A JUBILEE THANK-YOU
HOW THEY DID IT IN 1887
After many weeks of planning, and anxious eyes on the weather, Saturday 1st June dawned bright and the sun shone all day. It was the start of the Queen's Golden Jubilee weekend, and the day chosen for our own celebration on the village green. We welcomed lots of Society members old and new to our stalls arranged around the Queen Victoria monument, and a steady trickle of passers-by attracted by the colourful bunting strung between the trees. It was gratifying that so many members willingly gave up their time to help out. The original idea was simply to promote the name and achievements of the Society, and also to remind local residents that the Green - along with the bust of the Queen, and the Institute in Grange Lane - was given to the people of Gateacre in honour of a previous Golden Jubilee: Queen Victoria's in 1887. (The donor was the wealthy brewer Sir Andrew Barclay Walker, not the Queen herself as erroneously reported in Merseymart!). But the event also proved to be a useful fund-raiser, as our souvenir history packs, tea-towels and framed prints were in great demand all day - as were the plants, books and other items which had been donated by members for sale.
Our grateful thanks go to:
The Bear & Staff, for donating bunting.
The Gateacre Institute, for putting up the bunting on the Saturday morning and taking it down again at the end of the long Jubilee weekend.
Woolton Conservative Club, for the loan of the tables.
E.H.Williams Garden Centre, for donating bedding-plants.
Gateacre Chapel, for 'standing by' with the offer of indoor accommodation - our insurance against bad weather!
And finally, everyone who helped on the day to make the event such a success.
Here are some more extracts from the LIVERPOOL DAILY POST's account, published on 25th May 1887, of Gateacre's lavish Golden Jubilee celebrations (see last Newsletter):
"Mr E. Healy then, in the name of the Local Board, presented Sir A.B. Walker with a beautiful illuminated address ... Sir A.B. Walker, in accepting the address, said he appreciated highly the honour they had conferred upon him ... It had been a source of great gratification to him to have been able to do what he had done. …
"Mr Clarke Aspinall said it had been truly remarked that Sir A.B. Walker had great wealth, but he had with it a great heart, ... Sir Andrew by dint of indomitable industry and manliness and Christian Spirit had made for himself a place in the first rank of English citizenship (applause) and had entwined himself around the hearts and affections of the people (applause).
"The ceremony then concluded, and the crowd proceeded to the lawn, where athletic sports were engaged in during the remainder of the afternoon. In the evening there was a beautiful display of fireworks in the village. The whole proceedings passed off most successfully, excellent order being maintained by a body of twenty constables under the command of Inspector Mayoh."
You can read the whole of this account of the 1887 Jubilee celebrations in our new publication: 'How Gateacre got its Queen', priced at 30p. We have also produced a 'Brief History of Gateacre' and a reprint of the 1907 Ordnance Survey map of Gateacre Village, at 10p each. Please contact Mike Chitty if you wish to purchase any of these items - which will also be on sale at future meetings.