A group of working-class people in Victorian dress stand around a man who is leaning on a wooden railing reading out loud from a newspaper. There’s a woman to the man’s immediate right, smiling, wearing a shawl and dress; to her right another woman, with a hat, and two well-wrapped children one of whom is in her arms. Behind her a pale person, and to the extreme right a man with sideburns and a waistcoat and one hand on his hip balances a board on his head with a fresh roast and a pie steaming away. In the front stands a boy wearing a straw hat and carrying hoop and stick, a traditional children’s game. There is also a wheel, perhaps of a barrow, at front right, and a dog chained to it (we see t hdog’s rear end). The man reading wears a hat and has some sort of leather harness over his waistcoat. In the background a cactory with smoking chimneys suggests the scene is in the industrial North of England.
I am not certain that the engraver is William Deane Taylor, based only on the signature W. Taylor, but it seems likely.