Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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238                Old Memories of East-Bourne. [Chap. XIX.
know that in 1883, and for a number of years afterwards, every Mayoral Dinner was interrupted at about 10 p.m. by a procession through the Banqueting Chamber of some 2 dozen "Bonfire Boys," dressed in alarming costumes, and making hideous noises, ending in a speech by their leader to the new Mayor, congratulating him, to which he had to make a suitable reply. One Winchester was great at this business. The interruption had, however, this one advantage, that it enabled guests who, like myself, had delivered our speeches and loathed
tobacco, or who, like my friend Major------, were glad of
any excuse to get away early from the festive board, to do so, and escape observation to a great extent. This interruption ceased some years ago, but I am unable to assign a date, or to know to whom to give the credit, and now the 5th has, I believe, recovered its individuality, not having any competitor.
A Snow Hut.
The winter of 1849— 50 was noteworthy for a severe and unusually prolonged frost, which lasted exactly 5 weeks—from December 20 till January 25. As this followed a heavy fall of snow, snow remained unmelted for a period much longer than usual in the S. of England. At East-Bourne, with my valuable assistance, 2 uncles of mine built a snow hut, somewhat in the Esquimaux style, and it has occurred to me that my younger readers might like to have some information for their guidance as to how it was done. I will frame the information somewhat in the form of a cookery book paragraph.
Select a fairly level site, preferably on grass, and clear a circular space 7, 8 or 9 ft. in diameter. Build up the snow removed from this space on its outer edge to make the beginning of a wall, leaving a gap in the wall about 3 feet wide for an entrance. Then, working outside and inside the dwarf wall simultaneously, collect snow from outside so as to make a circular ring fully 3 ft. in thickness, and carried up to a height of about 7 ft., ramming and beating with the back of spades to
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