The Parish Magazine of July 1887 recorded this special occasion for the town:
The Queen's Jubilee was celebrated in right loyal fashion at Hungerford on June 21. Flags waved from every window. Rich and poor vied with each other in the display of
flowers, streamers, and loyal and patriotic mottoes; and the streets were profusely decorated with bunting and evergreens. The day was ushered in by a merry peal of bells from the Church Tower, which
was continued at intervals through the day.
At nine o'clock the Hungerford Troop of the Royal Berks Regiment of Yeomanry cavalry assembled opposite the Corn Exchange and fired a royal salute of 21 rounds. At
half-lpast nine a Procession was formed at the Town Hall, and marched to the Parish Church, headed by the Hungerford Drum and Fife Band. The High Constable and Feoffees were preceded by a detachment
of Yeomanry Cavalry, and followed by the members of the Jubilee Committee, and by the Foresters, the Odd Fellows, the Primitive Methodist Friendly Society, and the Berks County Club, with their
banners and Regalia. The Service was the special form of Thanksgiving prepared by the Archbishop of Canterbury for the occasion. Mr Swift was the organist, and the united choirs of the Parish Church
and St Saviour's led the singing. [Further details are given].
The Public Dinner was held in the Mall at one o'clock, under the shade of the trees of the Avenue. A double row of tables extended from the entrance of The Croft to the
Vicarage. There were forty tables in all, each accommodating seventy-five people, including children. three thousand sat down to the Dinner, which consisted of cold roast and boiled beef and
mutton, hot mutton pies, with hot vegetables and plum puddings, and unlimited beer and lemonade.
John o'Gaunt's horn gave the signal for grace before and after meat, and for the singing of the National Anthem.
The arrangements were so admirably made by the Committee that there was no excess and no waste, while all enjoyed an excellent and abundant meal, and that which remained
over was sent the next day to the necessitous poor. The quantities of provisions supplied for the dinner were as follows:- 2,000lbs meat, 1,800lbs plum pudding, 80 mutton pies, 70 gallons bread,
At three o'clock, a move was made to the Downs, where a capital programme of Jubilee Sports was gone through. The splendid weather threw a brightness over the whole scene;
and nothing occurred to mar the enjoyment of all who took part in the Festivity. The recent decease of Mr Cherry, and the sudden death of Mr Baron Platt, cast a
certain degree of gloom over the day, but even these sad events seemed to be forgotten for the time in the enthusiastic loyalty of the Jubilee. At ten o'clock a large Bonfire was lighted on the
Downs, and signal rockets were let off in accordance with the general scheme. High Street was beautifully illuminated with Greek fire, which shewed off the decorations to great advantage."
In April 1888 the accounts were presented, showing 392 people subscribed £266 13s 2d in total. The dinner (for 3,000) cost £159 1s 10d! The surplus of £40 paid for the
re-instatement of the Jubilee clump of trees on the Downs, and to additional seats on the Downs and in The Church Croft.
- Parish Magazine, Jul 1887, Apr 1888.
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