What is this gathering at the Norfolk Arms?

A gathering outside the Norfolk Arms in Steyning, but what was the occasion?
A gathering outside the Norfolk Arms in Steyning, but what was the occasion?

THIS second photo from the Steyning Museum exhibition shows a crowd outside the Norfolk Arms between 1898 and 1904.

Many of the men are wearing buttonholes and seem to be in their Sunday best.

Eight of the men in the front row are holding brass musical instruments – but are not dressed as bandsmen.

“What could have been the reason for this gathering between these dates?” asks curator Chris Todd.

He explained that he knows the dates because Steyning Brewery was formed from the amalgamation of Gates Brewery and Michells Brewery in 1898.

Also, you can just make out the name of the licensee in the picture, “Bateman”, and Chris knows Emily Bateman left the Norfolk Arms in 1904.