a grand day out

What follows is a contemporary account of an outing by the choir of Colne Albert Wesleyan Choir which went on a little longer than expected: Burnley, Todmorden, Hebden Bridge, Halifax and Keighley……in A DAY ! pulled by HORSES !

“Reminiscences of the Picnic July 1st 1893

Met on the Oyston’s lawn at 5.30am where our photos were taken.

At 6.10 we left the chapel in a waggonette drawn by three Belgium horses.

Arrived at Burnley about 7, changed the horses for four fresh ones, left Burnley all alive and kicking and arrived at Todmorden at 9 o clock where a good substantial breakfast was awaiting us.

After having finished breakfast we had about ½ an hour to spare, so occupied the time by looking round the town hall and the town where a few members invested their pence in sun bonnets or straw hats. Left Todmorden about 10: from Todmorden we journeyed on to Hebden Bridge, the posting place for horses, this being the nearest village to Hardcastle Craggs.

Arrived at Hebden Bridge at 11 o clock. As far as Hebden Bridge we had the company of the Bethel Choir.

Finding that we had three hours to spare before dinner we concluded to go up to the woods before dinner. We were informed that it was only three miles up and three miles down. Most of the members availed themselves of the whole distance, others went only part way being either too tired or busy amongst the bilberry which were very plentiful.

We all received order to be back to dinner at 2 prompt but the fingers had turned two before any one arrived at the White Horse Hotel where we were favoured by a song by A Robson . At about half past two after singing glees we sat down to a well earned dinner. As regards some members, but some did not seem to feel to want any dinner after such a good breakfast.

After spending about 5 hours in H B we left at 4.15 for Halifax where we arrived 1t 5.15. Ordered tea for 6 and in the meantime looked round the town.

Returned at 6 and had tea where we were again favoured by a song by A Robson. Left Halifax at 6.45 for Keighley thinking that we had given ourselves planty of time so as to arrive home in good time but as no one knew the road or what kind it was we rather misjudged the distance and by now the horses began to show signs of fatigue. From Halifax to Keighley was a continual rise almost consequently hard work for the horses, but the male members walked most of the hills. Just about this part was the hardest work that we had all day.

We began to grow a little anxious when we got to Keighley to find that it was eleven o clock and the driver said he would have to wait for an hour somewhere.

Nevertheless we drove on to Crosshills where we had to knock up the landlord of the White Bear to admit us.

Having got the horses stabled we adjourned to one of the rooms for some slight refreshment and afterwards, part of the company walked on to Cornshire to ease the horse. At about 2 o clock on Sunday morning (rather a questionable hour for a chapel choir) we arrived home all safe and sound having spent a very happy and enjoyable day (from my own point of view). We were favoured with a very beautiful day and I think the only hitch that rather upset the day’s pleasure was the late arrival home which could not be avoided.”

 Source:  the minutes of the Colne Albert Road Wesleyan Chapel Choir, Lancashire Archives reference MCO 2/4/6

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