22 October 1888
On Saturday afternoon Prince Albert Victor of Wales, who had passed the night at the Manchester Town Hall as the guest of the City Corporation, was presented with an address from the municipal body in the Council Chamber, where a large number of ladies and gentlemen were assembled to witness the proceedings. The attendance included the Bishop of Manchester, Professor Greenwood, Lord Egerton of Tatton, the High Sheriff, Sir J. Heron, Sir J. Ferguson, and many of the local members of Parliament, clergy and leading citizens. The address of welcome having been read by the Recorder (Mr. West, Q.C.), the Prince, turning to the Mayor, replied as follows:-
Sir John Harwood and Gentlemen, I beg to return to you and to the citizens of Manchester my sincere thanks for the loyal and cordial welcome that you have extended to me. It is a source of great pleasure to me that my visit to this town today is for the purpose of furthering the interests of institutions which aim at the moral and material improvement of the people, and which cannot fail to be a blessing to the inhabitants of the city, and I esteem it a high privilege to have an opportunity of showing the deep sympathy I feel for works of this nature. (Hear, hear.) I again thank you for the kind sentiments that you have expressed regarding my parents and myself, and I shall not fail to convey to Her Majesty the loyal terms in which you have alluded to her. (Cheers.)
Subsequently the Prince and a number of the gentlemen in attendance took luncheon in the large hall, Mr. Pyne playing the organ. After the toast of "The Queen and the Royal Family," Prince Albert Victor, who was received with loud cheers on rising to respond, said:-
Gentlemen, I rise to thank you, and do so most cordially, for the extremely kind way in which the toast just proposed has been received. I cannot thank Sir John sufficiently for the very flattering terms in which he has referred to my father's visit here last year. I know it was a great gratification to him and to the Princess, as it is to me today, to be present here in Manchester, and I shall not fail to convey to my father the kind terms in which Sir John has alluded to him. It has given me very great pleasure to have had an opportunity of thanking you all, especially the members of the corporation, for the honour they have done me and the satisfaction which I feel at having been asked to visit Manchester to perform three, as I consider, extremely interesting - and I hope and trust they will be most beneficial - works for the people of this city. The principal of these, I may say, you all know is the laying of the foundation stone of the new wing of the Ancoats Hospital. Then there is also the opening of the Boys' Club, which, in a large city like this, will be of great importance to the younger generation of this neighbourhood. (Hear, hear.) I look forward to these functions with pleasure, and trust that the works now about to be begun may continue satisfactorily and be a benefit to the community at large. I thank you once again for your kindness. (Cheers.)
The health of the Mayor, proposed by His Royal Highness, was also drunk.
A procession of carriages, military, and police was then formed to conduct His Royal Highness from the Town Hall to the Birchfields Recreation Grounds, which he was to formally open. The route being nearly three miles in length, from Albert square by Oxford street, Rusholme, and Dickenson road, the people had ample opportunity of seeing the Prince as he drove past in an open carriage, acknowledging their continued cheers, and the weather being brilliantly fine, the crowded and banner bedecked streets presented a scene of great animation. The local corps of Volunteers took a prominent part in the display. An escort of the 9th Lancers, under Lieut. the Hon. C. Willoughby, accompanied the royal carriage. The new recreation grounds, which are partly a gift to the public from Sir W. Anson and other donors, and partly due to a purchase of ground by the Manchester Corporation, have an area of thirty acres. The Prince quickly performed his task of unlocking the gates with a gold key, presented to him by Mr. Chesters Thompson, and declaring the grounds open. Cheers were given for the Queen, the National Anthem was sung, and the procession immediately reformed. Returning through Rusholme and Oxford street as far as Nelson street, another large portion of the city was traversed by the route of Stockport road, Ardwick green, London road, Oldham street, and Mill street to the Ancoats Hospital. This is a charitable institution, dating back about 60 years, which has lately received a gift of £13,000 from Mr. James Jardine, who, as president of the trustees, presented the Prince with a silver trowel to lay the foundation stone of the new Albert Victor wing of the hospital. Following the ceremonial here came the opening of the Lads' Club in Livesey street, Oldham road. This and a similar club in Hulme owe their existence to the exertions of Mr. A. Davine, who obtained the subscriptions by which an outlay of £1,500 has been made. A debt of £1,000 and an annual cost of £700 will need further provision for the great object of the clubs, which is to give evening recreation and instruction to boys from 14 to 18 years of age at a fee of 1d per week. Nearly 3,000 such boys are already enrolled, and it is hoped to raise the number to 4,000. About £300 of the funds are to be an annual subscription from the boys of Manchester Grammar School. Mr. S. Dill and Mr. J. Cravens, as chairmen of the two clubs, presented the Prince with an address explanatory to these purposes, and His Royal Highness, having replied, was conducted back to the Town Hall. It was evident that the Prince was received nowhere with greater heartiness of welcome than in those poorer parts of town through which so much of the latter portion of the route had taken him. After a short stay in the Town Hall the Prince left Manchester by rail from the Central Station (accompanied by Major Miles and Major Wood, equerries) on a visit to Lord and Lady Egerton at Tatton Park.
The secretary of the Metropolitan and City Police Orphanage, Strawberry hill, has received a bequest of £250 from the executors and trustees of the will of the late Miss Louise McKellar, of Argyll Lodge, Clapham park. The Church of England Central Society for providing Homes for Waifs and Strays has received £200 bequeathed by the same lady. The Fishmongers' Company have given a donation of £250 to the funds of the National Sea Fisheries Protection Association.