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<< 1868 & 1875 Industrial Exhibitions page

Leighton Buzzard Observer & Linslade Gazette
Tuesday, 18th May 1875

Brief background

Article published in the local newspaper in the week after the exhibition opened. The main coverage is in the supplement, with this article containing a summary of the opening, details of several of the commercial exhibitors plus a list of the exhibitors and their exhibits that were awarded prizes (note - there are several amendments to the list published in the following weeks newspaper i.e. 25th May 1875). Note: any text enclosed in square bracket are comments by the transcriber relating to possible typos or errors in the original text.

The Article


Favoured with a continuance of the delightful weather which prevailed at the opening on Wednesday last, the Exhibition, with its varied attractions and its daily change of additional entertainments, has been well patronised each day during the past week. On Wednesday, the inaugural day, the number of visitors was 298, of whom 198 were season ticket holders; on Thursday 690 persons were admitted, including 551 season ticket holders. During the evening on this day, when the building was crowded, an organ recital was given by Mr. T. J. Price M.C.O., the programme of music being as under:-

1. “Hallelujah Chorus,” Handel.
2. “War March of the Priests,” Mendelssohn.
3. “March of the Israelites,” Costa.
4. “Wedding March,” Mendelssohn.
5. “Vienna Exhibition March,” Scotson Clark.
6. “Sortie,” Battmaun.
7. “March from St. Polycarp,” Ouseley.
8. “Marche aux Flambeaux,” Scotson Clark.
9. “Marche Religieux,” Gilbert.
10. “National Anthem,” Bull.

On Friday the visitors numbered 642, of whom 507 held season tickets. In the afternoon W. R. Cooper, Esq., of London, gave a brief but very interesting dissertation on “The Roll of the Hebrew Pentateuch,” and the peculiarity of the Hebrew translation of the Scriptures. The discourse was listened to with much attention and profit by a considerable audience, including several clergymen. On Saturday the season ticket holders were 360, and visitors by payment 138, or a total of 498. In the evening the Leighton Buzzard Amateur Instrumental Society played a varied selection of choice music at intervals in masterly style, greatly enlivening the proceedings generally and adding considerably to the enjoyment of the musical portion of the company. On Friday a considerable number of visitors availed themselves of the opportunity offered by the kindness of the Baroness de Rothschild to visit the noble mansion and beautiful grounds at Mentmore. It is expected that a still larger number of persons will be eager to take advantage of the privilege of inspecting the valuable and beautiful treasures of the Mansion during the present week, and, for the information of those who may be contemplating a visit, we are desired to say that the Exhibition Committee have no authority to give orders for admission to Mentmore House to any other than schools and working men’s clubs visiting the Exhibition as such. The general public will be supplied with passes on application to Edwd. Hart, Esq., of Wing. On Monday (yesterday) there was a great influx of visitors into the town. It being a Bank holiday, the business establishments were, of course, all closed, and, with the lines of flags put up at the opening of the Exhibition still flying across the streets, and the Royal Thame Brass Band playing through the main thoroughfares, the town put on a much more jubilant air and assumed a much more general holiday appearance than on any previous day. A great number of Leightonians, realeased [released] from business for the day, with very many assistants, also joined the throng, and the Exhibition was consequently crowded during the whole day. In the evening there was quite a crush – no doubt at this time the visitors were more numerous than can be expected again at any one time during the remainder of the time that the Exhibition remains open.  We understand that, up to the time of going to press at six o’clock last evening, some 1100 new comers and 450 season ticket holders had entered the building.

DR. LAWFORD’S PAMPHLET. – This pamphlet, on the “Antiquities of Leighton Buzzard,” is eminently calculated to draw the attention of visitors to points of interest, well worthy of notice, outside the Exhibition. The profits resulting from the sale of this work are to be devoted to the extension of the Working Men’s Library. The pamphlet contains a brief account of the antiquities of the town generally, but treats in particular of the Church and Market Cross. With reference to these particulars are given with which we doubt not many Leightonians are unacquainted, and we would recommend all who take an interest in their native town and its early history to purchase a copy. The iron scroll-work of the southern door ["of"missing] the Church, which formed such a point of interest to the Bucks. Archaeological Society on a recent visit, is described, and this beautiful work of art is traced to the hand of a cunning artificer in iron – the Leightonian Tubal Cain of 1293-4, whose reputation gained for him a commission to execute screens or railings for the protection of ancient monuments in Westminster Abbey. The interior of the Church is viewed, and attention is especially drawn to the “Parvise,” or chamber, with an opening in the wall, apparently made in bygone days that the occupant might keep the altar in view. This chamber is immediately over the vestry. The Ven. Archdeacon Bickersteth is of opinion that this chamber is one in which the priest used to lodge when on duty all night, and the hole in the wall enabled him to see if the lights on the altar were burning, and whether everything was safe. Another opinion is that such chambers were used by lepers, who, not being allowed to enter the church, received the elements from the priest through the opening in the wall. The carved stalls associated with the House of Cistercian Monks, once existed at Leighton as a cell to Woburn Abbey, are also referred to, also the remnant of the Monastery now to be seen at Mr. Newton’s offices in High Street, whence to the Church subterranean passages still exist. With regard to the Cross, supposed to have been erected in the reign of Edward III., its architecture is described, and an account of its restoration given, with many interesting particulars. An explanation, or quotation from the secretary of the Bucks. Archaeological Association, is given with a view to proving that this structure is not, as many suppose, a Queen Eleanor Cross, and as evidence of the strange customs which prevailed in Leighton two centuries ago, the register of a marriage which took place in front of the Cross is quoted from the parish records, as follows:- “Thomas Doggett, the son of Ralph Doggett, of Laighton Beaudesert, was married to Elizabeth Edwards, of Biggleswade, the daughter of Thomas Edwards, of Langford, county Bedford, by Samuel Bedford, Esq., their contract having been published in Laighton on three market daies, February 21st and 28th, and March 7th, 1653.” The market at that time appears to have been held on Saturdays. Visitors to the Exhibition will scarcely obtain a more interesting shilling’s worth for their money than in this pamphlet.

MR. CHARLES PARNACOTT’S STAND. – Since our list of exhibits appearing in the supplement was put into print Mr. Charles Parnacott, jeweller and diamond mounter to the Queen, has brought into the Exhibition a collection of most rare and costly gems and jewels, which are attracting universal attention. The fact that a police-officer is continually stationed between the cases containing the Baroness de Rothschild’s personal jewellery and Mr. Parnacott’s case of diamonds and precious stones, is sufficient to give the public an intimation that at this spot there is something which may be seen but certainly must not be touched. The collection to which we now specially refer is indeed a most magnificent one, the exhibitor’s object being to show diamonds in the rough state, and pearls in course of formation and fully developed upon the shells in which, they are found, and by the aid of tools and appliances simultaneously exhibited to illustrate the different processes through which these gems are passed before they appear in finished jewellery. There are all kinds of diamonds in the rough, emeralds and opals in matrix, turquoises, and precious stones of various descriptions, cut and uncut. A fine specimen of an uncut Cape diamond, weighing 111 ½ carats, is valued at £2,000. There are many other pearls of great price; and beside the real gems is a collection of twenty-four models of celebrated diamonds, among which may be seen the “Kohinoor,” the “Florentine,” the “Shah,” the “Star of the South,” the “Great Nizam,” the “Orloff,” “Regent” or “Pitt,” “Polar Star,” &c. In addition is shown a very exquisite assortment of cameo-centred and other jewellery, in necklaces, brooches, wristlets, and ear-drops, raised enamelled gold lockets, &c. Beside the intrinsic value of these articles the artistic manufacture and finish is really surprising, and an inspection of the case alone is well worth the cost of admission. Mr. Parnacott offers many of these valuable articles for sale, the profits of which are to ["be" missing] given to the Exhibition fund.

MR. F. EISERT’S STAND. – This is another great centre of attraction. By the kindness of the Baroness de Rothschild, Mr. Eisert, of South Audley Street, London, illustrates – and with most wonderful skill – the process of engraving upon glass. He shows many magnificent specimens, chief among which is a most exquisitely-chased large goblet, upon which are shown the principal officers in command of the British, French, and Turkish forces during the Crimean campaign. Upon this masterpiece of art will be found Lord Raglan, Admiral Dundas, the Duke of Cambridge, Omer Pasha, Achmel Pasha, Baraquai D’Hilliers, Prince Napoleon, General St. Arnaud, and Marshal Canrobert. The features of each are remarkably good, and the uniform perfect. The goblet is a most wonderful production, and we are told by the artist, who is Bohemian, that it has been in hand no less than thirty years. The fact  that it has been produced by three different hands will show at once that talent in this special art has been naturally transmitted, the exhibitor’s grandfather commencing the work, which was  carried on by his father, and ultimately completed by himself. The total time actually occupied in producing this artistic marvel is reckoned at three years, and the goblet is now valued at 300 guineas. In our last issue the value was set at £200, but it appears that by some mistake the wrong amount found its way into the Exhibition committee’s books, and we gladly put the public in possession of a knowledge of the real value. It is reputed to be “a great masterpiece of art, unique of its kind, the labour of years of the greatest Bohemian artistes, and never will anything so great be made again.” In the presence of the visitors to the Exhibition Mr. Eisert displays his dextrous skill, wonderful precision, and natural taste; and in addition to exhibiting a large variety of elegantly-engraved glasses and ornaments, in many shapes and forms, and bearing the impress of his ability in producing animate and inanimate figures, he takes a blank glass, applies it to his machine, and, guided only by the naked eye, cuts out a holly-leaf, with joints, veins, berries, &c., as complete as nature itself. Various specimens shown are the work of months and years, and are of great value. The facility with which the artist applies himself to his work, and the exquisite beauty of his productions – small, here, of course, in comparison to many upon the stand – is truly marvellous. Every visitor to the Exhibition should pay a visit to this stand in the annexe.

MESSRS. BATTY AND CO’S STAND. – From jewellery and glass engraving to pickles requires a long stride of imagination, though not of limb, inasmuch as the two latter, at all events, will be found in pretty close proximity in the annexe. The exhibitors, who hail from 15 and 16, Finsbury Pavement, and Finsbury Place, London show a quantity of sample bottles of preserved gherkins, cauliflowers, beans and onions, in brine and vinegar. The cauliflowers and gherkins are imported from Holland, and are shown in brine to illustrate the fact that they may be carefully preserved in transmission, or for any length of time up to a twelvemonth, until put through the pickling process. The idea of the exhibitors appears to be to show visitors to what perfection these articles may be grown, and to further bring before their notice the fact that a good market can be found for such products of the soil. This exhibit must be one which will command the attention of the numerous market gardeners of Leighton and the neighbourhood. Messrs. Batty & Co. venture to think that, in submitting to visitors some few specimens of their particular industry, they may be viewed not altogether without interest; and possibly one of the agricultural resources of the district may, by thus having attention directed thereto, receive some development, from which permanent good may result. It is perhaps “one of the things not generally known,” that the countries of Holland and France contribute vast quantities of vegetables for this especial purpose, those from Holland being unusually fine. Inspection is particularly invited to each of the specimens; showing as they do, articles of home and also of foreign growth, in their crude and unprepared state as received, and then again, after careful preparation and treatment with the best vinegar to be obtained – offering themselves as zests to the palates of the general public. A number of bottles of onions and beans, grown in the neighbourhood of Biggleswade, are shown, and are a perfection of vegetable produce and artificial preservation.


The following is a list of Exhibitors who have been awarded certificates of merit for excellence of ingenuity and workmanship or artistic skill.


E. C. Porter, Leighton Buzzard, 1st Class.
E. Boughton, Woburn, 2nd ditto.


J. J. Wood, Leighton Buzzard, 1st Class.


George Abraham, Stony Stratford, for In-laid Table, 1st Class.
- Payne, Ivinghoe, In-laid Work, 1st Class.
- Osborne, Berkhampstead, Table, 2nd Class.
H. Caves, Wing, Harmonium, 2nd Class.


1st Class.

J. Negus, Olney, Harvest Cart.
W. Biffin, jun., Bedford, Boats and Canoe.
F. Hayter, Monks Risborough, National School of that village.
A. Seabrook, Leighton, Battlesden Car.
A. Abraham, Leighton, Heath Pump-House.
G. Powell, Linslade, Ships.
D. Hawkins, Northall, Pig Trough.
R. W. Stratfold, Woburn, Improved Bridge.

2nd Class.

H. Penn, Stevenage, Traction Engine.
W. Abraham, Leighton, Greenhouse.
T. Gregory, Stony Stratford, Dry Gas Meter.
A. Chapman, Woburn, Bird Cage.
A. Mead, Leighton, Cottage.
F. Buckmaster, Leighton, Greenhouse.
A. Sibthorpe, Bedford, Carriages.


1st Class.

G. Croft, Bedford, Plough.
J. Kingham, Aylesbury, Stationary Engine.
A. Franklin, late of Bedford, Plough
J. Rogers, Stony Stratford, Railway Saloon Carriage.
W. Bowers, Bedford, “Oliver” for Nuts and Bolts

2nd Class.

- Botsworth, Linslade, Pump.
P. Jaques, Leighton, Greenhouse, Factory, &c.
W. Hensman, jun., Linslade, Drill.
W. Groom, Weston Turville, Lever and Scuffler.


Jas. Rowe, Aylesbury, 1st Class) [should be ","] for “Relume” Signal Lamp, and patent Miners’ Safety Lamp.
F. Gotto, Leighton, 2nd Class, Effluvia Trap.
W. Odell, Sheep Lane, 2nd Class, Improved Pheasant Traps.


E. Fortnum, Leighton Buzzard, 1st Class.
E. T. Westen, Aylesbury, 2nd Class.


1st Class.

R. Barnes, Berkhampstead, Water Colours.
R. J. Phillimore, Ridgmount, Oil Painting.

2nd Class.

R. W. Stratfold, Woburn, Water and Oil Pictures.
J. T. Lawrence, Linslade, Architectural Drawings.


1st Class.

Mrs. Slark, Heath Mount, Leighton, Oil Paintings.
Miss M. Thompson, Hitchin, Oil and Water Drawings.
Miss Price, Linslade, Water Colours and Crayons.
Charles Herbert, Woburn, Illuminated Missal.

2nd Class.

Miss Bassett, The Heath, Leighton, Water Colours.
H. Butcher, Stony Stratford, ditto.
Mrs. Heley, Wing, ditto.
Miss Brickwood, Totternhoe, Painted Photographs.
H. Sell, Leighton, Pen and Ink Etching.
T. B. Baldwin, Luton, Drawings.
A. W. Watson, Bedford, Pen and Ink Drawings.


1st Class.

G. Bowler, Leighton, Oak Cabinet.
H. A. Harbert, Woburn, Oak Table.
Uriah Edwards, Hockliffe, Inlaid Table.

2nd Class.

F. West, Woburn, Inlaid Table.
- Richardson, Berkhampstead, Table.
W. Fleet, Aylesbury, Inlaid Table.
W. Whiting, Heath, Book-case.


S. R. Middleton, Leighton Buzzard, 1st Class.


J. Lamb, Leighton Buzzard, 1st Class.
H. Osborne, Bedford, 2nd Class.


1st Class.

S. Robinson, Leighton Buzzard.
W. Hayes, Leighton Buzzard.
T. Brown, Leighton Buzzard.

2nd Class.

- Richardson, Berkhampstead.


1st Class.

A. L. & G. Taylor, Leighton Buzzard, Ventilating Apparatu.s ["." in wrong position]
W. Meager, Linslade, Horse Shoes.
E. Bishop & Sons, Leighton, Asbestos Stove.
W. Goodson, Leighton, Horse Shoes.
A. Meeham, Buckingham, Horse Shoes.

2nd Class.

J. Sharp, Aylesbury, Dairy Utensils.
W. Godfrey, Leighton, Gas Stove.
G. Davis, Leighton, Tin Work.
J. & H. Wood, Berkhampstead, Wire Work.
- Tansley, Bedford, Thief-proof Safe.


W. Coles, Stewkley, 1st Class.
W. King, Linslade, ditto.
B. Mead, Aylesbury, ditto.


R. Harris, Leighton, Light Work, First Class.
R. Riches, Newport Pagnell, First Class.


1st Class.

W. H. Cranstone, Hemel Hempstead, Wood and Steel Engraving Machine.
W. H. Samuel, Leighton, Cooperage.
F. Marsden, Leighton, Cooperage.
R. Richmond, jun., Leighton, Electrical Appliances throughout the Exchange Building.
S. Chetham, Bedford, Pleasure Boat.

2nd Class.

T. Yirrell, Leighton Buzzard, Stone Masonry.
W. Featherstonhaugh, Woburn Sands, Rope, Twine, etc.


W. Cooper, Luton, 1st Class.
J. Hearn, Aylesbury, 1st Class.
J. & R. Purser, Leighton, 1st Class.
Wilford & Son, Olney, 2nd Class.


J. Barnard, Bedford, 1st Class.
W. & J. Piggott, Leighton, 2nd Class.
J. Downes, Bedford, 2nd Class.
S. G. Payne, Aylesbury, 2nd Class.


Mrs. Piggott, Leighton, Circular Picture Frame, 1st Class.


S. R. Middleton, Leighton, 1st Class.


E. W. Lewis, Leighton (Geological), 1st Class.
J. Sanders, Luton (ditto), 1st Class.


Mrs. Benmore, Battlesden (Honiton), 1st Class.
M. A. Tame, Stoke Goldington (pillow), 1st Class.
Mrs. White, Linslade (pillow), 1st Class.
Miss E. Sell, Leighton (point), 2nd Class.
Mrs. Burrows, Wing (ditto), 2nd Class.
A. C. Sanders, Woburn (ditto), 2nd Class.


Girls’ Working School, Leighton, 1st Class.
Aston Clinton Girls’ Schools, 1st Class.
Leighton Girls’ British School, 1st Class.
Leighton St. Andrews’ Girls’ School, 2nd Class.
Mentmore Girls’ School, 2nd Class.


1st Class.

Miss Dorey, Leighton Buzzard.
Mrs. J. Tindall, Leighton Buzzard.
Mrs. Stannard, Eversholt.
Miss Hall, Stockgrove, Leighton.
Amelia Crayment (blind girl), Leighton Buzzard.
Mrs. Sanders, Woburn.
Miss Holland, Buckingham.
S. Wood, Great Brickhill.
Miss Brown, Woburn.

2nd Class.

Miss Tavener, Linslade.
Mrs. Thorp, Leighton Buzzard.
Miss, Brown, Ampthill.
Miss Bassett, The Heath, Leighton Buzzard.
Miss Riddiford, Fenny Stratford.
Mrs. Whitman, Linslade.
Emma Gomme, Weston Turville.
M. A. Warren, Stoke Goldington.
Miss Rumball, Leighton Buzzard.
Miss Keating, Woburn.
Miss Garner, Leighton Buzzard.
Mrs. Crook, Leighton Buzzard.
Miss Frost, Leighton Buzzard.
Miss Claridge, Leighton Buzzard.
Miss Hopkins, Leighton Buzzard.

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