As I sit at my desk, fountain pen in hand, pondering my ability to write a meaningful address for the year ahead without writing in the tone of a podsnapper I have looked back upon my past “Annual Addresses” for inspiration. In reading my address from 1886 I realised how similar it was to what I would like to say for 2017. Please, therefore, forgive me for any perceived laziness in reproducing it below:
“For the 37th year it is my privilege, as it is my pleasure, again to wish you the usual Compliments of the Season, and to hope that among all classes of society, and all sections of the community, the advent of 1886 may prove a precursor to the dawning of greater prosperity. To most of the staple industries of Sheffield and neighbourhood especially, a considerable portion of the year which has just departed has been one of unparalleled depression, and, in many instances, of unmitigated misery. May the succeeding year prove as prolific of prosperity and plenty as the last has of depression and scarcity.
“Since last I addressed you, we have seen many changes; the most prominent of which has been the Dissolution of Parliament, followed by a General Election under the new Franchise and Redistribution Bill; and now that the turmoil is over, let us hope that all party strife may cease, and that the members of the new Parliament may devote the whole of their energy and ability for the benefit of the country at large.”
This year it has not been a General Election as it was in 1885 but a European Referendum, however, the sentiment of my address in 1886 is as I would wish to convey today. I only hope that 2017 is indeed a much better year, whereas 1886 lead to more political turmoil and a second General Election in 2 years. If I am, once again, a little over optimistic in my judgment of what next year may bring please do be assured that a nice box of my finest confections does make you feel a little better if only for a moment.
Merry Christmas all and Happy New Year.
Charles’ expressions explained:
podsnapper – a person determined to ignore anything that does not fit his cause or argument whilst appearing virtuous and superior.