Square

Which however did not start much before 11.30.  It was headed by a fine Jubilee banner carried by two men with two lads holding the streamers, then came mounted Oddfellows in fancy costume, followed by the Fenny Stratford Volunteer Band, more mounted Oddfellows, then the Juvenile Lodge of Oddfellows, next the Fire Brigade in complete uniform with their engine, then the handsome banner of the Winslow Provident Society and members of ditto; more mounted Oddfellows, bicyclists in fancy costumes, and lastly Oddfellows on foot.  This procession traversed the whole town commencing with Sheep Street.
  About 12.30, a public dinner was provided at the Bell Hotel, when, amongst those present to the number of about 100, were Mr. G. Wigley, (who presided) supported by Mr. T. P. Willis… The Juvenile Oddfellows had a dinner to themselves, at which about 30 were present.
  Shortly after 2 o’clock, the day schools of the town met in the Market Square, under the superindendence of Mr. Pass, assisted by the various mistresses, etc., and after singing the National Anthem, proceeded to the field just opposite Winslow Hall, where was erected the tents, band stand, etc., and where a crowd of people soon assembled.  The sports’ programme commenced with a floral bicycle parade, and included the following Old English sports, which caused much amusement:- Chariot sack race, wheelbarrow race, brick race, races for boys and girls, women’s races, tug of war, donkey races, comical costume race, greasy pole.  A very special feature of the afternoon was the extremely good display of aerial gymnastics by “Nano, Nana, and Nano,” the very clever young gymnasts, provided by Mr. Hancock, of Great Horwood [formerly of The Bull].  Their performances were eagerly watched, and at the special request of the Committee, they gave two extra performances, so that all the visitors might have a chance of seeing them.  About 4 o’clock close upon 480 children sat down on the grass and partook of tea, forming such a sight a probably has never before been seen in this town, as they sat in circles with the busy waiters amongst them.  The adults’ tea was a little later on, when 438 men and women had a meat tea in the large tent.  This also was quite a scene, and the provision tent was almost more so, where Messrs. Colgrove and Ingram, and Mr. J. Colgrove were busy slicing up the hams, and the waiters were rushing to and fro.  In the evening the principal amusement was dancing.  About 560 paid to go into the field, the takings being £11, so that the total number present was about 1,500…
  On entering the town from the Buckingham Road, the first thing noticeable was a fine red, white and blue flag at the Hon. Rose Hubbard’s [White House].  Mr. John Buckingham’s mill [34 Buckingham Road] was decorated with two Union Jacks.  “The Beeches,” [28-18 Buckingham Road] occupied by Messrs. Pass and Sanderson, were prettily festooned with flags and Jubilee devices, and Mr. Jennings [12 Buckingham Road] had a large Union Jack flag on the roof, and a Royal Standard on the front of the house.  The Swan had a pretty Jubilee flag.  In Union Street, Mr. Elley had a large Union Jack [180 High Street].  Mr. E. Gibbs [168 High Street] displayed a good St. George’s Cross; the Stag Inn had a good Jubilee banner; on the Union House central chimney stacks were various flags, including a very large St. George’s Cross; Mr. S. J. [T.J.] Burbury [?124 High Street] also had a fine Royal Standard.  Down Avenue Road were festoons of flags reaching from side to side.  Coming further on towards the Post Office, almost every house displayed one or more flags, the most conspicuous being Messrs. J. Ingram [east side, now demolished], J. Colgrove [75 High Street], W. N. Midgley [77 High Street], Faulkner and Wise [63 High Street], and the “Chandos Arms” Inn.  Just above the Post Office [66 High Street] was a festoon of flags reaching across from Mr. Lomas’ to Mr. A. G. Stevens [60 High Street], and the latter had a variety of Jubilee flags and mottoes. Mr. F. Benbow [site of 56-58 High Street] also had a fine show of flags, etc., while Mr. F. Sear [west side, now demolished], in addition to a number of flags, had a mottoe in gold, V.I.R. the length of his carriage shop.  Mr. Kitto’s school was decorated with strings of flags, both in front and from the chimneys; and Mr. Harry Ingram [31 High Street] decorated his front with pot plants, as well as a large number of flags.  On the Church tower floated a fine Union Jack.  Mr. T. P. Willis [28-30 High Street] displayed four fine large flags; Mr. Sellar [24 High Street] had a variety of Jubilee devices, and Mr. E. J. French [22 High Street], besides a festoon across the road, and various flags, had a device, “V.R.,” 1837-1897, over the shop.   Mr. Russell’s blacksmith’s shop [3 High Street] was capitally decorated.  Mr. W. Ingram had a variety of flags, while Mr. J. C. Hawley showed the largest variety in the town.  Mr. Brown displayed a large flag, “V.R.,” 1837-1897; and Messrs. Fulks several devices, and a large red, white and blue flag.  Right across the Market Square, from the Bank to Mr. Turnham’s, was a large string of flags, and the Bank house was particularly gay.  Past the Bell down Horn Street and the Walk, were strings of flags, and Mr. Wigley’s house [Lawn House] was bedecked with flags of all colours.  Mrs. Newcombe’s and Mr. Bullock’s [?14 Horn Street] were well set out with flags.  The open space opposite the Congregational Church, had a string of flags and greenery across it, and a very large and handsome Royal Standard floated from the Congregational Church tower.  Mrs. R. W. Jones also had two large flags over the porch of Blake House.  In Sheep Street, Miss Reeves’ school, and Mr. W. H. Stevens were conspicuous for their decorations.
  The principal show was at the Union House, where there was a good show of Chinese lanterns, etc., at Mr. Kitto’s, High School, was a good display of coloured lights, with a transparency, “60 years and not out”; Mr. T. P. Willis had a very pretty row of coloured lights; Mr. E. J. French’s parapet was set out with paper lanterns, and the shop and house front with coloured lights, the whole forming a most effective decoration; Mr. Wm. Ingram’s front was very tastefully illuminated with coloured lights; at the Bank was a striking show of Japanese lanterns, etc., Mr. Baldwin had also a good show of these, and Messrs. Fulks the same, and Mr. Bridger displayed a very effective gas illumination, whilst down Sheep Street, Miss Reeves had a variety of coloured lights.  In the Buckingham Road, Mr. Sanderson had a most successful illumination.
  This consisted of a large heap of hedge-cuttings, nicely dry, and partly saturated in tar and paraffin.  It was just on the brow of Shipton Hill, and as for a short time, it blazed very fiercely, it must have been visible a good distance.

Buckingham Advertiser, 3rd July

  THE JUBILEE.- We are glad to state that the infirm old people were not forgotten at the Jubilee celebrations last week.  After deducting a usual Sunday’s collection, the balance (£3/11/-) was handed over to the Sick and Poor Fund.  The Vicar and Churchwardens were thus enabled to give a Jubilee gift to each aged or sick person in the parish, who was unable to take part in the social festivities.  About 40lbs. of meat that was left over from Tuesday was also given to them.

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Copyright 3 January, 2022