The sad accident that took place on Friday last, and caused the death of a
boy in a frightful manner, suggests the propriety of a greater watchfulness on
the part of the harbour authorities and the police, as a general rule, although
no possible fault could be found with them in this particular instance.
Passers-by on the embankment have frequently given expression to the opinion
that it is most wonderful that so few accidents happen, considering how freely
this place is used for football playing and larking by rough children.
I believe the greatest possible care is taken by the drivers of engines to
avoid accidents, but, with all their vigilance, they have, at times, rather
close shaves, through the sheer recklessness of the boys who select the place for
a recreation ground.
There is an impression afloat that it would be a wise thing on the part of
the police authorities to have the harbour visited more frequently by the
gentlemen in blue, who would be thus much better employed than standing in pairs
gossiping in the Market-place or King-street.
I understand that at a recent committee meeting of the Town Council the Mayor
spoke of commemorating Her Majesty's long reign by the provision of a
recreation ground for the children of the town. I was rather surprised that he did
so, as I was disposed to think that he had forgotten all about this subject, as
well as that referring to the daily services to the Isle of Man.
It is pretty well on to three months since Mr. PATTINSON was made Mayor, and
on his appointment I, as well as a lot more folk, was pleased that he selected
these two movements - one in the interest of the children, and the other of
importance to the town - as desirable to be carried out during his year of
One quarter of his twelve months reign has now nearly elapsed, without
anything having been done in regard to either of these matters. And it must be
acknowledged that a feeling of disappointment is generally experienced, that so
little has been accomplished by one who holds such a high reputation as a
Longfellow says in his poem about the "Village Blacksmith" :-
Something attempted, something done,
Has earned a night's repose.
I am aware that the Mayor has, since his acceptance of that position, either
done or attempted anything, and therefore it is necessary that his repose,
which is unearned, should be disturbed.
It is with great reluctance that I feel compelled to make these remarks. But,
as far as I can judge, our Town Council is of very small practical value,
through the agency of the Mayor, does not seem to have been effected. It looks
now as if matters are going to be continued in the same old jog trot fashion.
I have, in fact, lost all faith in the ability and energy of the Town Council
in reference to the promotion of anything connected with the welfare of the
borough, since the potato pot scheme was mooted and carried out. This little
matter "went up like a rocket and came down like a stick."
Having this feeling of want of confidence in the Town Council, I am pleased
that a public meeting is to be called to consider the Commemoration business.
It seems that although the Town Council is supposed to comprise the
intelligence of Whitehaven, the members thereof are themselves imbued with the idea that
outside aid is necessary to enable them to make up their minds how they should
>From my point of view, I think the starting of some new industry in the town
would be the best method that could be devised in this district of celebrating
Her Majesty's reign. And goodness knows, we badly want something of the sort.
I hope the Mayor will hurry up this public meeting, and I trust when it is
held there will be an evidence of earnestness and public spirit.
As the old jingo song says: -
"We have the men
and we have the money too."
All we want is somebody to make a start at something. I believe if anything
at all were taken up in Whitehaven in a spirited and vigorous manner it would
meet with the greatest success. The men would be there and the money also.
The Cafe Chantant at the Town Hall on Thursday last was a decided success, at
least as far at the afternoon part was concerned. I was unable to attend the
evening, so can only write about what I saw and heard myself.
At the time named it was well attended, and the people present were nice
people, and they looked as if they were enjoying themselves. There were lots of
objects of interest exhibited, and what with the singing and music, and tea
drinking &c., all appeared to go off "as merry as a wedding bell," as the saying
I am not going to attempt a description of the affair or give a detailed
account of the articles on view for the benefit of folk who should have gone there
to see for themselves, and thus help a good cause.
I must, however, state that of all the work on view, I was most interested in
that exhibited by Miss. FLETCHER, of Brigham Hill, consisting of all manner
of useful and ornamental articles made with bent iron by the Brigham colliers.
It is something astonishing what a variety of pretty articles can be made out
of this material, and I must compliment this young lady on the great success
that has attended her efforts in the development of a taste for art in the
pitmen of that locality.
Few young ladies nowadays take an interest in the working men of their
neighbourhood, but, Miss. FLETCHER is a notable exception to the rule, as I
understand that she holds regular classes and gives lessons in this work to a large
number of colliers, who have every right to be proud of their fair teacher.
That they appreciate her services is very evident, since the specimens on
view showed that they "caught on" to the work, and were devoting much time and
study to improve themselves in a homely art that must not be only interesting,
The only feature that I did not admire about the whole affair was the uniform
of the lady attendants. Playing at being waitresses is all very well in its
way, but it is a dangerous game since for the few that shine in the acting, a
great many fail through appearing too true to nature.
This may be considered too severe, and it may be said that I am actuated by
an unkindly feeling. Such is not the case, however; I am writing in a general
way. I like to see ladies as such, and I have equal dislike to ladies acting as
servants, as I have to servants vieing with their mistresses in dress.
As it is almost an impossibility to devise a uniformity in dress to do
justice to the ladies and the part they cat at such functions as that of Thursday,
it would be just as well to drop this kind of thing in the future. A cup of tea
is just as refreshing when handed by a lady in her ordinary tasteful attire,
as when placed before one by a sham Betsy Jane.
The allusion to the ladies' dress reminds me that the Town Hall contained
many remarkably well dressed ladies on this occasion, but as I am quite unable to
describe costumes, either tailor-made or otherwise, and hardly know the
difference between hats and bonnets, I won't attempt the task.
I must, however say that as far as my judgment goes, had there been prizes
awarded for ladies headgear (and I don't see any reason why a novelty of this
kind should not be sprung now and again) the first prize for the prettiest
bonnet worn by a married lady would have gone to the neighbourhood of Ghyll Bank.
Whilst that for the bonnet of a single lady would go to Corkickle, and the
prize for the prettiest hat worn by either single or married would find its way
to the Brigham District.
When I am getting to write this kind of thing, I fancy it is time the subject
is changed, so I will wind up my brief remarks on the Cafe Chantant by saying
that it was most enjoyable, and that Miss. HELDER and Miss. McCOWAN deserve
the highest praise for their skillful management.
I am given to understand that the expenses connected with the Cafe Chantant
were very heavy, yet notwithstanding this fact, the sum of £15 has been handed
over to Miss. MUNCASTER, the treasurer of the Whitehaven District Nurses'
I amy add that the two young ladies at present employed by this Association
have sent in their resignations, owing to some disagreement with certain
members of the committee. This is a great pity, as the nurses are very popular.
As they could not be induced to reconsider their decision, two more young
ladies have been selected, and will, in all probability, enter upon their duties
Although times are so bad in both town and country, it is said that this is
one of the merriest and liveliest seasons known in the district of many years
in the way of parties and balls.
Dancing is becoming decidedly more fashionable, and what is more remarkable
is the fact that gentlemen who dance are more numerous than the ladies. At one
time, and it is not very long ago, it was a difficult matter to find partners
for the fair sex, but now the position is reversed, and the ladies are
In the country nearly all the talk is about balls, concerts, stock and crop
sales, shooting matches, parties or nap playing, so there is no dearth of
gossip subjects, and what with attending the sales by day and going to parties at
night, the farmers are having difficulty about finding time to sleep.
I am told that there were more conveyances on the road between Nethertown,
Calderbridge, and Sellafield during the early hours of Saturday morning than
ever appeared in the day time. The traffic was something considerable, there
being several parties on, and they all seemed to break up at the same hour.