Weston Turville's contribution to the Halton Industrial Exhibition 1868

In 1867, Sir Thomas and Lady Whichcote of Aswarby conceived and hosted a very successful Industrial Exhibition in involving thirteen neighbouring parishes in Lincolnshire. Lady de Rothschild and her daughters, Constance and Annie were inspired by this and decided to emulate it for the parishes of Halton, Aston Clinton and Weston Turville.

Demand from potential exhibitors from other local parishes pushed the boundary to a radius of about twenty miles.

The Exhibition was opened "The Right Hon. B. Disraeli". The event was held over the Whitsun weekend and attracted about 30,000 attendees, enough to attract pick-pockets from further afield.

Over 3,000 items were submitted, 22 exhibits came from Weston Turville residents, and their exhibits gained a respectable haul of 11 medals.[1]

Weston Turville Prizes

  • In the literary compositions section, “Inaugural Ode” by Thos. Burti, Esq., silver medal.

  • Four-wheel carriage, Humphrey Tompkins, silver medal.

  • Scarifier, W. Gomme, bronze medal.

  • Drawing, Mrs Isham, silver medal

  • Decoration, Anne Champnes, bronze medal

  • “Tree on the Banks of Loch Lomond”, Mrs. lsham, silver medal.

  • Bread, Stevens, bronze medal.

  • Butter, Mary Barron, silver medal.

  • Marmalade, Miss Shirley, bronze medal.

  • Damson Jam, W. Bates, bronze medal.

  • Boots, John Edwards, bronze medal.

Mr. Tompkins' four-wheeled carriage went on to be purchased by Sir A. de Rothschild, and presented by him to Mr. James.

Not everything submitted by residents of Weston Turville won prizes, from contemporary accounts, we know:-

  • Mrs. Isham, also entered, ”pretty specimens of rock and fern work” and a painting of Ochtortyre, the seat of Sir Patrick Keith Murray,

  • Rev A. Isham, water colour drawings

  • Miss Isham, chromos and water coloured drawings

  • Mrs. A Burslem embroidery worked from the colours of the 67th Regiment after they had gone through the Penisular war

  • Alfred Fitkins entered a Model cottage,

  • John Weaver, specimens of boots and shoes,

  • specimens of wax flowers shewn by Mrs. Shirley,

  • Barrows were exhibited by J. Eldridge, aged 20.

  • wine bin, shown by Mr Eldridge”,

  • sections of Stoke Mandeville Church, as restored recently, shown by the builders, Messrs Fitkin.

“At the inner entrance to the first and second tends were places overhead scrolls bearing the words “Halton” and “Aston Clinton,” &c., very prettily executed in frilled paper of various colours by Annie Campneys” a little girl from Weston Turville”.[3]

Several Weston Turville residents also contributed towards the Prize fund by donating items to be sold. C. Bowden; H. Bunce; Mrs. Butcher; Miss S. Gadsden; Mrs. Isham; Mr. A.C. Isham; Miss Munger; Miss Parrott; Mrs. Scrivener; Miss M.S. Shirley; Miss E.H. Shirley

There is an interesting account of a Pike caught in Weston Turville Reservoir. [2]

An Extraordinary Take. – The Rev. A .H. Clemming, vicar of Hunton Bridge, Watford, a few days ago, whilst fishing in the Halton Reservoir, succeeded with some difficulty in landing a large pike, measuring 42 inches in length, and weighing 26lbs. The fish has been sent to a taxidermist in London, to be stuffed, and will be on view at the Halton exhibition.”

Unfortunately, Rev. Cummings (“Clemmings” was a misprint) did not win a prize with his stuffed pike, but he did win a bronze medal for his model of St. Paul’s Church, Hunton Bridge made from old wine corks and 65,000 pins.

Weston Turville is also mentioned in the Bucks Herald[3]

“It deserves mention, in connection with the proceedings, that the Aylesbury Rifle Volunteers, in passing through Weston Turville on their way to Halton, were very liberally supplied with refreshments by Mr. Gadsden, and upon their return home through the fields, Mr. Morris, Bedgrove, acting in the same liberal manner, supplied them with bread and cheese and beer.”

This is a publication held in the Bucks. Archaeological Society (BAS) library, it is an account of the Halton Industrial Exhibition. Their copy had belonged to George Sharp of Weston Turville.

This was produced after the event and sold for the Benefit of the Prize Fund. It uses, but corrects some of the press accounts.


  1. ^ Halton Industrial Exhibition, An Account of the Opening. Jeremiah Smith & Co.

  2. ^ Bucks Chronicle 15 Feb 1868

  3. ^ Bucks Chronicle 6 June 1868