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The Festivities at Darfield

July 1919

Mexborough and Swinton Times, July 26, 1919

The Festivities at Darfield

Festivities for the celebration of Peace at Darfield, took the form of a grand procession, tea, children’s sports, and a full costume concert.

The populace of Darfield proved their patriotism throughout the war, boasting a very good proportion of sailors, soldiers, airmen and munition workers, and now that the long and anxiously awaited conclusion of Peace has arrived, brilliantly set in a well earned victory for our arms, great enthusiasm was manifested on all side.

Early on Saturday afternoon, the children of the various schools assembled in, the Low Valley recreation ground, where a number of hymns, including “O God Our Help in Ages Past,” and Patriotic songs, “Among Our Ancient Mountains,” and “The Englishman,” were rendered in very good style. A procession was then formed, headed by the Houghton Main Colliery Brass Band, comprising the children of the Church of England Schools, Council Schools, Low Valley Mission School, Special Constables, and members of various Friendly Societies and organisations.

The residents of Low Valley, as is usual in processions of a like nature, provided an innovation in the form of a dray transformed to represent a section of a hospital ward, with a soldier in bed and a sister in attendance. The route of the procession lay via Snape Hill, New Street, Edward Street, and Garden Street to the recreation ground in the centre of the village, Here again a hearty sing was indulged in.

Leaving the recreation ground the procession marched on via Church Street, School street, Shroggs Head Green and Darfield Bridge to Millhouses, at which point further singing took place, the children then returning via Pinfold Lane to their respective schools. From beginning to end of the route, and every-where that one’s eye wandered to, was very elaborately festooned and bedecked with flags and patriotic greetings. In this respect, perhaps, one ought to make special mention of New Street, where unlimited flags, buntings, and all kinds of decorations, had been most tastefully and profusely arrayed.

At 4 o’clock tea was served; the children were entertained in their respective schools, an aggregate number of 1,600 scholars taking part in truly royal feasts, whilst in the Wesleyan. Schoolroom 400 adults were entertained. These comprising aged people, widows of soldiers, and soldiers and sailors disabled during the war.

Thanks are due to Mr. Norton. Harrison, butcher, who freely placed his motor car for the conveyance of aged and infirm residents who desired to attend the tea. Moreover, not only did Mr. Harrison assist by bringing parties to tea, but 1 in the case of several persons who had only just made their maiden motor trip, he drove them to Doncaster and back.

Promptly after tea, sports commenced, and with over 750 entries, the sports committee had indeed a record two hours work in bringing the events to finality. A useful and varied assortment of prizes, numbering 24, were awarded the successful competitors. As a permanent reminder of the occasion, “Peace Commenioration” medals were presented to all children between the ages of two and 14.