In this week in 1889

The Eiffel Tower, built for the 1889 Exposition UniverselleThe Eiffel Tower, built for the 1889 World's Fair – read on to learn more

To celebrate entering our 125th year, throughout 2013 we are publishing details of a selection of local court cases and other items of local interest from the year we were founded, 1889.

The cases below, heard before Hastings Borough Bench, appeared in the local press in late October and early November 1889. To view reports from other weeks of 1889 visit our 125th year section.

Week ending 9 November

Unusual grounds for dismissal

James Price was charged with damaging a chestnut tree in Alexandra Park.

The case was dismissed as it was impossible to make the defendant hear the charge on account of him being ‘very deaf’.


John James, a shoeblack, was summoned for causing an obstruction in Harold Place, and was fined 5 shillings and costs, in default seven days’ hard labour. He was removed into custody.

Hunger-driven crime

Henry Diggins was charged (on remand) with stealing a basket and food belonging to one Joseph Ellis, who was employed at Fishponds Farm.

Mr Diggins pleaded that he took the food because he was hungry. A record of previous convictions was proved and he was sentenced to three months’ hard labour.

Jail threat for rail fare dodger

George Crockett, of West Deptford, was summoned for travelling on the South-Coast Railway without having paid his fare on two occasions.

He was fined 40 shillings and costs for each offence or two months’ imprisonment.

1889 World’s Fair closes

The 1889 World’s Fair (known as the ‘Exposition Universelle’), which was held in Paris that year, officially ended on 31 October 1889. The event marked the 100th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, which is widely seen as the flashpoint of the French Revolution. The fair featured a reconstruction of the Bastille and its surrounding area.

The centrepiece and symbol of the 1889 World’s Fair was the Eiffel Tower, which was built that year and served as the entrance arch to the fair. The fair’s opening was the first time the public were allowed onto the tower. At that time the tower was incomplete and attendees were only allowed to go as high as its second-floor platform. The Eiffel Tower remained the tallest man-made structure in the world until 1930.

Another 1889 World Fair attraction was Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show, an immensely popular circus-like attraction which toured extensively for many years. In 1889 it featured the famous sharpshooter Annie Oakley.

The 1889 Exposition Universelle was a major world event and attracted over 32 million visitors. Notable attendees included the Prince of Wales (the future King Edwards VII) and his wife, Prince Alexandra, the artists Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin and Edvard Munch, the author Henry James and the inventor Thomas Edison.

Posted: 05 November 2013

More news