This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
"Over four thousand persons, from the neighborhoods and towns of both High and Low Harrogate, assembled and took part in the proceedings, which were, from beginning to end, conducted in a successful manner. To commence with, a splendid red and white four-year-old ox was purchased by Mr. Samson Fox, and fed by Mr. Stephen Bradley in a field adjoining his residence. Here it became an object of much curiosity and comment amongst the town-folks, who watched it graze with eager interest in anticipation of roast beef ad libitum in the near future. Upon the eventful day, Mr. M. Church, chef at the Queen Hotel, superintended the cookery arrangements, and succeeded to perfection; for, as Mr. Fox (the spirited gentleman who liberally came forward to defray all expenses) afterwards said, ' the ox had been as well roasted as though it had been done in separate pieces'.
Theanimal was slaughtered, dressed,and duly fixed upon the spit of solid iron, revolved by steam power at the rate of about three limes a minute. Two huge fires were employed - one stationary, and the other movable. A barricade was erected around the ox, and, although it was not ultimately called into use, a suitable covering was provided to guard against inauspicious weather. A powerful dynamo illuminated the whole scene with the electric light during the hours of dusk and night, and sounds of revelry (music and dancing) contributed to the enjoyment of all, whilst the ox was kept constantly revolving throughout the night.
At noon on Tuesday, the 21st June, the cutting up and serving out of the animal was inaugurated by the committee, who mounted a wagon placed alongside of the roasted ox on its spit. Five carvers were told off, and each one received a huge carving knife and fork, specially made for the occasion. After a brief but appropriate speech from Mr. Fox, three cheers were given and each carver made a primary Incision; and then followed up quickly the division, presumably along the principal lines of the six-and-thirty usual 'joints,' and the slicing off of the tit-bits.
About 4,000 pieces of meat, buns, and tickets for beer were rapidly distributed amongst the guests ranged around the 'festive board,' and as daylight waned the dynamo once more shone forth upon a scene of innocent revelry, 'where all went merry as a marriage bell.'"