Wheathampstead anniversary fete 1876

  • Posted on: 14 September 2009
  • By: David Thrale


On Monday, July 17th, the first anniversary fete took place in connection with the Ancient Order of Foresters established in this village in connection with the Luton district in February of the present year, and which Court now numbers 96 members.

The brothers met at their Court House, know as the Bell and Crown kept by host George Bray, at a quarter to one o'clock, where they formed in line and the procession proceeded through the village, headed by brother Warren, mounted, in his Robin Hood dress; next came the chief officers of the Court and then the St Albans Volunteer Band, followed by brothers bearing the banners and insignia of the order. Having arrived at the north end of the village the procession halted in front of Viscount Kilcoursie's house, where the band played a short time, then returned through the village, again halting at Mr. W. Thrale's1 the band played a lively air, and proceeded to the meadow, so kindly lent by him, and here a good substantial hot dinner (which gave great satisfaction) was provided by host Bray in a large open barn handsomely and tastefully decorated by the brothers, 80 of whom sat down. Dinner being over, brother Warren, who was instrumental in raising this Court, was called upon to speak, and in appropriate terms proposed a vote of thanks to the officers of the Court for the way in which they had performed their duties, and also to brother Bar for the active part he took in the decorations.

A vote of thanks was then given to Mr. W. Thrale for the use of the meadow and also to Mr. J. Ransome for his kind assistance, which both met with a hearty response. In the meadow various kinds of amusements were provided for the people and children, the admission to the meadow being 3d. - school children half-price. Mr. J. Coles attended with his round-a-bouts, shooting-gallery, and various stalls; there were also foot races, hurdle and juvenile races. Early in the afternoon the tradespeople closed their shops, and the inhabitants generally appeared to spend a happy day. We noticed many brother Foresters from Harpenden, Luton, St. Alban's and Hatfield, who all spoke in high terms of the admirable manner in which every thing was conducted. About half-past nine the band marched out of the meadow, and after stopping on the way and giving Mr. W. Thrale three cheers, the company separated.

Herts Advertiser & St Albans Times. 29 July 1876 page 8.


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