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Article originally from local paper in 1906, reproduced in the Citizen in 1992

General Election 1906

General Elections seemed a more leisurely affair in 1906, if the reports in the Citizen's predecessor is anything to go by (and the re­ports went on a bit too....) Daniel Coles investigates.

Friday, February 2, 1906 saw Burton Liberals in jubilation at the return of Mr George Nicholls for the North Northants Division. They celebrated at a Meat Tea, Soiree and Dance.

On the evening of declaration day, a meeting of workers was called and it was decided to hold some celebration of their victory. In consequence a large committee of 20 ladies and 20 gentlemen was appointed to consider ways and means, and to carry the project into effect.

So great was the rush for tickets that the committee had to stop selling them after Tuesday evening, when no fewer than 500 had paid. It was found necessary to engage two rooms for tea: The Baptist Chapel Assembly Room and the lower schoolroom, in addition to having the Mission Hall for dancing later on in the evening.

The assembly room was decorated with mottoes including one printed by Mr W.J. Newman - 'G Nicholls, our MP, suits us to a T'. The tables were prettily adorned with ferns lent by Mr J H Ward, and practically everyone in the room sported the party favours, red and white, the men with rosettes and the ladies with ribbons.

The wants of the company were attended by the ladies of the committee, who throughly deserved the vote of thanks moved to them by Mr Ward and Mr Tailby. It was very satisfactory to hear that any deficiency in funds would be made up by prominent Liberals of the town.

Great regret was caused by the absence of Mr C Barlow, who, owing to a very bad cold, was unable to be present. Mr Charles Wicksteed, the president of the Burton Liberal Club, was also absent owing to a bad cold.

After tea, as many as could be accommodated crowded into the assembly room to hear one or two speeches and sing along to some well known political songs like 'Stamp, Stamp, Stamp upon protection' and 'No more Joe'.

Mr J Wallis was voted to the chair, and after expressing regret at the absence of Mr Wicksteed, called on Mr R B Wallis, who had come over from Kettering in his place.

Speaking of the reason they were gathered together, Mr Wallis said it was a tremendous triumph, one looked forward to for years and years, yet hardly had they dared hope for it. They had had an ideal candidate who had worked tremendously hard.

His and their workers had enabled them to return Mr Nicholls by a substantial majority. It had been said that three votes would be enough, but thay had had a magnificent majority of over 600, and that against Col Stopford was a great achievement in itself.

Col Stopford, an old member, who, whatever they might think of his influence as a politician, they had to recognise that his family and territorial influence were difficulties almost insurmountable.

They all rejoiced at Mr Nicholls' victory and also at the United Kingdom. There was no parallel in history nearer than 1832.

An enormous wave of Liberalism had spread over the country, and whole counties, as Northamptonshire, Cheshire and Leicestershire had all gone solidly Liberal.

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