Ryde Social Heritage Group research the social history of the citizens of Ryde, Isle of Wight. Documenting their lives, businesses and burial transcriptions.
  • MENU

Col and Mrs Cradock’s “At Home”

"Kiss Me!"
"Kiss Me!"

On Thursday afternoon Colonel and Mrs Cradock gave a garden party at their residence, The Castle, Ryde. The pleasures of social intercourse were supplemented on the occasion by the al fresco performance of W S Gilbert’s musical fairy tale, “Creatures of Impulse.”

A secluded and umbrageous corner of the grounds was selected for the performance. As the action of the story is supposed to take place outside the “Three Pigeons,” the village Inn, what was apparently a summer house was converted into a very passable stage Inn, and served as a capital shield for the performers as they passed to and from the stage. A large stand was created in front of the stage, with seats rising one above the other, so that everyone could witness the performance in comfort.

HRH Prince Henry of Battenberg was present, attended by Col Lord William Cecil as equerry, and was received by the audience upstanding, the Volunteer Band (who attended) playing “God Save the Queen.”

There follows a very long list of those who accepted invitations including: Sir S and Lady Browne; several members of the Brigstocke family; Lady Harper Crowe: General the Hon Somerset; J G and Mrs Calthorpe; Sir Francis and Lady Cuninghame; Sir Charles and Lady Fairlie Cunninghame; Sir Arthur and Lady Curtis; Lady Daly; Mr and Mrs Glynne Oglander; Generals, Majors, Colonels, Admirals, Captains, too numerous to mention.

As soon as Prince Henry arrived the play commenced. The whimsicality of the plot greatly amused the audience. Captain Westmoreland, as the gallant Sergeant Klooque, had a character which suited him extremely well. At the conclusion of the performance “God Save the Queen” was sung as Prince Henry left, after which refreshments were served in a large marquee. Later in the evening the pupils of Mdlle Lyons favoured with graceful serpentine dances, and a little girl was loudly applauded for a clever skipping rope dance. The delightful weather was most favourable for the al fresco entertainment.

Isle of Wight Observer July 28th 1894
Image from Wikimedia Commons