Philip Snowden – The Proudest Day of My Life.

The proudest day of my life was not when I attended my first Budget, but a month later when I went back to my birthplace in Yorkshire.  The villagers felt that they must do something to show their pride in the fact that one of themselves had attained a high ministerial office.  The Parish Council, on which I had begun  my first public work, had taken action and arranged for a celebration of my homecoming.  The whole parish had taken up the movement with great enthusiasm   ( 17th May, 1924).

Cowling is four miles from the railway station at Kildwick, and my wife and I made the journey by car.  At the entrance to the village we were first welcomed by members of the Parish Council.  Then the Coucillors marched in procession up the main street, accompanied by the Cowling Temperance Brass Band, and followed by hundreds of people from far and near.  Large parties had come from surrounding districts, the village was “en fete”.  The main street was hung with bunting and banners expressing messages of welcome to “Awr Philip”, mostly in native dialect.  We went along to the Methodist Sunday School, the largest hall in the village, where a wildly enthusiastic meeting was held, though only a small number of the crowd able to gain admission.  The Chairman of the Parish Council who had been my colleague on that body 30 years before, presided at the meeting, and the platform was filled with my boyhood friends.  The Chairman made a presentation to us of a silver rose bowl and vases, suitably engraved.  Before I left the village we visited in their own homes a few of the old folks I had known as a boy, and called at the little cottage where I was born (no. 54 Middleton).  This event was the grandest experience of my life, and the only regret I had was that my mother had not lived to see it.  She had died 2 years before in Feburary 1922, in her 90th year. Her death was the result of an accident on a piece of ice, and she broke her thigh.

Taken from Philip – Viscount Snowden of Ickornshaw’s autobiography vol.2 – 1934

His life from 1919-1934.     Born 1864, died 1937.