Luton Hoo to host children's festivities

[The Luton News: Thursday, September 11th, 1919]

Lady Wernher has telegraphed from Harrogate that she is very pleased to give the use of Luton Hoo Park for the senior children's festivities on Thursday next, and last night another meeting of the committee which is organising the scholars' festivities was held at the Education Offices in New Bedford Road and all the principal arrangements were fixed up.

The amount subscribed was stated by the Deputy Mayor to be £1,146 10s, and when the proposals of the various sub-committees charged with various parts of the proceedings had been approved, the whole of this sum had been allocated with the exception of a very modest amount for emergencies.

The Tea Committee through Mr Hyder submitted tenders for the catering, and the Committee accepted the tenders of Messrs Slater for supplying teas and evening refreshments to all the children and helpers at Luton Hoo, and of Messrs Dudeney & Johnston for catering at seven centres for the infants' festivities on the Friday. The arrangements at the Hoo will be very similar to those made by Messrs Slater when catering for Lady Wernher's recent festivities – four large marquees will be used as centres, from which all the children will be served. It will be necessary for the infants to take their own mugs, but otherwise everything will be provided.

So far as the arrangements for the senior children are concerned, there will be a big procession which will be complete by the time it passes Chapel Street, and which will be headed by a band, and possibly include a second band later in the procession. Crippled children will be taken to the park in conveyances.

In addition to tea there will be sports, which it is suggested should be arranged independently by each school; two stages at which clowns, a conjurer and a ventriloquist will perform; two Punch and Judy sets; fire balloons in the shape of grotesque animals; and perhaps roundabouts and other fairgrounds entertainments.

The infants are all to have entertainments at the Palace Theatre and the Picture Theatres. Mr Mark Lorne has given Miss Tennant valuable assistance in this connection, and all the picture theatre proprietors are co-operating. Then the children will assemble at various centres for tea – some of the schools will be grouped for this, and after tea entertainers are to amuse them. Musical clowns, marionettes, ventriloquists etc are being engaged, and motors are being lent to take them from centre to centre, so that all the children may have as complete an entertainment as possible. The principals of private schools have accepted the invitations extended to them on behalf of their pupils.

The senior children will take part in the demonstration at Luton Hoo, and it is proposed to combine all the juniors as one school for tea and entertainment, probably at the Castle Street Hall.

The souvenir medals which are being provided by Messrs Vyse through the instrumentality of Alderman Staddon, will be distributed to the senior children earlier in the week, but the distribution to the juniors will probably be postponed until after their festivities, as the manufacturers will not be able to quite fill the order in time – something over 10,000 have to be supplied, and the majority are already in Alderman Staddon's possession, but not quite all.

Some examples were shown to the committee last night, and it was unanimously agreed that Messrs Vyse have presented a very handsome medal. Mrs Staddon will probably make a tour of the schools early next week, and present the medals in bulk to the teachers for distribution.