Les vieux-papiers (journaux, revues, gravures…) nous amènent parfois à des découvertes belles ou surprenantes sur le monde des Géants, en voici une, tirée de la revue Daily Graphic, un hebdomadaire londonien, daté du 27 avril 1892.
Outre, la belle illustration du Reuze de Dunkerque, cet article rapporte qu’un défilé de Géants eut lieu à Lille le 24 avril 1892 en soutien aux population belge pour la catastrophe minière d’Anderlues du 11 mars 1892 et russe pour la famine de 1891-1892. On y note la présence des Géants Lyderic et Phinaert (Lille), de Jeanne Maillotte (Lille), du Reuze (Dunkerque), de Gambrinus (Namur), Janneke et Mieke (Bruxelles), de Grand-Papa et Grande-Mamma (Bruxelles), Goliath (Ypres), l’Argayon, l’Argayonne et Lolo (Nivelles), de Gayant, Jacquot, Fillon, Binbin et la Roue de la Fortune (Douai) et même du Doudou (le dragon) (Mons)
Il est possible de compléter cet article avec les photos, datées de manière erronée de 1891, du fonds Lefebvre de la Bibliothèque Municipale de Lille (photos réalisées par Bernard Pierre)
The Russo-Belgian Fêtes at Lille
The Daily Graphic, 27 Avril 1892
The magnificent- Russo-Belgian Fetes in aid of the Russian famine and the victims of tbe mining catastrophe of Anderlues, which took place on Sunday· last at Lille, were very successful. The weather was fortunately very favourable, and the originality and variety of the programme brought from all parts of the country an immense number of visitors. The principal streets and squares of the town through which the procession passed were one mass of flags and banners; the mixture of colours of the French, Russian, and Belgian flags formed a very pretty effect. Towards twelve o’clock the giants and monsters who had been lodged for the night in the several market halls started for the rendezvous, whence at a quarter to two the procession started, Gendarmerie on horseback led the way, followed by several regimental bands. Salvoes of artillery announced the arrival of the giants Lydéric and Phinaert, two legendary monsters, each about 25ft. high, dressed in line costumes for the occasion, The cavalcade was divided into seventeen groups, each led by the special band of music from its town. Several of the giants also had their own bands of music, playing the quaint ancient music attributed to the giant. Gambrinus, the cheery Bacchus of Namur, holding in his outstretched hand a glass of beer, large enough to drown a baby, followed the first section. Janneke and Mieke, two giants from Brussels; danced along next. The Tambour-major of the Hurlus 9f Lille, with his immense head; followed, beating time for his band of drummers dressed in the style of the sixteenth century. Then came Jeanne Maillotte, a legendary Jeanne d’Arc of Lille, precoding her band of archers; the several gymnastic societies, the car representing the fine arts, decorated, and holding twenty costumed figures, representing painting, sculpture, architecture, and so forth; and next « Grand papa. » and . »Grandmamma. »from Brussels, dressed in quaint old-fashioned costumes, Each of them measured a· good twenty-five feet. There followed the Grand Goliath d’Ypres, nearly thirty-five feet high, with a number of prettily-messed children encircling the monster and dancing. The car of the Horticultural· Society of the North of France came next, distributing flowers.
Then came the « Homme de Fier. » of Loiguies, on horseback, and clothed in the splendid armour of the fifteenth century, and the giants of Nivelles-Monsieur Argayon and his spouse and son Lalo, a pretty little giant of 9ft., with an innocent face
THE PRIDE OF THE PROCESSION.
The great success was the Doudou of Mons, an immense green dragon, followed by the valiant St. George. Doudou was full of antics. When lashed into fury by the spears of the acolytes of the Saint, he danced about, lashing angrily his tail amid the crowd, knocking off hats and damaging parasols, to the great amusement of those his tail did not reach. The next group was led by the giant « Grand Turk. » of Brussels, followed by the redskinsavages of Dunkerque and an amusing menagerie of men in the garb of wild beasts. More music, and the wheel of fortune from Douai passed along, a revolving wheel on which were stationed seven figures representing dif¬ferent social degrees, from the peasant to the magistrate with Drum, Fortune crowning the wheel. The fine giant, Reuse-papa of Dunkerque, 40ft. in height, drove along. in his chariot, and after him a large model of a man-of-war, mounted with cannon and sailors, came by.
SYMPATHY WITH THE MINERS,
The miners’car was received everywhere with acclamations, and the men had enough to do to catch the shower, of money thrown into the car. The car, of metallurgy, with steam engines and models of all kinds, succeeded, and then came giant Gayant of Douai and his children-Jacquot, his daughter, Mlle. Fillion, baby Bimbim, a fine child of seven feet, rat, pink in complexion, and well dressed in frock and bib, with hair prettily curled. Other less important cars and bands followed, and’ then the « Cup of Charity, . » drawing· showers of sous into it, closed the cavalcade. Then came a combat between St. George and the Doudou, in which St. George was victorious, the dragon giving a last terrible struggle and dying, after which his body, accompanied by the giants, was carried through the streets.