Reminders of Peace Day Riots 1919
Reminders from the Wardown House Museum collection of fateful July 19th, 1919, and the Peace Day riots that resulted in the burning down of the 1847 Town Hall.
Pictured is one of the charred numerals from the face of the clock that had been installed on the Town Hall in August 1856 to commemorate peace at the end of the Crimean War but that came crashing down from the blazing building around 12.30am on July 20th, 1919. Below it is the key to the main door of the ill-fated Town Hall.
Two other pictures in the slideshow (below) include Peace Day exhibits on display at Wardown.
Newspaper reports following the fire said some furniture had remained undamaged in the lower department of the Education Office, but this was practically all that remained of the contents of the building. The mace had been found, in a badly damaged condition, and efforts were being made to discover the Corporation seal.
Very few people in the town knew that in the basement of the Town Hall there was maintained a considerable store of tinned meat, for the benefit of the town in the event of a serious emergency. This was obtained on the initiative of the Town Clerk early in the year, but it was completely destroyed.