1897 Celebrating Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee
It is likely the country could be celebrating yet another Royal Jubilee in 2022. Over one hundred and twenty years ago our present Queen’s great grandmother, Queen Victoria, celebrated her Diamond Jubilee in 1897. Below, we reprint an account written for Histon Parish Council by Smith Howlett Rowley, the then chairman. It records the celebrations organised by Histon and Impington. In 1897 the combined population of Histon and Impington, was around 1500. Participation in that day’s events was greater than 1200 (80%).
“A Public Meeting of the joint Villages of Histon and Impington was held in Histon Schoolroom on May 10th to consider how to celebrate the Jubilee. William Peed, Esq., was elected Chairman when it was resolved that the two villages unite and that June 23rd be the day appointed for general rejoicing, that the two Parish Councils, Horticultural Society’s General Committee, with many added names form a committee to organise and arrange … The Committee thus appointed sub-divided into 7 committees, Finance (15), Procession (3), Table and Decoration(12), Refreshment(21), Provision(6), Sports(9), Childrens’ Amusements (2), … Mr. Rowley being elected chairman of the committee … The Committee worked with great energy and heartiness, about £70 was subscribed, the Sawston Band engaged, Flags and Bunting hired, Ladies visited to preside at tables …
1897 Celebratory Photograph taken on The Green.
On June 23rd the weather was all that could be desired, the Friendly Societies in number about 260, assembled at 1.30 in Saffron Close (currently Saffron Road and New School Road) and marched in procession headed by the Band by the Station, to Impington to Histon Green where a halt was made and a Photograph taken.
The children here met the Friendly Societies and joined in the procession to Histon Church, where a short and hearty Service was conducted by Rev. D. Hall Vicar of Impington, Rev. W.J. Martyn, Curate-in-charge of Histon and the Rev. R. Smith, Baptist Minister, The Rev. Canon Underwood, Vicar of Histon pronouncing the blessing at the close of the Service.
The children, about 400, had Tea in the open at four o’clock, there being a plentiful supply of Bread and Butter, Cake and hard boiled eggs. The adults, about 850, had a Meat Tea in Mr. Rowley’s barn and a tent arranged adjoining … Barn and Tent being tastefully decorated. Sports afterwards took place for the Adults in Barrettes Close, the children having sports in Mr. Rowley’s grounds … at 9 o’clock there was a general assembly and national Anthem sung and thus ended one of the most enjoyable days ever spent together by the inhabitants of Histon and Impington.
An interesting event during the evening was the Photographing of a large group of children and of a group of working friends by Mr. Robinson of Homerton, London.”
Smith H. Rowley 20th July. 1897
The Parade was so successful that it was reinstated in 1902, as part of the centuries-old Histon Feast Sunday celebrations, in order to raise funds for Addenbrooke’s Hospital. This fund raising tradition was maintained on and off for the next 100 years ceasing in 2011 when a final bucket collection of £4000 was collected in aid of local charities and community organisations.