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1886: Sing song at the workhouse on New Year's Eve

Cuckfield Workhouse

New Year's Entertainment at the Workhouse.On Monday the inmates of the Cuckfield Union Workhouse had their New Year's treat, which consisted of a tea to all the inmates, and an entertainment in the evening by the members of the “Cuckfield Magpies.” At seven o'clock these minstrels opened the evening’s amusements with “The rocky mountain lion.” This was followed by a song by Mr Askew, “Blacksmith Joe,” which was given in his usual style.

Mr Gibb then sang "Will my darling come again ?” Mr R Anscombe was seen at his best in “The seat in the chimney corner,” which was highly appreciated by the audience. Mr G F Baker then gave ‘‘Grandma,” after which Mr G Bunting brought down the house with his song, “Keep in de middle of de road.” Mr F Broad then sang “ The Island of the free”; the first part ending with “Good-bye, boys,” by Mr Gibb.

Part II commenced with a pianoforte duet, with violin accompaniment, M Bell duet,” by the Misses Anscombe and Howe on the piano and Mr WH Howe on the violin. The Troupe then gave “ The assassination of Mr C Robin,” which was highly amusing. A vocal duet, “Lucy Brown,” by Mr and Miss Howe, followed by a walk-round and dance, entitled "The **er's Jubilee,” brought Part II to a close.

An immense Christmas tree, well laden, was then lighted up, and a bun and on orange given to each inmate, 1oz tobacco to each of the men, and 2ozs of tea to each woman, whilst the children had packets of sweets, bonbons, etc., and three articles each off the Christmas tree.

The latter having been stripped, the Chaplain (Rev. FFJ Greenfield) called for three cheers for Mr and Mrs. Howe and those who had taken part in providing the treat, which, it is needless to say, was heartily responded to. The singing of the National Anthem brought a very pleasant and enjoyable evening to a close. We must not forget to mention that Miss Anscombe very ably presided at the pianoforte, which was kindly lent for the occasion by Mr TT Riches. Amongst those who were present were the Rev. FFJ Greenfield (chaplain), Mr and Mrs. Comber, Mr. and Mrs. Riches, Mr and Mrs. Wilson, Mr and Mrs Alwen, the Misses Howe, Mr, Mrs, and Miss Beach, and others.

* The word has been censored as it is considered offensive today.

Source: Mid SussexTimes, 11 January 1887

Contributed by Malcolm Davison.

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