A party for Gloucester Prison staff and their families, 1929

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


2 thoughts on “A party for Gloucester Prison staff and their families, 1929

  1. Yes I was aware that your father was a prison officer, Darrel. I wondered why they didn’t hold the party at the prison, but perhaps they didn’t think it was a suitable environment for children in those days.

  2. My father was a prison officer and I recall going to parties actually in the prison itself, probably in the early 1970s. My early memory is not good, so I’m a bit sketchy on the details, but I believe there was a Santa and presents, but no juggling as far as I can recall!
    Coincidentally I also went to St Catherine’s junior school until it was demolished and we had to move to Kingsholm.

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