With the opening of the new Town Hall in 1754, for example, the town engaged in festivities for a week with public breakfasts every morning, boat races, and balls and concerts every evening.
In 1789, on the occasion of the King's recovery from an illness, a general illumination took place. This was ushered in and closed by the firing of cannon from the fort. The front of the Town Hall was adorned with transparencies and wreaths of coloured lamps and a few weeks later there was a Grand Ball and supper with 800 guests.
Sedan chairs were in common use in the town and, in 1775, there was a regular stand of them at the south east corner of the Town Hall. The charge for the hire of a chair for any distance not exceeding 1,000 yards, was 6d. and not exceeding a mile, 1s. On November 7 1872 a banquet was given to Mr. H.M. Stanley, the intrepid discoverer of Dr. Livingstone, the African traveller,  at the Town Hall. 

Image details: Wm Herdman