Wednesday 4 February 2015

Alexandra Rose Day 1916

Alexandra Rose Day 1916: Moulsham Street

This is an interesting ebay acquisition. The photograph shows a gaily decorated car with a male driver and two female passengers. On the back of the card it reads "From J. Meads Chelmsford. Alexandra Rose Day June 21st 1916"

The Rose Day was instituted in 1912 by Queen Alexandra, wife of King Edward VII, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of her arrival in the United Kingdom from her home in Denmark.

Silk roses were prepared by the ladies of the district, and sold to raise funds for the Queen's favourite charities and for local worthy causes.

According to the 1911 census the Meads family lived at 36 Moulsham Street. Jim Meads was a sign writer and had a shop at 11b Tindal Street. He was married to Caroline, and they had two daughters, Caroline and Lily, and a son, James, also a sign writer.

Those familiar with Moulsham Street will recognise that the car is outside the old Salvation Army hall, now the Lemon Tree Cafe. It is likely that the occupants of the car are the three younger Meads - James, Lily and Caroline.

The Chelmsford Chronicle of Friday, 23rd June 1916 describes the events of the day:


£300 from Chelmsford and District

Queen Alexandra's Rose Day was generally celebrated on Wednesday, and on all sides excellent results were attained. 
For Chelmsford and district the arrangements were once more in the hands of Miss C. Meads, of Moulsham Street, whose efforts last year yielded £207 7s 6d for the fund, £160 of which was returned in the form of a grant to the Chelmsford Hospital. Miss Meads was well forward with her preparations when she was unfortunately taken ill, but her sister, Miss L. Meads, and her brother, Mr J. Meads, the well-known sign writer, carried on the the organisation without a hitch. From Chelmsford were also worked Brentwood, Witham, Terling, Widford, Roxwell, Sandon, Great Baddow, Galleywood, the Hanningfields, Stock, and Broomfield. In this work 85 lady sellers, neatly attired in white, worked indefatigably from 5.30 am till late in the evening. One who had worked all night knocked off at 4 am and took her place with the other sellers until 9 pm, resuming her ordinary night work at 10. At Terling the sellers were entertained by the military officers. In an hour at Warley Barracks £3 was raised. At Boreham House 8s 6d was given for a single bloom. Several little sellers, whose ages range from 8 to 11 years, were busy from 8 am until dusk, minus school hours.

Some of the military officers were very generous, one giving a sovereign for flowers for some of his men. By three o'clock over £94 had been counted from Chelmsford alone. All the schools in Chelmsford were visited, and coppers rolled in. In all about 300 gross of blooms had been prepared, and few were left over. At the main approaches to the town and at the railway station tables loaded with flowers were placed, and the table in front of the Cannon was decorated with natural wild roses gathered from the orchard of Mrs Lord, at Galleywood.
Moulsham Street today


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  2. Great! All the world should know about this. Thank you verry much for sharing!