Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

5 articles on this Page




BRISTOL INDUSTRIAL EXHIBITION. This exhibition was opened on Tuesday at the Drill- hall, Queen's-road, Bristol. The mayor of the city, Mr. M. Naish, was the chief agent in the ceremony, and delivered the inaugural address. The position which he thus filled was originally destined, as everybody is aware, for a greater public patronage. Lord Palmer- ston had some time since accepted the invitation to open the exhibition; but within the last few days, as all the world has equally learnt, he has been compelled, by a renewed attack of the only illness from which he seems ever to have seriously suffered, to decline ful- filling his engagement. The Chancellor of the Exche- quer, Lord Stanley, and the Duke of Argyll, to whom applications were successively addressed, were not prepared to fill the place which the unexpected indis- position of the Prime Minister had thus left vacant, and the committee of management felt that no other choice was left to them than to induce the mayor of their city to act upon this occasion as their repre- sentative and interpreter. The gentlemen charged with the management of the exhibition were very properly led by the loss of this personal attraction to redouble their efforts to ensure to the undertaking all the claims upon the public favour which the utmost attainable completeness in its internal arrangements could supply, and to those, at all events, who had an opportunity of witnessing the result those efforts weie not unavailing.' lb will probably be the general opinion of those who may be able to make the comparison that this Bristol collec- tion of objects of combined skill and industry fully equals in beauty and in general effect any that has been recently held in our English provincial districts. The Drill-liall, the place selected for the exhibition, lies at the point at which Bristol begins to grow into the new and mere attractive town or suburb of Clifton. It was built a few years ago, for the purpose of afford. ing shelter to the volunteers during their hours of exercise in wet weather; and hence the origin of the name by which it is known. It is a large room, of simple but commodious proportions, being about 150 feet long, and about 100 feet wide. The contributions to this exhibition are by no means confined to the city of Bristol; and, indeed, it expressly professes, in its fall title, to embrace with that city, the West of England, Gloucestershire, and South Wales." A very large portion of the objects have been furnished by working men, and the whole show is not unfairly described as an industrial exhibi- tion but specimens of the genius of the professed artists of either ancient or modern times have not been excluded by the committee of selection wherever those specimens seemed to harmonise with the general character of the undertaking. The bands of the 1st Gloucestershire Rifles and the 2nd Gloucestershire Engineers played in the building throughout t'he opening day and about 100 members of the Bristol Tonic Sol-Fa Association, under the direction of Mr. A. Stone, sang the vocal music. Tvvo o'clock was the hour appointed for the com- mencement of the opening ceremony; but, in con- formity with the programme of the day's proceedings, the representatives of the yariou.3 trades and friendly societies assembled at twelve o'clock at the old market, and then proceeded to the Council- house, where they were joined by the mayor, the high sheriff, and the town councillors. The united procession afterwards advanced to the Exhibition Hall through some of the principal streets of the city, which were decorated at frequent intervals with flags and banners. The mayor took hia seat on the platform of the building, and was there surrounded by the Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol, the high sheriff of the county, the Hon. H. Berkely, M.P., Colonel Bruncker, the military commandant of the district; Colonel Bush, the commander of the Bristol Battalion of Volunteers the Dean of Bristol, the Mayor of Bath, and a number of the members of the Bristol commercial community. The body of the hall was at the same time but partially occupied. The choir having sung the Old Hundredth Psalm, Mr. Eempster, the chairman of the exhibition com- mittee, invited the mayor to open the exhibition. The mayor then proceeded to address the assem- blage. He said: You will, I am sure, excuse me, when in the few words which I address to you I first express my sympathy with you in all our disappointment, that the Prime Minister of England is not in the place which I now have the honour to occupy (hear). When you remember how much the greatness of this manufactur- ing and commercial nation is to be attributed to the application of mechanical and scientific knowledge to its arts and manufactures, you will agree with me that there would have been peculiar appropriateness in the presence of a minister of the Crown amongst us to-day (hear, hear). However; in this our hopes and expectations were not to be realised. I must next claim your kindest indulgence for myself, having bsen suddenly called upon to open the Bristol Industrial Exhibiti&n. In these remarks I do not pretend to originality, but rather seek to remind you of some familiar facts appropriate to the object which has brought us together. Let me remind those of you who have lived as long as myself-and I am not a very old man-of the vast discoveries made during the last half century, and which daily minister to our comfort. I will name amongst these the general application of steam to all kinds of machinery the annihilation of distance by locomotive power upon our iron high- ways; the overcoming of wind and tide by steam navigation; the means of brilliant light which flow beneath our feet and illuminate our darkest nights; and the lightning speed with which thoughts are con- veyed to the ends of the earth by the electric tele- graph (hear, hear). When we think of these wonders, we can scarcely fix limits to future discoveries which coming years may reveal. To these, then, and similar causes, combined with the character Ðf her people, may be attributed the commercial greatness of England, of whose flag it has been said- Wherever it has floated, Upon the sea or land, There world-adorning trade has stretched Its eivilising hand. There enterprise has ventured, Her argosies high piled, There science strewed the earth with flowers. And kindly knowledge smiled. Now, my friends, the artisans of Bristol and other places, I hope your exhibition, which is so highly creditable to you, may be a means of contributing to these anticipated triumphs (hear, hear). No one can have properly inspected the contents of this building without being impressed with the skill and ability which are there manifested and displayed and as mayor of this city, and on its behalf, I thank you for j what you have done-, as honourable to Bristol; and I heartily congratulate you on the results of your efforts (cheers). I assume you that this day will be to me a ? memorable onein my.,Isar of office. I am sure, ladies and gentlemen, you who are not contributors to this interesting exhibition will join with me in hearty good wishes that our friends, the artisans of Bristol and elsewhere, may experience entire success in their meritorious efforts to establish in this city the Indus- trial Exhibition, which I now have the honour, as mayor, to declare opened (loud cheers). The "Hallelujah Charus" was here sung by the choir, and the Bishop of Gloucester, at the invitation of the Mayor, afterwards offered up a prayer, invoking the Divine blessing upon the work they had that day met to inaugurate. The right rev. prelate next pro- ceeded briefly to address the meeting, and expressed his belief that both the moral and religious welfare of the population was promoted by the holding of exhibitions of that description. The Hon. H. Berkeley, M.P., the Mayor of Bath, and others having addressed the meeting, a vote of thanks to the Mayor of Bristol for presiding was carried by acclamation, and the National Anthem sung by the choir concluded the ceremony.