Leighton-Linslade Past Times: including Billington, Eggington, Heath & Reach and Stanbridge
Contents Menu
Domesday Book
What's in a name?
Town Coat of Arms
Guided Tours
Leighton Buzzard Observer
Trade Directories
Local People
Manorial History
Impacts of Wars
Contents & photos
© copyright Kevin Quick
<< 1868 & 1875 Industrial Exhibitions page

Leighton Buzzard Observer & Linslade Gazette
Tuesday, 25th May 1875

Brief background

Article published in the local newspaper. The article covers events at the exhibition over the past week and includes a summary of visitors and also has some additions and corrections to the list of prizes that had been published in the previous weeks issue of the Leighton Buzzard Observer & Linslade Gazette i.e. 18th May 1875. Note: any text enclosed in square bracket are comments by the transcriber relating to possible typos or errors in the original text.

The Article


The Corn Exchange has been visited during the past week by a large number of persons, of whom a great proportion have been drawn from a distance by the attractions of the Working Men's Art and Industrial Exhibition. Independently of the various and highly interesting features of the Exhibition itself, a diversity of intellectual and recreative sources of enjoyment have been introduced; and, altogether, the week may be considered as a very successful one, the expectations of the committee having been realised thus far, and their patrons in every way delighted with the display for their inspection and the resources for their entertainment.

Whit-Monday and Tuesday were, of course, the two best days. On the first day the town was full of holiday-folk, most of whom had but one special object in view, and the fair on Tuesday no doubt assisted considerably to swell the number of visitors. On the evening of this day, in addition to pianoforte music by various ladies and gentlemen among the company at intervals, the Leighton Buzzard Handbell Ringers gave a campanological entertainment, which was highly appreciated, and at a later hour, Professor Proskauer highly amused a large audience with numerous very clever sleight of hand performances.

On Wednesday Ellis A. Davidson, Esq., of London gave a short address in the afternoon on "Printing and Electrotyping," illustrating his subject by reference to specimens of type, wood-cuts, and electroplates shown within the Exhibition. An organ recital was given by Mr. T. J. Price, M.C.O., of Leighton; and later on, Mr. Davidson, who was present through the kind instrumentality of the Baroness de Rothschild, gave a short lecture on "Our Early Homes; their Structure and Ornamentation," illustrated by drawings on the black board. The lecturer traced the art of architecture, and its progress from the time of Cain, who, according to the words of Holy Writ, was the first to "build a city." This city, according to the lecturer's view of Hebrew translation, consisted of an artificial cave, made by the outcast when he wandered to a country wherein he could find no natural cave for shelter. The tents of Abraham and Lot were next described, the more substantial buildings of the Egyptians and Greeks, and the progress of architecture through the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian periods, down to the Gothic of Christian epoch. The latter style the lecturer believed was left for development in the present age. One of the principal arguments of the discourse was to show that the worship of the Almighty was in a great measure the source from whence the love of architecture sprang, and to show the difference between Pagan and Christian buildings, the former tending downwards, low-built, the latter rising more and more majestically towards heaven.

On Thursday afternoon W. R. Cooper, Esq., of London, secretary to the Biblical Archaeological Society, gave an address to a rather small but select and appreciative audience, on "Pre-historic Articles to be seen in the Exhibition," with especial reference to certain pieces of ancient pottery, flint implements, and burial urns, some of which were found in the neighbourhood of Leighton, and which belong to Dr. Lawford. The manners and customs of the ancient Roman and other races who used these relics were also described, and the lecture was throughout of a very instructive nature. In the evening a pianoforte recital was given by Miss Jennie Franklin, R.A.M., of Wolverton. At this time there was a large number of visitors present, who were highly pleased with the young lady's musical talent. The programme of music performed was as follows:-

Toccata - C minor .................... W. Sterndale. Bennett.
Grand Fantasia on Highland Gems - No. 4. W. Pape.
Impromptu - Op. 90, No. 2 .................. Franz Shubert.
Grand Valse de Concert .............................. Tito Mattei.
Grand Polonaise - L'Hilarite ................ C. Von Weber.
March (Exhibition) composed for this occasion ... J. Franklin.

On Friday about sixty of the working men members of the Institute availed themselves of the privilege of visiting the Mansion and grounds at Mentmore, being conducted hither by the secretary of the society, Mr. W. Abraham. The costly, luxurious, and artistic treasures of the Mansion were minutely inspected, and not only was deep interest evinced in the magnificent contents of the princely apartments, but hearty gratitude towards the Baroness and Miss Hannah de Rothschild for this opportunity of treating the eye, the mind, and the physical frame to extra pleasures in connection with the Exhibition. In the evening of the same day, at the Corn Exchange, there was more pianoforte music, and a second lecture by Mr. W. R. Cooper, on "Ancient Manuscripts; their History and Production," the subject being illustrated by reference to books from Mr. Theodore Harris's private library, and manuscripts contributed to the Exhibition by Mrs. How, of Aspley Guise.

On Saturday evening the Leighton Amateur Instrumental Society gave a vocal and instrumental concert to a very fair audience, and, as usual with this thoroughly musical and talented company, the greatest satisfaction was experienced.

The numbers of visitors who have patronised the Exhibition on each day during the past week are as follows:-

Monday ............ 780 ... 1270 ... 2050
Tuesday ........... 566 ... 1023 ... 1589
Wednesday ...... 479 ... 374 ... 853
Thursday .......... 481 ... 261 ... 742
Friday ............... 437 ... 528 ... 965
Saturday .......... 408 ... 198 ... 606
  Total for the week ........................................... 6,805  

A special excursion train was run from Bedford and intermediate stations yesterday (Monday), but the number of passengers who alighted at Leighton was not so numerous as might have been expected, not more than fifty or sixty extra visitors coming from the railway station to the Exhibition.


The following awards, omitted in the list supplied to us, published in our last issue, have since been forwarded to us for publication:-

Miss A. Franklin, Leighton, Wool Flowers, 1st Class.
Mrs. Gregory, Woburn, Costume Dolls, 1st Class.
Mrs. Walker, Leighton Buzzard, Wool-work Picture, 1st Class.
Mrs. Fraser, Linslade, Wool-work Screen, 1st Class.
Mrs. Phillips, Biggleswade, Silk patch-work, 1st Class.
Miss Theodora Harris, Leighton Buzzard, Needlework, 1st Class.
Mrs. Girling, Linslade, Needlework, 2nd Class.
Miss M. A. Barrett, Needlework, 2nd Class.
M. Winfield, Needlework, 2nd Class.
Mr. Brasington, Mentmore (amateur), model cottage, 2nd Class.
Miss Butler, Mentmore (amateur), painted silk fan, 1st Class.
Mr. Sharratt, Eaton Bray, In-laid table, 2nd Class.

Two or three corrections to the original list are also supplied, with a request to publish as follows:-

Among the second class certificates for models, "W. Groom," Weston Turville, should be W. Gomm. In the second class prizes for needlework the name of Miss E. H. Garside should be substituted for that of Miss Garner. F. Marsden is stated to have obtained a first-class certificate for cooper's work; this should have been recorded as a second-class. J. Saunders, of Luton, was awarded a second-class certificate for a geological collection.

THE AGRICULTURAL EXHIBIT - The mangolds shown by Mr. Vallentine, of Burcott, and stated in our last issue to have been grown by the proprietors of the Sewage Farm, Aylesbury, were we understand, grown at the "Sewage Farm, Bedford."

<< 1868 & 1875 Industrial Exhibitions page