North Eastern Railway Handbill 1870, Nidderdale Feast 10”x 8”.


It may seem odd that a railway company should be offering an excursion away from an event, but when it is realized that the Feast was also known as the “Pateley Rant”, and had a rather bad reputation, all becomes clear. Nowadays a sedate Agricultural Show, the event began in the-middle ages as an annual post-harvest celebration and “hiring fair” for farm workers. By the beginning of the 19th c it had a bad reputation for drunkenness, fighting and other vices. The prospect of a quiet day out at Scarborough would be attractive to the more sedate local inhabitants, and the NER cannily cashed in on the opportunity.

No details have survived, but no doubt excursions were run in the opposite direction to bring rowdier elements from lower Nidderdale up to Pateley to join in the fun…


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