A glowing report about Broadway, from Berrow’s Worcester Journal of 14th May 1887:
“As Broadway bids fair to become a fashionable summer resort, it may be interesting to your readers to know ‘who may come – and who may go’.
“During the last three or four years visitors from many countries have flocked here, and without exception have pronounced it the most charming place they had ever visited.
“This is paying Broadway a very high compliment. Still, it is no more than it deserves. It would be a hard matter to find its equal.
“It is to be honoured this year with a visit from America’s President, the Hon Grover Cleveland, who will be accompanied by his charming and accomplished wife…”
The article went on to describe the town illuminations, including a procession of torches and Chinese lanterns, that was due to take place the following month. The procession would go from the town, up the hill to Broadway Tower, where a bonfire would be lit.
“As a vantage ground for this interesting sight, Broadway Tower will stand first, for, according to the Ordnance Survey, a more extensive range of varied scenery is to be had for her than for any other eminence in Great Britain, the views extending over portions of 15 counties in England and Wales.
“No words will give even an idea of the beauty of the scenery to be found in and around Broadway and the neighbourhood. It has already proved itself a favourite sketching ground for artists, and as a health resort stands second to none.
“The only wonder is that it has not long ago become more visited; but this may be perhaps accounted for by it being some distance from a railway.
“It is to be hoped that this too will come in the near future; then Broadway will have a fair chance of becoming the Queen of the west.”
This article, by ‘a correspondent’, is clearly designed to sell Broadway to the paper’s readers as a place the upwardly mobile should visit. It is more of an advertorial than a news piece, setting out the town’s charms whilst also calling for a railway to be built there.
The reason for the piece is clear – the town wants to be seen as a tourist destination, and is trying to get a bit of publicity.
However, I’d be interested to know whether the presidential visit was a true event or hyperbole invented by a loyal ‘correspondent’ – there is no mention of any such visit in the local press for this year. If you know any different, do let me know!