A sumptuous repast…

On the 24th August the employees of Messrs. Walker and Soames, brewers, &c., Long Buckby and Towcester, were entertained at supper by the firm in their maltings to celebrate the marriage of Mr G. M. Soames with Miss Walker, which took place on 16th July last. A sumptuous repast was provided by Mr and Mrs Baker, of The George, Long Buckby Wharf. Thirty-four sat down. The toast of the evening, “Long life, health, and happiness to Mr and Mrs G.M. Soames,” was entrusted to Mr Webb, the brewer; Mr Soames responding. Mr Yorke in very suitable terms then proposed the “Health of Captain Walker,” Mr Soames again replying, and expressed his regret at the unavoidable absence of Captain Walker. Mr D. O’Connell proposed “Success to the Firm – Walker and Soames.” Mr Soames again responded. Then Mr White (Towcester) proposed in well-chosen words a vote of thanks to the firm for the very pleasant evening and enjoyable repast they had provided for them. This was supported by Mr Barrett. Other toasts followed, and many songs were given by members of the party. A most enjoyable evening was spent, and terminated with the National Anthem.

Nuneaton Advertiser 1895 31 August

“A most enjoyable evening” indeed. From other information I’ve found Walker & Soames looked after their employees well and it’s a nice touch from them, providing an evening’s entertainment and dinner to celebrate the wedding of their Director Gerald Martin Soames. His new wife was Geraldine May Walker, daughter of Captain Walker, the part owner of Walker & Soames. Gerald and Geraldine moved to the Wharf around 1910, prior to this they lived at Welton House.

Several Wharf residents are mentioned here –

  • Mr and Mrs Baker of the George Inn are William and Ellen, who ran the George from at least 1894 to 1903.
  • Mr Webb is Percy Edward who lived at Hillside House between 1894 and 1900, according to electoral registers and the Kelly’s trade directories.
  • Mr Yorke is William, the brewery clerk.
  • Mr Barrett was Henry William, the travelling salesman for the brewery and who had an unfortunate fall into the canal just a few months after this dinner.

Mr D O’Connell doesn’t seem to have lived at the Wharf and from the little I’ve been able to find, I believe that he was Daniel O’Connell, an excise officer. He is named in an August 1895 court case about a man selling beer without a licence in Weedon. So he’s in the right area at the right time, and although on the surface, it appears a little odd for a brewery to invite the excise officer to a celebratory meal, there is that old saying about keep your friends close and your enemies closer!

Mr White would have come from their Towcester brewery, and has no known links to the Wharf.

A very patriotic end to the evening, singing the National Anthem, which would have been the same version we sing today – Queen Victoria was on the throne in 1895.

  • Nuneaton Advertiser 1895 31 August
  • Northampton Mercury 1895 16 August
  • Kelly’s Directory of Northamptonshire 1894
  • Kelly’s Directory of Northamptonshire 1898
  • England & Wales Electoral Registers 1832-1932. Northamptonshire Mid Division 1901

2 thoughts on “A sumptuous repast…

  1. HelenFinch 13th Apr 2021 / 12:42 pm

    I am getting a real sense of how our #OnePlacePubs and publicans were at the hub of the community, helping people celebrate births marriages and anniversaries, and commisserating in deaths with yet more food and drink! They didn’t miss much, even with temperance families if they did the catering!


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