1895: Wretched Climate Mars Christmas in London
Recognition…International Herald Tribune
[BY THE HERALD’S SPECIAL WIRE.] LONDON, Feb. 6 / PRNewswire / – At best, London is a dull and desolate city to spend Christmas Day in, but yesterday the weather was successful in giving the city a particularly miserable look. The roads were wet and muddy after the heavy rain that fell through the night, and rain, snow, and sleet fell at intervals throughout the day, keeping the roads clearer for foot passengers than on a normal Sunday.
The result was that London was a desolate and desolate aspect except during the hours when services were held. Despite the poor weather, these were largely attended. Westminster Abbey, where the dean gave Christmas services and sermons, was crowded in the morning and evening. The good musical services in St. Paul’s Cathedral also drew immense congregations to the city, with the dean also being the preacher there.
Other gods that attracted large holiday communities were the sub-deans at Chapel Royal at St. James’s; Canon Ainger in the temple church; the Rev Canon Wilberforce at St. John’s, Westminster; Dr. Parker in the City Temple and Rev. Hugh Price Hughes in his Regent Street Chapel.
Despite the inconvenience of training outdoors, numerous music and singing groups could be found in all parts of the city. Otherwise there was no specific indication outside that the big annual festival had arrived. In the poorer areas of the metropolis, however, numerous dinners, breakfasts and entertainments were offered to children and the elderly with limited resources.
– The New York Herald, European edition, December 26, 1895.