Liverpool F.C. Theatrical Gala 1898

Thursday, February 10 – 1898
Bashi Bazouks, Emperor Menelik and his Abyssinian chiefs at Anfield
The annual charitable theatrical gala, which year after year is promoted by a certain section of the Liverpool public for the benefit of several of our medical charities, &c., has been favoured to-day with surprisingly fine weather. The gala as usual, is held on the ground of the Liverpool Football Club at Anfield, which is lent and specially prepared for the occasion by the directors of the club.

The day’s proceedings started about noon with an extravagant “show” procession from Queen-square, in which about a hundred artists engaged at our several theaters and music halls joined in making the affair as eventful and attractive as possible. The “wild beast show” previously provided for the demonstration by Mr. W. Cross had partly arranged to supply  this part of the feast, but owing to the severity of the weather during the past few days he thought at the last moment it was better not to run any risk with his animals, more especially as on Monday last he lost a very valuable lion by death.

The procession slowly paraded the principal streets of the city, en route to Anfield, where it arrived about one o’clock. An exceptionally large number of interesting items of sports had been arranged, but the great event of the day was the football match between the theatricals and the League team of the Liverpool Club. This was under the special management of Mr. George Mozart and Witty Watty Walton, of the Prince of Wales Theatre, whose names are sufficient to ensure something out of the common.

The extraordinarily fine weather, the of which has not favoured the gala for several years past bright a large gathering, and when “business” commenced the crowd of spectators was most promising for a large gathering later on. The side shows were numerous and unique.

Dervishes from the East with camel and dromedary; Bashi Bazouks, Russia represented by the Bear, China on crutches, Emperor Menelik and his Abyssinian chiefs; German, French, Austrian, and all the European autocrats were in evidence; while Great Britain was represented by typical types of her Army and Navy, who did their utmost along with the fair daughters of Britannia to collect dollars and dimes, and any other current coin going for the benefit of the charities for which the show was being held. The principal ladies of the respective theatres, chief amongst whom was Miss Mabel Love, who took part in the procession, were busily engaged in trading with flowers, photos, cigarettes, and other saleable wares, the bewitching manner in which trade was carried on causing many a nimble sixpence to “flop ou” on its own accord into the basket of the “fair” trader, who never, of course, gave change back. Pocket editions of Fitzsimmon and Corbett did good “biz.” In the boxing business, while organ grinders, pioano demons, Oitalian serenanders, “sea nymphs and mermaids (the latter minus theor tails), proved effective extractors of the “needful.”

The “legitimate” business commenced with the annual match for schoolboys of the North and South of Liverpool. The play of the aspiring youngsters ought to prove a useful lesson to our at present – paralysed League teams of Everton and Liverpool clubs. North scored first, but the South representatives managed to equalise in the second half, and the result was a adraw of 1 goal each. The game for the medals will thus have to be replayed.

NORTH. – H. Singleton (Longmoor-lane), goal; H. Cunliffe (Stanley-road) and D. Greenslade (Longmoor-lane), backs; A. Taylor (Arnot-street), E. Dudley (Arnot-street) and S. Lloyd (Anfield-road), half backs; W. Cameron (Anfield-road), J. Marles (Arnot-street), H. Lipson (Walton-lane), T. Westherston (Longmoor-lane), and F. Richardson (Anfield-road), forwards.
SOUTH. – Towers (Webster-road), goal; G. Sheard (Seaman’s Orphanage) and J. L. Jones (Brae-street), backs; B. Barrett (Seaman’s Orphanage), T. Forshaw (St. Mary’s, Edge Hill), and W. Thompson (Brae-street), half backs; J. Cunliffe (Holy Trinity, Wavertree), J. Isaac (Brae-street), Cookson (Brae-street), A. Harris (Brae-street), and W. Humphreys (Brae-street), forwards.

The sports, which represented a heavy programme, most of them contested in numerous heats, principally occupied the attention of the company until the theatrical kicking match came on. For the convenience of the spectators, the races were carried on in different parts of the field – a heat being contested here and there, so that all had a view of what was going on, and of course it was at this stage of the proceedings that much of the Klondike “product” in the form of Cornwall copper, was gathered in. Jimmy Merrylees Vincent (“The Monk”) and “The Squire” from the Empire Theatre, doing especially good business in obtaining “tin.” Another useful side show belonged to Harry Wright, Stratton Mills, the two Glenroys, C. Addison, Polluski, and Penley, of the Court pantomime, who were mounted on one of Griffith’s coal waggons, the troops talking and singing a whole copper mine out of the pockets of the spectators.

The Lord Mayor and his party arrived about three o’clock, and from this tage the fun and frolic rolled about in huge waves, and after the “fete beggars” had obtained all the loose coin, they wanted his worship to hypothecate his chain of office, and only for the numerous police officers guarding the civic bauble it would no doubt have been lost to Liverpool at least for a time.
(Liverpool Echo, 11-02-1898)

Bashi Bazouks
Bashi Bazouks

On Thursday, the 10th inst., this annual event was again held at Anfield, in the ground of the Liverpool Football Club. Thursday was, fortunately, the one beautiful day in the week, and consequently an enormous crowd surged into the ground, and overflowed to profitable advantage into the many side shows.

The procession from Mr. Bush’s Bee Hotel, in Queen’s Square, was well organised, and progressed merrily along the route. On the grounds about sixty of the ladies in the gayest and prettiest costumes fluttered here and there, with such fine results that with the processional gatherings, the side shows, and the ladies’ sales of photo’s and nicknacks, no less a sum than £118 was made by these means along – this being the largest collection yet made, and forming a record.

The highest individual collection was made by Miss Mabel Love, whose “taking” were upwards £20, this being also a “record.”

Splendid service was also done by Misses Constance Moxon, Beatrice Goodchild, Blanchard, Nellie Randall, Courtenay, The Poluskis, Messrs. Tom Craven, Henry Wright, Vincent, Merrylce, Yardley, Witty, Wattie Walton, George Mozart, Stratton Mills, The Glenroys, Mr. Addison, Mr. Penley, and many others.

In the football match the Lord Mayor (Alderman John Houlding) kicked off, and then motley had its fling and carnival reigned. The results of the athletic sports were as follows: –

50 Yards Jockey Costume Race. – Final: 1, Will Bertram, Royal Court; 2, Paul Penley, Royal Court; 3, J.E. Skinner, Prince of Wales; 4, Sam Glenroy, Royal Court.

80 Yards Flat (for boys under 15 engaged at the theatres). – Final: 1, Robert Eyres, Shakespeare; 2, W. Poluski, Empire; 3, T. Quinlan, Prince of Wales.

50 Yards (girls under 15). – 1, Florrie Bradshaw, Lyric; 2, H. Wilberforce, Empire; 3. Gertie O’Brien, Empire; 4, Maggie Dickinson, Empire.

80 Yards Character Race (gentlemen). – 1, P. Penley, Royal Court; 2, W. Scott, Royal Court; 3, W.S. Perman, Prince of Wales.

80 Yards Three-legged Race. – 1, G. Evans and G. Lovada, Empire; 2, F. Wemsworth and another, Shakespeare; 3, Perman and Bastow, Prince of Wales.

Apple Gathering (ladies). – 1, Bella Perman, Prince of Wales; 2, K. Pattison, Shakespeare; 3, Lily Doris, Prince of Wales; 4, E. Fitzsimmons, Royal Court.

80 Yards Jockey Costume Race. – 1, Walter Scott, Royal Court; 2, A. Glenroy, Royal Court; 3, Horace Hall, Prince of Wales; 4, S. Glenroy, Royal Court.

30 Yards Flat Race. – 1, Robert Eyres, Shakespeare; 2, W. Poluski, Empire; 3, T. Quinlan, Prince of Wales.

80 Yards Hurdle Sack Race. – 1, P.J. Perman, Prince of Wales; 2, Walter Scott, Royal Court; 3, Lorney, Royal Court.

One Lap Handicap Race. – 1, W. Scott; 2, Glenroy; 3, Lorney; 4, D. Ashby – all Royal Court.

Musicians’ Race. – 1, H. Sainsbury, Grand; 2, Peters, Grand; 3, Norris, Empire; 4, Robinson, Prince of Wales.

The various prizes will be presented at the theatres in due course.
(The Stage, 17-02-1898)

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