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Ipswich Town Hall opened with lavish banquet – and 15 toasts!

PUBLISHED: 16:57 25 January 2018 | UPDATED: 17:06 25 January 2018

The menu for the opening of Ipswich Town Hall in 1868; Picture: CHARLES WHITFIELD KING

The menu for the opening of Ipswich Town Hall in 1868; Picture: CHARLES WHITFIELD KING

Archant

With Ipswich Town Hall celebrating its 150th anniversary on Sunday, reader Charles Whitfield-King has unveiled a fascinating family memento from its opening in 1868.

Charles Whitfield King. Picture: ARCHANTCharles Whitfield King. Picture: ARCHANT

His great great grandfather Charles King was a master carpenter and builder who kept a copy of the menu from the grand dinner to mark the opening of the Town Hall.

It was an eight-course banquet with fish, meat, game and a selection of wines, port and sherry to wash it down.

After the meal there were 15 toasts – starting with the Queen (Victoria) and finishing with a toast to the “Prosperity of the Town of Ipswich.”

The suspicion must be that if guests were still sober by the end of the meal, they might not have been by the end of the toasts!

Mr Whitfield King said: “Assuming that this lavish occasion would have been mainly for dignitaries and gentry, I can only assume as he may have been heavily involved in the building of this major project in the town at that time, and that the invitation was extended to him.”


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