Invitation to the first annual dinner
Annual dinners were held to raise money for the ABF, and to report back on the activities of the charity over the previous year.
The first of such annual dinners was held on June 24th 1891 at the Hotel Metropole (now the Corinthia Hotel in Whitehall), and was chaired by Henry Irving himself. Its guest of honour was Charles Dickens Jr, son of the great author of the same name. The entertainment was varied and frequent, including songs such as ‘We’re all Noddin’’ and ‘Come into the Garden, Maud’, performed by renowned operatic singer Sims Reeves.