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Celebrations in the District

July 1919

Mexborough and Swinton Times, July 26, 1919

Celebrations in the District

Celebrations went with a very gay swing at Little Houghton, the proceedings com-mencing with a fine procession, formed at Middlecliffe Cottages, hymns and patriotic songs being lustily sung at various halts as the merry party marched into the village. This small village boasts two collieries — Houghton Main and Dearne Valley — the former also working a huge bye-product plant, and one need hardly stop to mention the vital part played by coal and its constituent chemicals in the great war.

The population, moreover, proved its loyalty to King and Country by contributing a good quota of fighting men. Practically every man, woman and child, took part in. the festivities—and in the catering for same—and a highly satisfactory celebration resulted. Tea -was partaken of by about 500 in all, half of this number being adults, who were entertained in the Houghton Main Colliery offices, whilst the juveniles made a hearty feast in the recreation ground, both scenes being most artistically decorated. “Commemoration” medals were presented to one and all. After tea, sports of all kinds were enthusiastically engaged in, suitable prizes being awarded to the successful participants. The success of the village celebrations was largely due to the spirited manner in which all sections assisted, each and everyone working with unsparing effort, and individual interest in the common cause.

Perhaps tile most profuse of local celebrations was to be found in the festivities of Billingley. Though only a small parish of barely 200 inhabitants, its manhood was quick to realise the countries danger, and ungrudgingly answered the call, and, we regret to add, fade a comparatively heavy toll in killed and wounded.

The sum of 25,000 been raised for the purpose of admitting peace, assisted by the benevolence of the caterers (nearly, and every household in the village had assisted in the entering), an enormous quantity  of refreshments, was provided, so ample was the food supply, in fact, that it was decided to spread the festivities over two days.

Mr. G. A. Johnson’s farm premises was the scene of all the gaiety, a long cart shed being so carefully and tastefully decorated as to resemble a Mansion hall rather than a farm outbuildings, and in this, tea was served to children and adults; supper was also served the children on both days, making four feasts in all. As the children arrived to .partake of tea, each was presented with a “Commemoration of Peace” medal, pinned on by Mrs. Johnson. Residents having lost relatives in- the war, also the aged and infirm, who could hardly be expected to attend the feast, were not forgotten, but had tea taken to their residences.

After tea, on both days, a great variety of sports were held in a field kindly lent by I Mr. Johnson. The children were especially enthusiastic, and each event was very keenly contested; useful prizes were awarded.

The inhabitants of New street, Darfield, had a private celebration on quite an ambitious scale. The ladies prepared a capital tea, to which they invited all their friends and neighbours. The Boy Scouts’ band gave a hand, and quite a picturesque and imposing procession was organised, with any amount of fancy dress. The provisions were so plentiful that another “celebration” was held on Monday, and, this time the parade embraced not only Darfield, but Little Houghton, Great Houghton, and Middlecliffe, a very happy day ending with supper, fireworks, gramophone selections, and other farms of entertainment.

A collection, amounting to £5 10s., was handed to the Boy Scouts.