Princess Victoria Of Battenberg
On May 31, 1906, Princess Beatrice’s daughter, Victoria, married King Alfonso XIII of Spain. This may have been the reason behind the preoccupation with Spain, which led to the Bazaar and Fancy Fair held in Ryde just under a year later. The Isle of Wight Observer of Saturday, April 20, had a lengthy report of the proceedings…….
HRH Princess Henry of Battenberg gave the Bazaar her patronage, and assisted by sending a number of beautiful articles for sale. The Ryde Corporation gave it their support, and indeed, it may be said that everyone capable of rendering any assistance came forward readily. A strong committee was soon formed, with Mr J Benham Purnell as hon. secretary and Ald Ernest Groves, JP, as treasurer. Spain having loomed so large in the public eye for a long time, the representation of a Spanish City gave an additional interest to the Bazaar. The entrances and walls of the Town Halls were concealed by scenery representing picturesque Spanish houses, and all the ladies connected with the various stalls were attired in Spanish costume, and the result was very striking and pretty. The “side-shows” were simply innumerable and were well worth seeing. It must have been a matter of satisfaction to the committee after all their trouble to find the halls crowded to their utmost capacity from the time they opened on Wednesday until they were closed on Friday night. On Thursday in particular, the doors had to be closed to prevent the admission of any addition to people in the already overcrowded hall.
The Bazaar was officially opened by the Hon Mrs Somerset Gough-Calthorpe, whose opening speech included three cheers for the King and Queen of Spain. Mayor Michael Maybrick then thanked Mrs Gough-Calthorpe, and the RMA Band played the Spanish and British National Anthems. There were twelve stalls, each assigned a name of a Spanish city: Malaga – (refreshment) Corporation stall; Madrid – Ryde and Shanklin stall; Valencia – Newport stall; Almeria – Cowes stall; Segovia – Mrs Featherstonhaugh and the Misses Tatnall; Alicante – Ventnor stall; Burgos – Mrs Welby, Mrs Edward Carter and Mrs Wadham; Toledo – Mrs Lewis Leeds; Murcia – Wootton stall; Elvira – Mrs Frye; Cadiz – Hospital stall – the Matron ( Miss Antram); Seville – Mrs A G Purnell and Mrs J B Purnell; Scenic Fish Pond and Fairy Well – Miss Woodruff, Miss M Woodruff, Miss Pearce Foster and Miss R Cochrane.
The image below shows Elvira and Seville, the stalls of Mrs Frye, and Mrs A G and J B Purnell. Thanks to Tony Packer for permission to use this image.