Political activity in Victorian Haslingfield

With the local elections almost upon us, it might be fitting to have a look at politics in the village 130 or so years ago.

All of the reported activity seems to have been around the Conservative Party. If the Liberals were active, there is no trace of it in the newspaper cuttings from that time. A Conservative Association was planned in the barn of Willow Farm in November 1885. The local MP addressed a meeting of 150, and a resolution passed that “the voters, as labourers and the farmers, were much more prosperous during the time the Conservatives were in office than when the Radicals were”. The first meeting took place in the Marquis of Gransby in March 1886 over supper, where a petition was signed calling for “immediate attention to the present serious condition of agriculture”.

In August of that year a huge gathering witnessed the married men beat the singles, with tea provided for 220 by Mr. Tabraham of the ‘Jolly Brewers’. This was followed by sports, including for women, an appearance of Thurston’s Steam Circus and a meeting attended by 500.

Further meetings were held throughout 1887 and 1888, where much singing and smoking seems to have taken place. The Association organised the village fesivities for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Which also brings us nicely back to the present day.

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