Monday, July 29th 1861
The Fête at Beckett Park.
The annual fête in aid of the funds of the Great Western Railway Provident Society is appointed to take place tomorrow (Tuesday) in the delightful park and grounds adjoining Beckett House, the residence of Lord Barrington, and, should the weather prove propitious, there is every prospect of the fête proving the most successful yet held in connection with this very excellent society. It is customary for thousands of persons to be present at these fêtes, and to participate in the amusements and pleasures provided for the occasion, and there is every promise of the attendance being as large this year as at any former fête. Both in Swindon and at Highworth the shops will be closed, and we have no doubt but that in other surrounding towns business on that day will be in a great measure suspended. Excursion trains will run from most of the stations on the Great Western Railway and arrangements have been made for the conveyance of visitors from the surrounding districts, so that we may look forward to one of the greatest gatherings of pleasure seekers ever assembled in this part of the country. It is well known to all who have attended these fête s that everything that can be done is done to render them satisfactory both to the society and to the visitors - that the amusements provided are such as are calculated to amuse everybody, without even once testing the nerves of the most fastidious; and as the arrangements on Tuesday are under the direction of Mr. Baker, the respected and able secretary to the Provident Society, we may rely upon a most pleasant and agreeable ‘day out.’ Provisions, which are always charged for at these fêtes at a moderate and reasonable scale, will this year be provided by Mr. Reason, of Highworth, and in this department also we feel assured there will be many things to commend and none to censure. For particulars of the amusements to be provided, and also for the running of the excursion train, we must refer our readers to the advertisement in our first page. It is of importance, however, for intending visitors from Swindon and the neighbourhood to know that a two-shilling fête ticket purchased at the Swindon Station will entitle the holder to proceed by any second-class train from Swindon Station stopping at Shrivenham Station during the day to enter the grounds and participate in all the advantages of the fête , and to return to Swindon Station by any train in the evening. Those who prefer making the journey by water will have an opportunity of doing so, an enterprising individual having chartered and nicely fitted up one of the Wilts & Berks Canal barges. The barge will leave the Golden Lion Bridge, New Swindon, shortly after 9 o’clock in the morning. The trains from Swindon Station calling at Shrivenham, and by which holders of fête tickets may proceed, run as follows:- 9.6am, 1.35pm, 3.5pm, in addition to the excursion train. Trains from Shrivenham to Swindon run as follows:-5.38pm, 8.8pm, and the excursion train.
Transcribed by Colin and Daniel Taylor, 2019