The following journalist for the ‘Telegraph’ – writing about the height of the tourist season in Warrenpoint in 1864 – was clearly inebriated with the exuberance of his own verbosity!
‘The second of three ‘big Sundays’ for the season came off last Sunday in Warrenpoint. We are not aware why the first three Sundays of August have attached to them so unsuited an appellation, but surely if the standard whereby a day is to be measured is population composed of idling peasantry and itinerant hucksters, no Sabbath for the past ten years can compare with the 14th inst., at this salubrious watering-place.
From early morn the roads leading to the village were a living stream. Hundreds of boatmen employed themselves profitably rowing well-filled boats to the centre of fun and frolic. Single horse vehicles sustained unusual burdens without intermission, and even low back cars and clumsy cars were brought into the service of the snug farmer, but the bulk of the money paid in fare goes towards creating possibly a dividend, or at all events will materially assist in paying for some time the officials of the Newry and Warrenpoint Railway Company.
The first train comprising all the carriages in possession of the company was filled to excess: the next, if possible, was crammed to its utmost capacity and included a coal-truck, nor did the large numbers sensibly slacken the crowd, for at the three o’clock train there was in readiness on the Dublin Bridge platform a compact mass of pleasure-seekers, though it is to be doubted that they had much pleasure in the transit.
All ages and both sexes were largely represented, embracing the bare-foot urchin whose joy culminated while eating the brown sweet cake or browner sugar-stick, purchased at the open-air counter, and the senile rustic who satisfied his craving on home cheese and light cordial.
Still a large proportion, as might be expected from their aspect, disdained such puerile amusement. This class took to boats and cars with alacrity, and these means of amusement not being sufficient for people intent on the utmost satisfaction, their finance and their ‘big Sunday’ would permit, repaired in excessive numbers to more congenial localities, and in the tavern quaffed their fill.
Towards night many manifested an unsteady step – a few inclined to fight – but there were no rows and the cases of extreme intoxication were rarely met with.
I also like the style of the court reporter who wrote the following piece from the newspaper archives ……………
‘ A man of the mendicant class was apprehended in Kilkeel for drunkenness.
When searched by Constable Howard, five sovereigns were found in his waistcoat pocket.
Mr A Gordon JP before whom he was brought, reduced his capital by precisely five shillings.’
Beggars in waistcoats, indeed!
Bearing such riches?