1873 - Spread Eagle, South Weald
The following report of an outing to the Spread Eagle, South Weald in 1873 appeared in a local newspaper:
Messrs. Thos. Herbert & Sons, of 47, St. George-street, E., 7, West Smithfield, and 319, Gray's Inn-road, gave the annual dinner to the workmen in their employ, and to a few invited guests on Saturday. This year the spot selected was the Spread Eagle Inn, South Weald, near Brentwood. A four-horse bus left at an early hour, calling at the several establishments, and as the weather most unusual thing for this summer was all that could be desired, the drive down proved a most agreeable one. The usual excellent dinner was served at half-past one, at the "Spread Eagle one of those quaint combinations of the farmhouse and the hostelry, with a far larger proportion of the former more frequently to be met with at a much greater distance from London. Mr. Thomas Herbert presided, with Mr. George Herbert in the vice-chair. The usual loyal toasts duly honoured, were followed by the toast of the day, "prosperity to the Firm, proposed briefly but in appreciative terms by Mr. Fairburn, and very warmly received. The Chairman, in his reply, touched upon the trade differences that at present are unhappily so rife, and congratulated himself and his hearers on the cordial feeling that had subsisted between them, as proof of which he referred to the fact that one of those present had been twenty-five years in his employ, another fifteen, and that most of them had been with him for several years. The health of the female members of the family was next given, Mr. George Herbert responding, and was followed by "The Visitors,, for which Mr. J. Stephens returned thanks, and "The Press. The remainder of the afternoon was spent in various sports, or in rambles, for which the neighbourhood is peculiarly inviting, and a rapid run to town brought the very happy party home considerably before midnight.