[The International Exhibition of Navigation, Commerce and Industry in Liverpool was opened by Queen Victoria on 11 May 1886].
The year 1885 [sic] was a memorable one for me, as it brought two outstanding events. Firstly, the Liverpool Exhibition and, later, the arrival of [a younger brother] ‘Timmy.’
The Exhibition, opened by Queen Victoria, gave an added interest to life. It was the most discussed topic of the time both at home and at school. Medals to mark the event were distributed to all school children. This was followed by the announcement that scholars aged ten and upwards were to be taken to see the Queen pass along Edge Lane to open the Exhibition. The singing of the national anthem was practised daily, and finally a large company, replete with medals and banners, set forth to march to Edge Lane […] Rain began to fall, and during a heavy shower the signal was given for us to raise our voices in ‘God Save our Gracious Queen,’ which we certainly sang with both heart and voice in the belief that the great moment was approaching. Several heavy funeral-like carriages passed quickly along, but still we waited. At last came the order ‘Turn, March,’ and the formation began to move. From all quarters came the question, ‘When are we going to see the Queen?’ and the answer was, ‘She has gone; she was in one of those carriages which passed while you were singing.’
The Exhibition was a source of great interest and pleasure […] A band-wagon was set in the middle of the arena on which was mounted a brass band of a dozen instrumentalists who, however quaint it may now seem, all appeared in black frock-coats and tall silk hats. << less