MAY 29TH, 1897



Canterbury is all bustle and excitement in view of the Royal visit this day (Saturday). The citizens are actively engaged in decorating their house fronts, and bands of working men are employed at various points along the route to be traversed by the procession - putting on the "war paint" so to speak. The whole of the street decorations are undertaken by the Chamber of Trade, and it is evident that the entire business will be done well.

The following outline of the street decorations is from notes courteously furnished to our reporter by the City Surveyor (Mr. A. H. Campbell); The Chamber of Trade has taken in hand the public decorations along the route a distance of a mile and a half and in order to carry out the work effectively the route was divided into five districts, with a separate committee for each.

Reception of their majesties (detail from below)

In the widest streets the leading feature will be Venetian masts united by strings and bannerets, the masts being relieved by twilling, shields, and small bannerets tastefully disposed. This style of decoration obtains from the South Eastern Railway station to the Westgate Towers; from here up to St. George's Gate the decorations will depend upon the householders, and no doubt each will try to vie with the other in producing a striking effect. It as felt that in the narrow main street masting, however effective, would not be suitable. On the way the public buildings will be taken in hand, and at the intersection of streets arches will be erected covered with greenery and bunting, so as to relieve the wide spaces. At the site of the Beaney Institute the contractor (Mr. H. B. Wilson) has kindly undertaken to put up a stand to accommodate about 400 school children. At St. George's Gate a special effort is being made in the way of elaborate decoration. Mr. Ellis volunteered to erect at his own expense, at the beginning of St. George's Place an arch to represent, or at any rate to suggest in its outline the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. This is being substantially constructed and will no doubt be the leading feature on the line of route, especially as it is to be relieved by "living statuary." Messrs. Court Bros. have kindly undertaken to illuminate the arch at nightfall and it is intended to throw upon it coloured lights, which will have a very pretty effect. On either side of St. George's Gate, approaching the arch, there will be rather an elaborate decorative effort, consisting of pillars untied by arches of ivy from which flowers will depend. From St. George's Gate through Bridge Street, Church Street, St. Pauls, will be continued Venetian masting and hanging bunting, while several of the householders in this neighbourhood have undertaken to decorate their house fronts.

Lady Wootton's Green, opposite St. Augustine's College, round which the Prince will drive, is now so bright and charming a spot, with its newly laid out gardens, gay with bedding plants that very little will be required in the way of artificial decoration, the principle of "Beauty unadorned is adorned the most" being very properly observed in respect of this point in the route. From Lady Wootton's Green down Broad Street on to the entrance to the Cathedral precincts there will be a continuos line of Venetian masting, with streamers of flags and bunting. Again at the intersection of streets, such as Military Road, light arches of greenery and bunting will be thrown across. The question of illuminations has been under consideration, but it was felt that as the days are now so long any elaborate scheme of illumination would be hardly possible. At the same time there will be some private illuminations sufficient probably to make the city look very attractive. It is the desire of the Chamber of Trade that the decorations remain up until over Monday. For the public safety the City Surveyor will have barriers erected at street corners.

Reception of their majesties the King and Queen. (then Price and Princess of Wales) by the Mayor, Alderman Collard and the Corporation at the Westgate, in accordance with ancient custom (May 29, 1897)

By order of the Mayor a grand stand is being erected at Westgate to accommodate about 300 persons. The stand will be relieved by decorations. The Mayor and Corporation will be stationed here and as the Royal Carriage draws up the address will be handed to the Prince. A very elaborate scheme of decorations is being carried out at South Eastern station road in which the services of Mr. G. Mount and the extensive resources of his nurseries have been requisitioned. At the top of the road near the fountain, there will be a large pyramid of flowers in pots. The unsightly front of the old disused St. Mary Bredman's Church in the High Street is to be relieved by long lengths of cloth in red, white and blue on which are the Price of Wales feathers, surmounted by a crown. The address to be presented to the Prince of Wales has been very artistically engrossed and illuminated by Mr. S. Beall of St. Dunstan's. It is surmounted by the arms of the City of Canterbury whilst in the border at the left hand side are the Prince of Wales plumes, his Royal Highness's crest, and then the arms of the Prince with supporters, helmet and coronet, with the motto Ich Dien underneath. Smaller arms are empanelled with those of the Princess of Wales, under which are the arms of the See of Canterbury and the Dean and Chapter. beneath these are two shields of the Black Prince which have been copied from the tomb in Trinity Chapel. There are also vies of the Cathedral from the Green Court, showing the Chapter House, the Norman Staircase, St. Augustines College, and the Westgate. As there have been one or two slight alterations in the text we reprint the address, as now finally revised, as under... G. Collard Mayor, H. Fielding Town Clerk. The case for the address is of rich purple velvet lined with white satin and the coronet of the Prince is embroidered in colours on the flap. The work is being carried out by the Misses Bunce, of St. Margaret's Street. The address will be on view today and tomorrow at Mr. Crow's Mercery Lane.

Their Royal Highnesses, attended by the Equerry and Lady in Waiting, will arrive at the South Eastern Railway Station at 12:20 pm and will be received by the Dean and Chapter, the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury the Lord Lieutenant Major-General Sir W. Butler, K.C.B. Colonel Abadie, C. B. Colonel Kelly.

The Guard of Honor at the Station will be furnished by the 1st Volunteer Battalion East Kent Regiment.

The Carriage Procession, headed by Cavalry, will be formed in the following order, and will proceed by the

Station Road and St. Dunstan's Street, through the Westgate Towers;

Carriage A - Chief Cashier (Mr. J. Russell), Sanitary Inspector (Mr. C. Richardson), City Analyst (Mr. Sidney Harvey), Rate Collector (Mr. G. F. Francis)

Carriage B - Police Surgeon (Mr. Z. Prentice), City Librarian (Mr. J. Meadows Cowper), Medical Officer (Mr. Frank Wacher), City Surveyor (Mr. A. H. Campbell)

Carriage C - The Town Clerk (Mr. Henry Fielding), Mr. Councillor Horsley, Mr. Councillor Stead

Carriage D - Mr. Councillor Kennett, Mr. Councillor Parker, Mr. Councillor Pope, Mr. Councillor Urry

Carriage E - Mr. Councillor Gaskin, Mr. Councillor Dunn, Mr. Councillor Fowler, Mr. Councillor Clinch

Carriage F - Mr. Councillor Burren, Mr. Councillor Russell, Mr. Councillor Bates, Mr. Councillor Gentry

Carriage G - Mr. Alderman Sanderson, Mr. Alderman Cross, Mr. Alderman Hart, Mr. Alderman Wells

Carriage H - Mr. Councillor Dean (Ex. Mayor), Mr. Sheriff Lukey, Mr. Alderman Mason (Deputy Mayor), J. Henniker Heaton, Esq. M.P.

Carriage I - The Right Worshipful the Mayor, the Mayoress, the Mayor's Chaplain, and the Recorder, attended by Mace Bearer

To be followed by the Royal Procession as above mentioned.

Detachment of Lancers.


© T. Machado 2014