On 28 December 1929, a Christmas party was held at St Catherine’s School, Gloucester, for the children, families and friends of the officers of HM Prison Gloucester. The Citizen reported that the event was organised by the prison staff, who also did all the catering.
Tea was provided for the children at 5 o’clock, and an hour later for the officers, their wives and friends. Afterwards, Father Christmas appeared and gave each child a present from under a large Christmas tree. The City High Sheriff, Mr Embling, then entertained the guests with “a spirited performance of conjuring”, which lasted for an hour and a half. Despite the length of the performance, it was received enthusiastically by both children and adults. The party broke up at about half past nine, with the singing of “Auld Lang Syne.”
In attendance were the Governor and his wife (Mr and Mrs Foster), the Prison Chaplain (Rev G W Pritchard), the Chief Officer and his wife (Mr and Mrs Woods), plus Miss E M Hartland, JP. Rather alarmingly, The Citizen stated that “all the Prison staff” were present too. As there were no reports of anyone escaping on that night, it must be presumed that at least one person was left in charge of the prison keys!
Source: The Citizen, 4 Jan 1930.
© Jill Evans 2013