Clock Tower Opening Ceremony

Celebrations in Skegness
Clock Tower Opening Ceremony
Wedding of the Earl and Countess of Scarbrough

Wedding Festivities at Skegness
Opening of the Jubilee Clock and Tower
Presentations to the Earl and Countess of Scarbrough
Reception and Luncheon in the Pleasure Gardens

An event took place on Friday last which will long be remembered by the residents of Skegness. It was the celebration of the recent marriage of the Earl and Countess of Scarbrough, who, last week, paid their first visit to our seaside resort since that happy event; and also the opening of the Jubilee Clock Tower.

That nearly the whole of the town belongs to the Earl of Scarbrough and that it is due to the late earl that it has risen within the last two decades from a mere fishing hamlet to its present proud position as a watering-place, and facts tolerantly well-known to our readers.

Since the death of his father the present earl has taken great interest in, and promoted as far as he could possibly do, the welfare of this town.
The townspeople were therefore desirous of showing in some tangible form their goodwill to the Earl and Countess on so auspicious occasion, and in doing this they united with his lordship’s tenantry in East Lincolnshire, who were also desirous of showing their appreciation of the interest the noble earl has always shown in their well-being.

The Skegness Urban District Council took lead in the matter, and a committee was formed, and they were assisted by Mr H V Tippet (the resident agent to the earl), and Mr E A Jackson.

Subscriptions were solicited, and a sufficient sum was soon forthcoming to enable the committee to purchase a massive silver bowl, and to provide a beautifully illuminated address in album form for the presentation. The following formed the presentation committee:

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The Earl and Countess of Scarbrough arrived from Sandbeck Park at half-past five on Thursday evening, and were received at the railway station by members of the Skegness Council and members of the committee, who were introduced by Mr H V Tippet.

Mr Councillor Green, addressing them said: Mt Lord and Lady Scarbrough, as holding for the time being, the office of Chairman of the Skegness Urban District Council, I have been asked on behalf of the Council and inhabitants of Skegness generally, a very hearty welcome to your lordship, and to your ladyship on this occasion. The duty entrusted to me by my fellow townsmen affords me great personal pleasure. I am not a man of many words and will spare you the infliction of listening to a long speech. On behalf of those who have laid this duty and pleasure upon me, I give to your Lordship and to Lady Scarbrough a very warm welcome to Skegness. We are heartily glad to see you in our midst, and we trust that in all respects your visit will prove a very pleasant one.

The Earl and Countess bowed their acknowledgements.

A very large number of persons assembled at the station to witness the arrival. A carriage was waiting, and on their entering same were heartily cheered by the crowd. They then drove up the Lumley Road, along the North Parade, and round to the Estates Office, where they resided during their stay. The streets were gaily decorated for the occasion. At the west end of the Lumley Road, near the railway station, was a triumphal arch decorated with evergreens and flags, and surmounted with the word “WELCOME” in large letters. Flags and bunting floated from nearly all the houses, and from a number of flagstaffs, and the Chairman of the Clock Tower Committee (Mr S G Randall) had a streamer [?] across from his house to the Herald Office opposite.
About half way up Lumley Road, directly opposite Lumley Avenue, a large square archway was erected, and presented a very imposing appearance. It was profusely decorated with evergreens and flags. These arches were erected by the Council under the direction of Mr Bridges, surveyor. A short distance beyond were streamer across the street, one bearing an appropriate motto. The Lumley Road entrance to the Pleasure Gardens had received great attention at the hand of Mr J Chambers, and over the gateway, in large letters were the words “Health and Happiness”.

Over the North Parade entrance to the gardens were the words “Welcome to the Earl and Countess of Scarbrough”.

The North and South Parades were very prettily decorated with flags on staffs erected for the purpose, and there were flags and streamers from the houses, and at the entrance to the Pier, and in front of the Baths. The front part of the Pavilion in the Pleasure Gardens was profusely decorated by Mr J Green, the lessee, with flags and bunting, and several streamers across from poles erected in the gardens, whilst along the front were the words in large letters “Hearty Congratulations. God’s blessing be with you”.
On a new flagstaff erected in the gardens belonging to the Estates Office floated a large Union Jack. These were a few of the decorations, and we may say that there was scarcely a house but what showed some token of goodwill towards the Earl and Countess.
The weather was delightfully fine, and the whole proceedings were a most gratifying success.

The Reception

On Friday at noon a reception was held by the Earl and Countess of Scarbrough of the Council, tenants, and general inhabitants of Skegness, in the Pavilion in the Pleasure Gardens, and at which there was a large gathering. Among those on the platform were Mr J Green, JP (chairman of the Council and Presentation Committee), along with the following:

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The Earl and Countess arrived shortly after twelve, and on entering the room received quite an ovation. Immediately after taking their seats on the platform her ladyship was presented with a handsome bouquet by Miss Winsome Grantham, a young lady of about five summers.

Mr H V Tippet, addressing the noble earl, said: I have much pleasure in introducing to your lordship and ladyship a deputation representing the Urban District Council of Skegness and general inhabitants of the town, and the tenants on the East Lincolnshire estates, who will present an address to the Countess and yourself on this happy occasion. The deputation is headed by Mr John Green, Chairman of the Council, and Mr C F Grantham, chief tenant. Mr Dashper, Clerk to the Council, will read the address.

Mr Dashper then read the address which was as follows:
“To the Right Honourable the Earl and Countess of Scarbrough: –
We, the Urban District Council for the parish of Skegness, in the county of Lincoln, the inhabitants of the same place, and the tenants of your lordship’s East Lincolnshire estates, have much pleasure in approaching you with hearty and cordial congratulations on the occasion of your recent marriage, and we sincerely trust that the wedded life of your lordship and the countess may be long and happy. We call to memory today the great interest which your lordship’s late revered father ever took in the development and well-being of Skegness, and we regard this visit of yourself and the countess as a happy augury for the future progress of our town, which is yearly becoming more popular as a health and pleasure resort. We are glad to have this auspicious opportunity of manifesting our sincere goodwill and esteem, and we desire to record our high appreciation of the happy relations which have always existed between your family, the tenantry, and the town of Skegness, feeling assured that this pleasant condition will continue long to exist.
We beg of you and the Countess of Scarbrough to accept this silver bowl and album, containing the names of the several subscribers to this presentation, as a token of the happy occasion, Dated this 11th day of August, 1899.”

The following names were appended to the address:

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Upon the bowl was inscribed: – “To the Earl and Countess of Scarbrough, as a memento of their marriage, 1899, from the town of Skegness and East Lincolnshire tenantry” while on the reverse side was engraved his lordship’s coat of arms. The silver bowl, which weighs 90 oz,. is from the works of Messers Walker and Hall, Sheffield, and was supplied through Mrs Marshall, silversmith, Lumley Road, in whose window it has been displayed. The address was beautifully illuminated by Messers Waterlow Bros,. of Layton, London, and signed by the members of the Skegness Urban District Council, and the tenantry and subscribers to the fund, the subscription to which had been limited to a maximum of two guineas from any individual. The address was bound in Russian leather, and in album form.

Mr J Green, in presenting the address and bowl to the Earl and Countess, said: My Lord and Lady Scarbrough, I have been asked by the subscribers to present to you this token of their goodwill on this happy occasion. I do so with pleasure, not because of its intrinsic merit, but because it is an expression of the hearty and sincere good feeling of the sub=scribers. May I ask you, my Lord and Lady Scarbrough, to accept our good wishes on the occasion of your marriage together with these little mementos of the happy event. (Applause).

The Earl of Scarbrough, who was received with warm cheering, said: Mr Green, Mr Dashper, and Ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of Lady Scarbrough and on my own behalf, I wish to the best of my ability to express to you the deep sense of the gratitude which we feel towards our East Lincolnshire tenants and towards the Council and the inhabitants of this town for having come forward in such an extremely handsome and generous manner in recognition of an event which I know has made one person, and I hope has made another, as happy as it is possible to be. (Applause). I thank you, and her ladyship thanks you, for the kindly and touching words which you have chosen to make use of in your address, and I have especially to thank you for the very kindly reference made to my father and my father’s interest in this place, and I may say, what you know – (hear, hear) – that if it had not been for him this place would not have been what it is today. (Applause.) I have to thank you for the really charming and handsome present which you have thought fit to give us, and I can assure you we appreciate the thought which has prompted you to mark the occasion in such a generous and friendly spirit.
Now, to me it is a peculiar pleasure, recognising, as I do, that the old order of things and the new order of things, so to speak, have united together for the purpose of this presentation. (Hear, hear). That is to say, in other words, that our agricultural tenants in East Lincolnshire, representing the estate as it was, and the Council of this town, representing a new and thriving community, have combined on our marriage. (Hear, hear.) That to me is a peculiarly happy combination – (applause) – and I an proud to recognise it because it points to the good feeling which exists on this estate between us – (hear, hear) – as it was, and as it is, not merely as a tradition of the past, but as an influence which is really with us today – (applause) – and that feeling you have kindly referred to in your address. It is a feeling which I can assure you is reciprocated by Lady Scarbrough and myself, and we intend to do all in our power to encourage and maintain it. (Applause.) Once more I thank you for the welcome you have given us, and for the handsome gift which I can assure you we shall ever value as a memento of a very happy and interesting occasion. (Loud applause,)

The whole of those present were then individually presented by Mr H V Tippet to the Earl and Countess who cordially shook hands with them.

The Luncheon

Immediately after the above ceremony a lunch, by invitation, took place in a marquee erected in the Pleasure Gardens in front of the Pavilion.
The Earl of Scarbrough presided, and he was supported on his right by Major Swan, Mr and Mrs J S Sills, and Mr and Mrs J Green, and on the left by the Countess of Scarbrough, Rev C P Disbrowe (rector of Skegness), Mrs Disbrowe, Mr G J Dashper, Miss Emiline Grantham and Mr and Mrs C F Grantham. Among other present were:

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About 250 sat down to the luncheon, which was admirably served by Mr and Mrs Green, the lessee of the Pavilion, and gave great satisfaction.
Grace was said before and after the meat by the Rev Disbrowe (rector of Skegness0.

The noble Earl, in submitting the toast of the Queen, said he must ask the company present to drink a toast which was never omitted whatever the assembly might be. They were grateful that her Majesty the Queen had been spared to reign over this country for an unprecedented period and he prayed that her life might be spared some years longer. She was the best loved sovereign that had ever reigned over this country or over the Anglo-Saxon race. (Cheers).

Messers Hudsons’ band then played “God save the Queen”.

The noble Chairman next gave in appropriate terms the Prince and Princess of Wales and the rest of the Royal Family.
“God bless the Prince of Wales” was then sung.

Mr T L Barrett then proposed ” The Bishop and clergy and ministers of other denominations.” He remarks that there was not that harmony in the church that they would like to see, but in proposing a toast of this kind he was not going to pose as a critic. It had been his lot to live in the cathedral city of Peterborough, and he had known five bishops of that diocese, who were all men of eminence and piety, but the late Dr Magee was the greatest of them all.

Continued about the church)

Mr Sills proposed a toast to the Army, Navy and reserve forces.

Mr C F Grantham said he had great pleasure in proposing the healths of the Earl and Countess of Scarbrough. He knew he should be expressing the feelings of all present and everybody in Skegness when he said that they took this opportunity of offering to the Earl of Scarbrough and the Countess their warmest and most hearty congratulations upon their recent marriage, (Applause.)
They appreciated the gracious act of the Countess in coming amongst them, and he could assure her there was no one they would have liked half as well to perform the ceremony that was to take place later on. (Hear, hear.)
They would have many future occasion, he hoped, of offering her ladyship a most hearty welcome to the town. The time would not permit him to enumerate a tithe of what Lord Scarbrough had done for Skegness, but he could assure his lordship that his name was written in big letters all over the place. (Applause).

The toast was received with the greatest enthusiasm, to the accompaniment of musical honours.

The Earl of Scarbrough, in response, said: Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish in the best way I can, on behalf of Lady Scarbrough and myself, to express the feeling which I can assure you I find very difficult indeed to put into words; and I must ask you to believe that if I fail in that [to be continued]

Opening and Dedication of the Diamond Jubillee Clock Tower by the Countess of Scarbrough

This took place shortly after three o’clock in the afternoon, when all those who attended the Wedding Ceremonies were present. In addition to these, a vast concourse of people had assembled round the clock tower long previously. On the east side of the tower a small space was enclosed for the Earl and Countess, and the committee. The tower is erected at the east end of Lumley Road and in the large opening space between the North and South parades. It cost nearly £400 and rises to a total height of 44 ft. The head, or clock case is a combination of teak and mahogany, and the clock itself is the work of Messers. Smith and Son  of Derby.

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Photo of the Clock Tower face by Paul Gooch.

With the bells is cost £200. The base of the tower is of Ancaster stone. The Skegness Clock Tower foundation stone was laid in October last by Lord Willoughby de Eresby, MP for the division, and the tower has been erected by subscriptions. On the panel on the west side of the tower is the following inscription – “This clock tower was erected

MORE TO COME

Picture below: The Skegness Clock Tower Opening Ceremony, photo almost certainly taken by Skegness photographer, Charles Smyth.

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Pictures below: Advertisments for the Clock Tower Opening Ceremony festivities in Skegness.

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