The Beavis Treat was an annual event for schoolchildren inaugurated in 1920 by Alderman William Beavis to give thanks for victory in the Great War. Beavis was a partner in the firm Haddon and Beavis, shipping agents and coal merchants with premises on the High Street. In 1919 he provided a sum of £10,000, the interest from which was to be used to pay for a tea for the town’s schoolchildren at the end of July each year. The tea, together with other entertainments including fireworks, music, sports and games, was to be held on the Common. The first treat was scheduled to take place on the 23rd July 1920, but rain forced a cancellation until the following Monday when the tea was served indoors. It was held yearly until 1952 when the trustees decided the idea of ‘tea and buns’ was a little outdated and opted to use the fund to give financial assistance toward school outings instead.

Further reading:
Southampton in the Twenties, by Eric Wyeth Gadd, p47. (HS/h)


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