September 1895: Deakin’s Annual Picnic, Whittle Springs, Lancashire

From: The Wigan Observer and District Advertiser, 14 September 1895:

During the morning the weather was very unpropitious, but about noon “the clouds rolled by”, and the party, in high spirits, left the works about 2.30pm in three wagonettes, and had a most beautiful drive to Whittle Springs, arriving there about 4pm. Bowls, dancing, and various other amusements passed a pleasant hour away, and at 5pm, the party sat down to tea, to which the effect of the exhilarating drive enabled them to do ample justice. After tea the picnickers again dispersed to their various amusements, and as twilight deepened into darkness the party assembled in one of the room for a few minutes before leaving for the homeward journey. Mr. Deakin who occupied the chair, said it was a matter of deep satisfaction that every year added to their number, and especially so as their number had so decidedly increased during the past year. He was pleased to meet them under so favourable circumstances, and hoped they would go on increasing year by year. The following brief and impromptu programme was then gone through:

Recitation “Don’t be in a hurry” Mr. J. Taylor; song “The lost chord” Miss E. Deakin; recitation “Bowton’s yard” Miss S. Hart: song “We can’t change it” Miss S.A. Rossiter; song “Irishman in France” Miss L. Hurst; recitation “Roger, my son” Miss M. Carlin; song “Half-past nine” Mr A. Webster; song “Ting-a-ling-ting-tay” Mr. S. P. Deakin; duet “Lily Dale” Miss S. A. Rossiter and Miss N. Sharples. The rendering of the duet was very pretty, and called forth unqualified applause.

Mr. J. Taylor then moved a vote of thanks to the chairman, Mr. Deakin, and said he was sure they would all agree with him that it was very kind of their employer to give them the opportunity of mingling together for each other’s mutual enjoyment. He would therefore move that the best thanks of the meeting be given to Mr. Deakin.

Mr R. Lewis, in seconding, said that he had enjoyed the afternoon very much, and felt amply repaid for this journey from Stockport. He felt that such gatherings strengthened the bond of confidence and love between employer and employed. He trusted that as time went on such festivities would increase.

Mr. Jno. Sidebotham said he echoed the expression of the last speaker, and felt it was a pleasing thing to see an employer go amongst his employed in such a fraternal spirit and study their interests. The motion on being put to the meeting was carried with applause.

Mr. Deakin, replying said it afforded him great pleasure to know that they had enjoyed themselves so well, and he believed with those who had spoken such gatherings tended to create unity and good feelings between employer and employed. He would, however, like to emphasise this fact, that prosperity does not rest with one alone, but all should have an interest and play their part in the common good and welfare of the firm. He urged them to put their conscience into work, to do the best they were able, and enable their firm to compete with others. They would enjoy those yearly gatherings all the better for having done their duty, and he should always try to give them every privilege which it was in his power to render. The National Anthem was sung, and the party, after a lovely moonlight drive, arrived in Wigan about 10.30pm.