Victoria’s Day

The following article appeared in the Hamilton Spectator a few days after the successful celebrations of Queen Victoria’s Birthday in Waterdown in May of 1855.

“Dear Spectator, through the medium of your journal permit me to give a brief account of the celebrations of Her Most Gracious Majesty’s Birthday in Waterdown.

The inhabitants of our enterprising Village were at an early hour aroused from their slumbers by the firing of royal salutes, which commenced at 8 o’clock in the morning and continued at intervals throughout the day by our artillery company, whose unremitting exertions convinced us that, were their services needed in defence of our community, they would figure conspicuously with some of those brave heroes now so actively engaged in fighting the battles of the East.

The National Flags, Union Jacks and Banners waving in the breeze from all the business and prominent stations of the village, gave it a martial as well as a holiday appearance. At half past nine o’clock the immense concourse of people, composed of large numbers from the adjacent townships and villages, formed in procession, headed by the Nelson Amateur Brass Band, paraded our principal streets and proceeded to the appointed place where the following games were submitted to the public and spiritedly competed for: Throwing sledges won by Ira Flatt; One Standing Jump won by John Springer; Three Jumps Forward won by M. Markle; Three Jumps Backward won by John Springer; High Jump won by John Springer; Sack Race won by J. Burns; Hurdle Race won by Richard Carey; Foot Race 100 Yards won by M. Carey.

At the close of the games, the assembly marched in procession to the village, where about 100 persons sat down to a dinner in Mr. S. Anderson’s capacious room, served up in his usual style. After the removal of the cloth, the customary toasts were given by Thomas Stock Esq., in an elegant and enthusiastic manner, and received with all due honours.

At a seasonable hour the company retired to witness a brilliant display of fireworks provided for the occasion by W. Boyd, M. D., after which all separated for their respective homes, well pleased with the performances. Never has it been our lot to witness such a large assemblage, so orderly and happy, not an accident, nor the least appearance of immorality occurred throughout, but all departed, no doubt, anxiously hoping to see many returns of the same happy day and uniting in a fervent wish of “God save the Queen.”

Sylvia Wray is the former archivist with the Flamborough Archives. She can be reached through the Archives at

This article was originally published in the Flamborough Review, 27 May 2010.


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