Benefit Concert at Conisboro’ – Beneficiare’s Warm Tribute to the Montagu Hospital.

March 1905

Mexborough & Swinton Times, March 25th, 1905.

Benefit Concert at Conisboro’.
Beneficiare’s Warm Tribute to the Montagu Hospital.

Some two years ago Fred Bingham, with two other Conisborough men, met with a serious accident whilst following their employment at the Cadeby pit, which resulted in Bingham being a patient at the Mexboro’ Montagu Hospital for some nine months, eight of which he laid on a water bed, and up to the present he has been unable to resume work. In conversation with one of four staff, on Saturday night, he was very loud in praising the treatment he received whilst an inmate of the Montagu Hospital.

Being a highly respected member of Conisboro’ Castle Workmen’s Club, the committee of institution felt that they should do something to give him a helping hand, and they arranged for Saturday night a remarkably good concert, specially engaging two well-known Sheffield artistes – Johnny Watson, ‘The Yorkshire Dan Leno.’ and Mr. Paul Villars, ventriloquist together with same of the best local talent. They were also successful in obtaining the practical help and sympathy of Mr. Councillor Baker, who at some personal inconvenience, presided at the concert. The committee defrayed expenses so that the proceeds amounting to about £4 plus a subscription from the Chairman and Mr. J. Clarkson – will be handed over to Mr. Bingham.

Mr. Baker, who was supported by Mr. Councillor Wigfield and Mr. Hargreaves (the president of the club), opened the proceedings by saying he was there to show his respect to their old friend, Fred Bingham, who on December, 1902, together with a couple of companions, met with a very serious accident through a three-ton hydraulic falling upon him. He was removed to the Mexboro’ Hospital, and he was pleased to hear that Bingham’s opinion of that institution was of the highest. Such institutions were a blessing to the neighbourhood, and merited their support. (Applause) Mr. Bingham had spent nine months there, and three months in a bath-chair. During all his suffering he had beard from his medical adviser, in a very short time, Mr. Bingham would be able to work at some light employment. (Applause.)

It was gratifying to see such a large company present to give a hand to their old friend, and he was sure he echoed their sentiments when he hoped and wished for Mr. Bingham’s speedy return to health and work. (Applause.)

Mr. Johnny Watson proved a great success, and the audience could not get too much of him, his claim to be the ‘Yorkshire Dan Leno’ not being misplaced, his most successful effort being ‘I don’t mind if it amuses you.’ Mr. Paul Villars also made a great hit with his dummy ‘Joe.’

Of the local artistes Master Walter Hargreaves (son of the President of the Club), was the most appreciated, his rendering of the ‘Holy City’ being especially fine, and he had to respond, selecting ‘The Gift.’ to which he did full justice, his enunciation and easy reach of the top notes standing him in good stead.

The programme was also contributed to by Messrs. A. Hanson, ‘The fisherman and his child’; Chas, Hendry,violin solo, ‘Home sweet home’; – Liversidge (piano), and Chas. Hendry (violin), duet, ‘Last rose of summer’; Master Chas. Allen, clog dance; Mr. W. Moore, recitation. ‘How Bill Adams won the Battle of Waterlo’; while Mr. Liversidge proved an efficient accompanist. A very hearty vote of thanks to Mr. Henry Baker was passed on the proposition of Mr. C. Norbross, seconded by Mr. Bert Mee, who aided by a strong committee, carried out the arrangements. Mr. Baker briefly responded.