The Essex Calithumpian Parade
Calithumpian Procession held on
Queen Victoria's Birthday Wednesday, May 24th 1905
Middle of the photo is Abbot Ross (with a peaked cap)
Howard Warren leading his trained goat pulling two - two wheeled carts
Centre - Horatio Hopgood with Ruddy Brett behind him
Tom McElligott was leading the brass band and Frank Bedell on his left
The Royal Hotel on the right
One of the early mentions of this parade was for the Victoria Day Celebrations. The years following often had the parade on the 1st of July or before the Essex Fair.
The 1905 Calithumpian procession was formed on Victoria Street near the Post Office about 10:30 a.m. with the Essex Brass Band leading the way down Talbot Street to Iler Avenue. They then went down by way of Alice Street back to the centre of town. The Calithumpians had arranged a "take off" on the Windsor and Essex Rapid Railway. The first outfit (float) with W. Ryndress as conductor, was made with an old wagon with a cabin on it. It was propelled by a horse being hitched the wrong way in the shafts and as though shoving the rig. The second rig was a large wagon with a covering, and a party of "musicians." James Robinson was motorman and Ern Robinson conductor. Both groups had excellent costumes and were very much enjoyed by the spectators. There were also some individuals dressed up in addition to the outfits (floats). The judges awarded the Ryndress outfit the first prize and the Robinson "car" second prize. The first individual prize was awarded to C. Milne and R. Rosebrugh, representing a married couple, and the second prize to M. Cook, who was dressed as a Turk.
Essex Free Press - May 26, 1905
"After all, the best 24th of May in a man's life was the one of long ago when he got up with the sun, heard the village blacksmith explode his anvil, took in the calithumpian parade, saw a ball game, burnt fire-crackers all day, and fell asleep at night too dead tired to take his clothes off. Do they have such holidays in Essex?" (from a 1909 Essex Free Press)
The Calithumpian Parade was and still is the centerpiece of our annual celebrations. The Callithumpians are costumed and disorderly and give spectators a humorous procession /parade to enjoy.
What is a Calithumpian?
[Origin: 1855–60, Americanism; cf. earlier callithumpian band assembly of noisemakers on New Year's Eve, Brit. dial. gallithumpians disturbers of order at Parliamentary elections, prob. equiv. to dial. gally to frighten (as in gallicrow scarecrow; akin to OE agælwan to scare) + thump + -ian] Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.