Local Celebrations, Queen Victoria’s Jubilee

Announcement Date: 26th June 1897

Thanksgiving Day was observed at the Parish Church with all due honours. The ‘Union jack’ floated on the church tower and the bells at 6am rang out a merry carillon, as they did likewise throughout the day. The Rector, the Rev E T Drake, and his curate’s the Rev F Le C Fangt and F L Fenn effectively conducted the services with appropriate sermons being preached. Inside the church the decorations were very beautiful the reredos being virtually a floral as well a decorative picture-thanks in great measure to the kindness of Squire Drake, who placed his gardens at the disposal of the Churchwardens and other authorities. Mr Garton the organist and the choirmaster, had fully prepared for the occasion, and each service, was gone through without a hitch, the special hymns and the National Anthem being done full justice to.

At Amersham Common Schools, Devine Service was held on Sunday morning, the Rector, The Rev E T Drake officiating. Appropriate reference was made to the Queens Jubilee. The school was crowded with worshippers, chairs being requisitioned from outside. The Rector preached an appropriate sermon from Psalm civil. Mrs Saunders the Headmistress, who presided at the harmonium, had decorated the Lectern with National flags and right did the children sing out the hymns specially selected for the occasion.

The Jubilee festivities passed off on Tuesday very successfully. The whole executive with Mr H G Clarke as the able and energetic Secretary, worked hard and carried out the affair in a manner worthy of the occasion. The weather was, as everyone knows, most auspicious, and right merrily the bells rang out at 6am from the Parish Tower, About 10 o’clock from near and far people came pouring into the town, and at 10.30am when the school children, to the number of about 1,200, representing Amersham, Amersham Common and Woodrow, were assembled in the Market Square, it was a sight never to be forgotten by any who witnessed it. The Amersham Brass Band was in attendance throughout the day. The National Anthem was sung with all heartness, after which, headed by the band, a move was made to Barn Meadow where the Athletic sports were commenced and continued til noon. Then began the great event of the day – the dinner. Troop after troop of men and boys came pouring into the malthouse (kindly placed at the disposal by the committee by Messrs Weller) and sat down to an excellent spread. The Rector of the parish, as ten years ago, was present and said grace. After dinner ‘God Save the Queen’ was sung and all dispersed in the most orderly manner. The number catered for was roughly estimated at 900. Sports were again indulged in until evening, when tea for all the women and children were provided. The adults were accommodated in the malthouse, the school children being catered for on the seats outside. Under the control of their teachers, the number tea’d were about 1000. The school children irrespectively of location, who were present, were each presented to by Mr Fuller (churchwarden) with a medal commemorative of the occasion.

At night, true to time, a huge bonfire was lighted by Capt T H T Drake on the top of Tenter Field, and the illuminations in the town were very creditable. The prizes were distributed by Mr George Weller, of the Plantation, to the successful competitor in the Athletic Sports, and on the proposition of Mr H G Clarke a hearty vote of thanks was tendered to that lady. With the ringing of the bells and hearty cheers of the inhabitants the proceedings were brought to a close. From the railway bridge at 10.30pm no fewer than nine bonfires could be counted and the fireworks at Wembley Park were plainly visible.