I think you'll agree that there's nothing like a gentleman in a top hat and tails- it's truly a stylish and dapper fashion statement. The guys below areall dressed up for a special occasion, so let's look at the archives - for our celebrationof the World Museum's 150th anniversary - and see what they were up to onthis day in 1857... Layingthe foundations for a great museum!
On 15 April 1857, William Brown laid the foundation stone of the new museum and library– the beginnings of the building in which World Museum is now housed. The recordsshow that:
'...a select party breakfasted in the Town Hall, with Samuel Holmes Esq, DeputyMayor. At half past ten, a numerous company assembled in the large ball-room...Those listed in the procession were;
At the close of the Presentation of Addresses, a Procession was formed, which movedthrough the principal streets to the site of the intended building...'
'Police of the Fire Brigade, Band of the Bluecoat Hospital, Members of the ArrangementCommittee, the Bishop, Alderman Home, W M Brown Esq, M.P. (Deputy Mayor.)Invited Guests, Magistrates of the Borough, Aldermen and Town Councillors. Gentlemenwho presented the Addresses, Deputations, Other Gentlemen Present.'The American author, Nathaniel Hawthorne, was there and described the laying of themuseum’s foundation stone;
'They marched three abreast, through Castle Street, Lord Street, Church Street, ParkerStreet, and Lime Street, to Shaw’s Brow. Thousands of spectators lined bothsides of the streets; and both private houses and public buildings were profuselydecorated with flags. The bells of the Parish Church rang out merry peals. AsMr. Brown emerged from the Town Hall the Band struck up 'See the Conquering Hero Come'.'
'Mr. Browne himself, the hero of the day, was the plainest and simplest man of all.An exceedingly unpretending gentleman in black; small, white-haired, pale, quiet,and respectable. I rather wondered why he chose to be the centre of all this ceremony;for he did not seem either particularly to enjoy it, or to be at all incommoded byit, as a more nervous and susceptible man might have been.They certainly laid the foundations for a great museum and it sounds like it was aceremony worthy of putting on your Sunday Best!
The site of the projected edifice is on one of the streets bordering on St. George'sHall and when we came within the enclosure, the corner-stone, a large square of redfreestone, was already suspended over its destined place. It has a brass plate letinto it, with an inscription...'