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1872: Cuckfield orphans enjoy a day out at Crystal Palace

Updated: Mar 9, 2022

Surrey Gazette - Tuesday 23 July 1872



The children at the Union House, many of them orphans, are not forgotten at this festive season, when the trades, and the cricketers, and the schools, and everyone else are having their “day out." The gentry and inhabitants of this parish, independent of the other 12 parishes who form the Union, have for several years given the children a treat in July, sometimes by sending them to Brighton and other places, but for the last three years they have taken a trip to the Crystal Palace, a most admirable place chosen by the excellent chaplain, Rev. T. Crallin, and the good hearted and kind governor and matron of the house, Mr and Mrs Lilly. Last Thursday morning the inmates were all gay, and youngsters on the stir at an early hour, and at 7.30 45 of the little ones, with governor, Miss Mons, the schoolmistress, and Mrs Taylor, infant nurse, were packed into a waggon sent by our worthy vicar Rev. T.A.Maberley and Mr Golding’s waggonette and started off in buoyant spirits for Haywards Heath Station, where they were met by the chaplain, who also accompanied them on the trip.

Crystal Palace c1900

Unfortunately a little mistake occurred, for the basket of buns intended for their consumption on the journey was left at the station, but they enjoyed them thoroughly on their return. Arrived at the Crystal Palace, they wandered in groups into every poetics of ground, but kept their eyes on the dial that warned them of the approach of 1 p.m., when dinner was ready, and a capital cold repast being provided, they came back like a flock of lambs at the call of the shepherd and, having filled themselves, again continued their sports and rambles until five o'clock, when they assembled for tea, with lots of plum cake and bread and butter, staying until 6.30, when they took their departure by train, Mr Lilley not finding a stray lamb in his flock.

We must not leave our pleasing task of recording this instance of philanthropy without noticing the neat condition in which the children were attired, and their clean and healthy appearance, a fact that was universally observed, and reflects the highest credit on the Guardians, the governor, and matron, and officials in general. And it is as well to note that in addition to the comforts provided for them, each of the boys and girls had 3d. given them for pocket money, most of them having also as additional sum they had saved, and judging by the books, knives, and toys, they purchased, the outlay was not trifling. We must also observe that although this treat, by consent of the guardians, must be considered to be given by Cuckfield parish alone, the other parishes of the union are not behind hand in subscribing to the Christmas fete.


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