Saturday, 2 February 2019

Hutton Rudby celebrates Queen Victoria's Jubilees, 1887 & 1897

In 1863, Hutton Rudby had celebrated the marriage of the Prince of Wales (the future Edward VII) in great style with flags, the brass band, tea and plum cake for 500 or 600 people, an immense bonfire and a firework display.  In 1887, the villagers prepared for another day of festival when Queen Victoria celebrated her Golden Jubilee.

Jubilee 1887 celebrations on Hutton Rudby Green
This remarkable photograph shows the crowds gathering around the maypole, newly erected for the purpose, on 21 June 1887.  The only account of the festivities that I can find in the newspapers is a few lines about the village's plans.  This appeared in the Whitby Gazette:-

Whitby Gazette, 21 May 1887
The inhabitants of this village have decided to celebrate the approaching Jubilee by a dinner for the aged poor, tea and medals for the children, old English sports, including a dance round a May pole, and a display of fireworks.
However, a memento of the Jubilee does exist, which conveys the ambitious scale of the event, and was kindly lent by Bob Hutchinson to Malcolm McPhie for scanning.  You can see this booklet in full on the Hutton Rudby History Society facebook page.  Here is its attractive front cover:-

I have transcribed the booklet, and will set it out here, broken up into paragraphs for easier reading.  I've left the punctuation as it was, but have corrected the spelling of Dr Snowdon and of Osmotherley, so that they may be found in an onlline search.  

You may notice that the date of the celebration was 21 June 1887, but the date is frequently given elsewhere as 20 June.  The Royal Family's website explains that the Jubilee was celebrated on both 20 and 21 June.

As to whether it was genuinely a letter found in Doctors Lane, I leave it to the reader to judge.  It begins with a foreword by Allan Bowes Wilson and Alfred Wilkinson Kindler:-

A Memento of the Celebration of Queen Victoria's Jubilee Year
Hutton Rudby, June 21st 1887
The following letter was found a few weeks ago in the Doctors lane and though evidently not intended for publication it gives so good a description of our rejoicings on the jubilee day that a copy will it is thought form a very agreeable memento of the day
We apologize to the writer and the person written to for the advantage taken of the discovery
Wishing you a very happy new year
We are
Yours faithfully
[signed]Allan Bowes Wilson
              A W Kindler

Hutton Rudby
Decr. 1887 
Hutton Rudby
June 23rd 1887
Dear Kitty
You remember what a jolly time we had when we were staying here with Auntie 3 years ago how we enjoyed ourselves and how we both joined in saying we never had so festive a time and never met a jollier lot of people than we met at Hutton then  Well you know I was delighted when I was invited to spend the jubilee week by Auntie though I was sorry that you could not come too as dear Harry was coming over to stay with you but I dare say you enjoyed yourself and you and Harry managed to get lost or lose yourselves 
The chairman of the committee who had charge of the arrangements was Mr A B Wilson you know what a good sort he is and the programme for the day of which I have got a copy for you was printed in Old English on rough paper and a time was arranged for everything and it was signed by a formidable list of secretaries some of whom you will remember. Here they are the schoolmaster Mr S Eyre, Mr T B Wilson, Mr Wm Chapman and Mr A W Kindler 
The morning was a lovely one and when we turned out on the green it was as pretty a sight as ever I saw  There was a triumphal arch at the brow of the hill and flags on each side of the road down to the wynd  The boys were already playing a cricket match and when the bandsmen with the children had assembled at the bottom of the village to receive the pretty gold stars the gift of the chairman which were hung round the girls necks with ribbons and pinned to the breast of the boys by an ornamental pin everyone had turned out.  Visitors came in from all round the district even from Stockton and Middlesbrough  
Then there was a service at the church which is a fine dear old building standing as it does in the Leven valley close by the river and surrounded by woods on the north and east  
Afterwards more medals were given to the children and everybody joined in a procession which reached from the school half way up the Doctors lane and marched round the village singing  
Then all the people formed a large ring round the maypole which had been given by Mr Pyman of Linden Grove  The maypole dance which I had never seen before is so pretty  The boys and girls about 20 of them who had been trained by the schoolmaster each held a colored ribbon which was fastened to the pole about half way up and then when the band played they moved round in and out singing as they went until the ribbons were plaited round the pole  
After this we had a presentation to that merry old gentleman Mr Mease who teased you so much when you were here of a timepiece and supports  During this time photographs had been taken by McLeish of Darlington of the scene  
Until tea time we had all sorts of sports skipping and racing  At tea time there was such a crowd everybody who came had a free tea and all of us had to work hard  At the school we had about 6 sittings down and Kitty Garbutt who had charge of the children at the Wesleyan School had as many
After tea and until dark we had more sports about half of which I can't tell you  There was the old game of Clout the bellman a lot of blindfolded men blindfolded with ugly masks carrying bag of flour running after a man who was not blinded who carried a bell  They kept hitting each other until they were all over flour  There was sack racing and old men racing racing over obstacles through barrels and all sorts of funny things I forgot to tell you about the donkey racing which was very amusing especially with the committee and later in the evening by others of which I will tell you some other time 
After the sports were over there was dancing on the green and an immense bonfire  Some were playing Kiss in the ring and other games and some were dipping for coins in an electric bath provided by Dr Snowdon  After the fireworks everybody went up to the bonfire and there was a lot of speechmaking and cheering  Mr Wilson Mr Pyman Mr Jas Kindler Dr Snowdon and Mr Thompson from Osmotherley all made speeches  After that we went in but the men kept it up until about 2 o'clock in the morning I heard cousin Bob say he had an awful spree  I do wish you could have been here it was one of the best days I ever had 
Of course [blank] was with me the whole day and took care of me  If all Jubilees were kept as they keep them in Hutton I wish they would happen every month
With love to all
I am
Yours affectionately
An appendix is added, listing the prize winners at the sports

So we can see from the Memento that the photograph at the top of this post was taken by Mr McLeish of Darlington, and the maypole was provided by Mr Pyman of Linden Grove.

Notes on people mentioned

Allan Bowes Wilson (c1839-1932) and his brother Thomas Bowes Wilson (1845-1929) ran the Sailcloth Mill and were considerable figures in the village

Samuel Eyre was the village schoolmaster.  He died aged 60 on 18 November 1914.

William Chapman farmed at Old Hall, Sexhow.  He was for many years a churchwarden and Superintendent of the Sunday School.  He was in his sixties when he died in 1916.  The font cover was donated to All Saints' church by his siblings in his memory.

Alfred  Wilkinson Kindler was a Stockton solicitor.  The family lived for a time at Eden Cottage on Belbrough Lane.

Mr Thomas English Pyman of Linden Grove (and for more on the house, see here) was a member of the Cleveland shipowning family.  After living in Hutton Rudby for many years, he and his family moved on to West Hartlepool.  Sadly he died there at the age of 49 – his death is noted with much regret in the Parish Magazine in 1892.

Mr Mease.  This must be Joseph Mellanby Mease (1827-1928).  For more on the Mease family, see here

Percy A F Blair.  Percy Alexander Field Sadler (1866-1906) took his wife's surname Blair after the death of her brother.  For the Blairs of Drumrauch Hall see here

Alexander Park was a gentleman farmer who retired to live at Leven House (across the river from the church) with his elderly spinster sisters in the late 19th century.  Mr Park was for years the honorary secretary of the Hurworth Hunt, and was said not to have made a single enemy during all his time in office.  On his last day out with the hounds he and his old black horse had a combined age of ninety-nine.  He and his sisters were very generous and active in village and church life: the choir stalls and altar rails were given to the church by the family.  He died on 8 May 1914.

Henry Chapman (born 1859) the son of Henry Chapman (1800-78), farmers of Enterpen.  Henry built Highfield on Enterpen when he retired from farming.

Bartholomew Goldsbrough, butcher.  For more on Bartholomew Goldsborough (both spellings seem to occur) see The planting of the trees on Hutton Rudby green

George Smith.  George Henry Smith farmed at White House [Bulmer's Directory 1890]

John Goldsbrough.  Mr John Goldsborough is listed in Bulmer's Directory 1890 at the Gospel Temperance Hall.

Dr Anthony Snowdon lived at Ravensthorpe on Doctors Lane.  For more on Dr Snowdon, his car and the story of the pet raven, see A History Walk round Hutton Rudby.  He died aged 66 in 1920

Hutton Rudby Invitation Ball 1887
This programme for an Invitation Ball to be held that same year also survives, and Malcolm McPhie suggests that it probably relates to the Jubilee as well, but was evidently not held on the same day.  Thirty-six dances, in two parts, with supper in the middle at midnight, and festivities to end a 6 o'clock in the morning!

We don't know where this Ball was held, but I think it was probably in the Schoolroom.

Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, 1897

The success of the celebrations of 1863 and 1887 set a pattern for the future, and when the old Queen's Diamond Jubilee came around, there were grand plans made.  Luckily a programme survives in Miss Winifred Blair's scrapbook.  I made notes from it in the days before scanning documents and photographs was easily done - I do hope Malcolm is able to go through the Blair albums!

As in 1887, the 1897 programme was written in Olde Englishe:-
Ye Ceremonyes and Games at ye Rejoycyngs on Ye Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria, at ye town of Hutton Rudby, June 22nd , 1897…Chairman:  Myster Allan Bowes Wilson … Commyttee:  Mysters P A F Blair, William Chapman, Alexander Park, Henry Chapman, Barthw. Goldsbrough, George Smith, John Goldsbrough and Dr Snowdon
The day started at 8:30 am with boys and girls at school being given 1/- (one shilling) each by Allan Bowes Wilson – then there was cricket – thanksgiving service – parade – Maypole – children’s tea – aged people given half-crowns – games and sports – great "fyre" at 10 o’clock

Again in 1911 and in 1937, the village celebrated with fervour.  The 1977 Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II was celebrated in style, and can be glimpsed on this video, while these videos on youtube show the Village Event in the 1990s.

Photographs courtesy of the Hutton Rudby & District Local History Society.  

Visit their Facebook page for many more!

1 comment:

  1. Great, interesting article about another aspect of village life that I hadn't considered before. I'm intrigued by the photograph showing the celebrations on Hutton Rudby Green; a few of my ancestors were almost certainly hiding in that crowd somewhere.