The1846 Pudsey Pudding

The late J.R. Coulson recalled a conversation with Alfred Lund which took place one winter night in front of a good fire at Grove House, Pudsey. "

Under the shadow of the stained-glass window, Mr Lund and I resumed our talk about Pudsey's pudding. It was not a Christmas pudding, though most of the ingredients were suitable for one. It had been made in celebration of a notable event in national history.
Pudsey people were almost solidly Radical and Free Traders in l846, and in that year the corn laws were repealed.

The era of free trade was dawning and the hope of cheaper bread. The radicals of Pudsey could not let that went pass without a suitable celebration, and they decided that this should be original.

Eventually they decided to make a pudding, of which everyone in the town could have a share, and which for size and quality should beat all records.

The result was a pudding weighing nearly 1000 lbs.

Twenty housewives each mixed her twentieth share to the proper ingredients ready for the final blending.

One of the dye-pans at Crawshaw Mill was thoroughly cleaned and filled with spring water.

The twenty dames, with assistance, brought their twenty bowls containing the mixed flour, fruit and suet and tipped them into a large and strong and new canvas "poke" specially made for that purpose, and by means of a windlass which had been fixed over the pan, the "weighty matter" was hoisted into the vessel.

For three days and three nights the pudding was kept boiling, along with half a dozen smaller puddings, to keep it company.

On July 31, 1846, the pudding was craned out of the huge copper and placed upon a wherry. There the steaming monster sat in triumph, with the smaller puddings around it.

A procession was formed, and went round the town, with thousands of people looking on.

The final scene was in Crawshaw Fields, where tables had been arranged in the form of a large military square, and with a special "spade" provided for the purpose, the pudding was "dug up" and served to the crowd."

If you would like to make a smaller version... here is the recipe.

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