On July 11th this year it will be exactly 150 years since Congleton opened its new Town Hall. Back then, the town celebrated with a parade of dignitaries followed by a very smart tea-party for the great and the good of the town. Music was provided by a brass band and the whole was followed by speeches and, of course, a loyal toast to the health of Queen Victoria.
Times have changed, and when Congleton Town Council decided to celebrate the 150th Anniversary it was decided to do something a bit different. The first event will be a massive human card stunt of the Town Hall. This will take place in Congleton Park on Wednesday 15th June and will involve 800 children from Congleton’s schools. Organised by Councillor Suzie Akers Smith it is hoped that the event will get into the Guinness Book of World Records and be another first for Congleton. Councillor Akers Smith, Chairman of the Town Hall 150th Anniversary Committee and Phil Worthington, Congleton High School Print Room Manager, have carried out all the calculations and logistics and the final result will be a massive photograph of Congleton Town Hall that will be published through social media channels to publicise the town and give the school children an event to remember.
As it is Carnival year, it was decided not to hold a parade as they did in 1866 but an evening reception party for invited guests. There will be speeches and no doubt, in her special birthday year, a toast to our own Queen Elizabeth.
As part of the celebrations, there will be a three-day Living History event for children from the local primary schools. The idea behind this is to help the children understand the differences between the way life was in the town in 1866 and the way we live now. Cllr Suzie Akers Smith explained; “The event will be led by costumed interpreters and we hope that by the end of the day our visitors from 2016 will have a very good understanding of how different their lives would have been had they been children in Congleton in 1866. We don’t want to give too much away, but there are some great surprises in store for the children.”
The exhibition for this event will be open for Congletonians of all ages on the evening of Monday, 11th July. There will be a talk from Victorian Entertainer, Tony Lidington on aspects of Victorian Pastimes. Prepare for a walk along a Victorian Pier. Tickets for this event will be available from the Tourist Information Centre at the Town Hall from next month. There will be a small charge and a drink will be included in the price.