01 May 2019

1st May 1901 - May Day Celebration in Asylum


On Wednesday evening, 1st May 1901, the Asylum staff and patients celebrated May Day.

A very large number of visitors and patients were present, and in addition to traditional dancing there were two special features.

The first was an old English dance, as used exactly 100 years before. Instead of the usual Brass band of the Institution, the music in this case was played by Miss Edith Williams, on piano; and Miss Louie James, on violin. In the dance several ladies were dressed in old fashioned costumes, which had been faithfully copied from illustrations of the period, and several men were also correctly attired in dress coats, high cravates, knee breeches, white stockings, and each wore a wig of the Georgian period.

The second novelty was 'The Revels' in which a number of the attendants and patients took part, arrayed in different costumes, among them, over 20 were wearing masks illustrating various animals. Two important costumes in this part of the programme were made at the asylum, and were amongst the most successful parts of the evening. We allude to the British Lion and the Dancing Bear. The lion was the work of Mr. Joseph Harnaman, one of the attendants. The Dancing Bear created and led by Mr. Watson in appropriate costume, was a huge success. Its antics created a great deal of merriment.

Thankyou to the North Wales Times from Saturday 04 May 1901 for this piece seen on the British Newspaper archive.

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