September 1894: Deakin’s Annual Picnic, Southport, Lancashire

From: Wigan Observer and District Advertiser, 8 September 1894

The employees of Deakin’s journeyed to Southport on Wednesday morning, 5 September 1894, to enjoy their annual picnic. During the morning the weather gods were propitious and enabled the pleasure pilgrims to reap the full benefit of the sea air and the beautiful marine walks which are a pleasing feature of Southport. Dinner was provided at Thorp’s Dining-rooms at one o’clock after which the party adjourned for a convivial hour to an adjoining room. Mr. Deakin occupied the chair and after a few words of greeting the following programme was rendered, Mr. S.P. Deakin presiding at the piano: – Comic song, “Ting-a-ling”, Mr S. P. Deakin; duet Misses E. and A. Deakin; reading (comic), “An M.P.’s private secretary”, Mr. J. Sidebotham; comic song “Half-past nine”, Mr A. Webster; song, Miss F. Johnson; stamp speech, Miss H.E. Deakin; recitation, “For a’ that”, Mr. G.E. Deakin.

The toast of the firm was then proposed by Mr. Henry Sidebotham. He said he sincerely wished the firm the very best of success. Mr. Deakin was a shrewd businessman, and a good man at the helm. He was well capable of gathering those forces around him which contributed to the success of a great industry. He was glad to note the opening out go another branch of the business, viz., pickles and sauces. He hoped this was an indication of a success that would continue to follow them in the future.

Mr. Deakin in responding, said he was deeply gratified to meet them once more under such pleasurable circumstances, and he was glad to note that they had not only all the old faces present at the last gathering, but a few fresh ones, and he sincerely hoped they would keep on adding to their number. It was necessary not only that share should be a good one at the helm, but also that every employee should each strive to fulfil his part. The responsibility of an employer of labour was very great, but he could be greatly assisted by every employee (however humble their sphere) sharing in that responsibility – working on the true principal of social economy viz., that the interests of the employer and employed were identical and indissolubly knit together. The last twelve months had been very gratifying not withstanding the depression in trae, and they were about to make an extension which would enable him to employ more labour. He trusted that gathering would live in their memories as a pleasing recollection.

The programme then provided with: Song “Thirty Years Ago”, Mr. W. Foster; comic reading “My Guide in Rome”, Mr. G.E. Deakin; recitation “Curfew shall not ring to-night”, Miss M. Deakin; quartette, Misses E. and A. Deakin, L. Dean and E. Sidebotham; solo “Still I love thee”, Miss E. Deakin; solo, “The lost chord”, Mr. S.P. Deakin.

Mr. Taylor moved a vote of thanks of the chairman, remarking that he looked upon these gatherings as a means of creating goodwill between employer,oyer and employed, and he hoped that every member of the firm would feel a duty to promote the common interest and sustain the good feeling which he believed at present existed.

Mr. John Sidebotham seconded, and said it was gratifying to have a master who did not look upon his workplace as machines out of which gives a given quantity of work had to be extracted but as men like himself, that whatever social position a man might hold, he was “a man for a’ that”.

This brought to an end a very pleasant meeting.