107. Methodism in the Early 1970s

Based on Grandad’s Diary Only

During this period, only grandad was keeping a diary (see Chapter 98). So, it is perhaps inevitable that there is more information about grandma’s involvement in church in the early seventies than there is for mum or for any of the rest of us.

Grandma Attended Services at Drayton Methodist Church

Grandma was extremely actively involved in Drayton Methodist Church (see Chapter 79) attending morning and afternoon service every Sunday.

Examples from grandad’s diary for Sundays from January of each year for this period (1970 to 1974). This showed a common pattern. Grandma went to church in the morning and afternoon and then we went to theirs for tea (see Chapter 106)

Morning and Afternoon Services

The church had been holding morning and afternoon services on a Sunday since October 1967 (see Chapter 90). Occasionally, during this period, there was no afternoon service or there was an evening service in place of an afternoon service. For example, it appears that, for the whole of August 1974, there was no afternoon service.

She Only Missed Services if She Was Away or Ill

The only times she did not go was if she was away or she was unwell. For example, in March 1970, she went to Kirkby and, the following week, she was in Bedford. In January 1972, she went to Mansfield with dad.

In March 1972, grandma did not go to church in the morning as she woke feeling sick and dizzy. She did go in the afternoon though.

Others Went With Her to Church

Amy and Auntie Dolly

Amy and Auntie Dolly usually went with grandma to church when they were staying with her and grandad. Auntie Dolly also sometimes helped grandma with things for church. For example, on 16 August 1974, grandma and Auntie Dolly went to do flowers at chapel.

The Lofthouses, Florrie Booth, Ray Cirket and Auntie Bertha

Other people who went with her to chapel while they were staying with grandma and grandad included Arthur and Jessie Lofthouse, Florrie Booth, Ray Cirket and Auntie Bertha.

Mum Sometimes Went With Grandma

Occasionally, grandad noted that mum attended one of these services. For example, on 6 June 1971, grandad noted that mum played the organ for the afternoon service. He also noted that Miss Cooke was on holiday so I assume she was their usual organist. Mum did the same for the afternoon service on 11 July 1971.

One of Us Sometimes Went With Grandma

Very occasionally, one of us went with grandma to church. For example, on 1 August 1971, Alan went with grandma to church and went to Sunday School. In 1974, Tricia went with mum and Auntie Bertha to an evening service for the chapel anniversary.

Special Services

Easter Sunday and Harvest Festival

Special services were held at particular seasons, including on Easter Sunday and for Harvest Festival. Harvest Festival was also known as Harvest Thanksgiving. This was held in September each year.

Christmas Day and Good Friday

There were also special services on Good Friday, in the evening, and Christmas Day. Grandma usually attended these services with Auntie Dolly. Auntie Dolly did not go on Christmas Day 1970 as she had a cold. She also did not go to the Good Friday service in 1972 or 1973. In 1972,  she came from Bedford that day and her bus arrived after the service had finished. In 1973, she only came on Easter Sunday. Grandma did not go either that year as she was not too well.

Other Christmas Services

Christmas services were also held on the Sunday closest to Christmas. For example, on Boxing Day in 1971, Christmas Eve in 1972 and on 23 December 1973. On Boxing Day 1971, grandad noted that there was no afternoon service and that grandma, Amy and Auntie Dolly went to the morning service. He also noted that Auntie Dolly played the organ. Also, on Christmas Eve 1971, grandad referred to Auntie Dolly playing the organ but this was in the context of visiting Arthur Elsegood so perhaps the Elsegoods had an organ or it could have been at church without grandad making any reference to a service.

In 1972, Auntie Dolly had a cough and cold so she did not go to church on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Grandad also noted that she did not go to church on the 23rd but this was a Saturday. Perhaps there was a service or another activity that day or it could be that this was an entry intended for Sunday. On 23 December 1973, grandma and Auntie Dolly went to morning service only.  

Chapel and Sunday School Anniversaries

There were also services for particular events, such as chapel and Sunday School anniversaries. For example, on the weekend of 19 and 20 May 1973, there was a chapel anniversary. On the Saturday night, there was a concert party. On the Sunday, there were morning and evening services with the church full both times.

In 1971, the Sunday School Anniversary was on 16 May and grandad noted, in capitals, that there was an EVENING service.

Chapel Anniversary 1972 – 80 Years

For example, on 13 May 1972, grandad noted that it was 80 years since Drayton Methodist Church was built in 1892, There was a meeting there although there is no indication that grandad actually attended. The meeting featured the choir Christ for Victory from Norwich. Grandad noted that the church was full to capacity.

Christ for Victory Choir

I found an advert for a visit by this choir to Horham Baptist Church on 7 January 1972. I found similar adverts for Silver Road Baptist Church in October 1961, New Wensum Hall in December 1962, Aylsham Gospel Hall in November 1965, Park Church, Eaton in April 1972 and Holy Trinity in November 1972. In January 1966, G C Chamberlain, the choir’s conductor and R W Carver, the choir’s chairman, wrote to the paper advertising a choir festival that was to be held at St Andrew’s Hall on 8 April 1967.

Anniversary 1974

On the weekend of 1 and 2 June 1974, Gillian Pointer was married at Drayton Methodist Church and there were 90 guests (see Chapter 101). In the evening, Norfolk “Praise” Male Voice Choir came. Grandma noted it was very good. On the Sunday, she noted it was children’s anniversary in the morning and church anniversary in the evening. She noted that Auntie Bertha went with mum and Tricia, who grandma surprisingly called Pat (see Chapter 71). Grandma also noted that the ladies sang.

Entries in grandad’s diary for 1 and 2 June 1974. They were written by grandma because of grandad’s health

Norfolk Male Voice Praise Choir

I have found lots of local news articles about the Norfolk Male Voice Praise Choir including adverts for a Melody of Praise weekend which appears to have been held annually in May from 1963 to at least 1998. Weekends were held in St Andrew’s Hall and also in St Mary’s Baptist Church in Duke Street. I also found details of them giving a Festival of Carols at the Assembly House in December 1971 and of other concerts, e.g. in Bury St Edmunds in 1992. The most recent article I found about them was 2007. I have not found any current details of them. I have come across the Norwich Phoenix Male Voice Choir which seems to have been formed in 2010 after the Millennium Male Voice Choir closed in 2009 but I don’t believe they are linked to the Norfolk Male Voice Praise Choir.

Funeral Services

Grandma also attended funeral services at church, for example, of Miss Gotts in July 1970 (see Chapter 100).

Details of Services

Grandad rarely, if ever, noted any details of the services which is perhaps unsurprising as he did not attend himself.

Problems With the Heating

But, on 18 November 1973, he noted that they could not have the electric fire on at chapel because of “trouble with workers” (see Chapter 112). So, they borrowed grandma and grandad’s Paul’s Warma paraffin stove (see Chapter 67) and other heaters.

Rev Squire

On 3 November 1974, he noted that Rev Squires, the “church vicar” took the afternoon service. It seems that he was Rev H E Squires and he was the vicar at St Margaret’s in Drayton from at least 1966. According to Andrew Grieves on the Norwich Remembers Facebook page, his first name was Humphrey and this appears to be confirmed by newspaper articles.

However, according to the Crockford’s Clerical Directory for 1971-1972, his name was Humphrey Edward Squire. He was born in 1929. According to the 1939 Register, he was at St Michael’s School in Ridgewood. He obtained a BA from St Chad’s College in Durham in 1955. Then, he went to the College of the Resurrection Mirfield before being ordained as a deacon in 1957 and as a priest in 1958. He then served as curate of Newbold from 1957 to 1959, Thorpe Episcopi from 1959 to 1961, Chaplain of St Andrew’s College Minaki Zanzibar 1961 to 1963, curate of Whittington from 1963 to 1964 and Rector of Drayton from 1964.

I also found news articles with this spelling including one reporting on positive engagement with the Methodist Church. I also found a 1961 article noting that he was leaving Thorpe St Andrew to move to Tanganyika. In 1959, he was engaged to Janet Evans and they married that same year. Apparently, he died in 2016 in Poole, Dorset.

Attendance

Grandad did not usually note how many people attended chapel. But, on 14 July 1974, grandma noted that the Brownies helped to fill the chapel.  

Getting to Church

Mostly, grandma walked to church as it was not far, 0.1 miles according to Google. Occasionally, she got a lift, e.g. with Mrs Le Fever, in January 1973, when she had been unwell.

Services at Mile Cross

Sometimes, grandma also went to services at Mile Cross Methodist Church (see Chapter 79), for example, with Miss Cooke, Mrs Hodson and Mrs Kemp in April 1970. In June 1970, grandma went with us and Robin Harrison to the evening service at Mile Cross as it was the Sunday School Anniversary.

Grandma also went to services at Mile Cross in 1971 and later. By this point, we were no longer living in Hellesdon (see Chapter 102) so not attending Mile Cross but grandma kept a connection. For example, in February 1971, in the evening, she went to a service of Sankey hymns at Mile Cross.

Sankey

This refers to Ira D Sankey, a well-known American singer and composer who was born in 1840 and died in 1908. He was known for the revival campaigns he conducted in USA and Britain with Dwight L Moody and for his compilation of hymns “Sacred Songs and Solos”. 

Image of Ira D Sankey – public domain image from Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs Division
Sacred Songs and Solos – a compilation of hymns by Ira D Sankey

More Services at Mile Cross

The next month, in March 1971, grandad noted that grandma went to Mile Cross and helped in the choir. The month after that, in April 1971, we took grandma to Mile Cross for evening service and a visitor brought her back. I am not sure if this means we sometimes still went there after we had moved from Hellesdon or if we just gave her a lift.

In April 1973, grandma and Amy went to evening service at Mile Cross. That same year, in June 1973, grandma went to evening service at Mile Cross. Mr Newsome and his family took her in the car.

Services at Park Lane

Also, grandma sometimes came to Park Lane when we were going there, for example, on 9 May 1971, and on Easter Sunday, 2 April 1972, with Auntie Dolly.

Drayton Ladies’ Meeting

Grandma continued to be actively involved in the ladies’ meeting at Drayton Methodist Church that she had started in October 1964 (see Chapter 79).

DLM and Other Variants

Grandad usually recorded this as DLM for Drayton Ladies’ Meeting. But, occasionally, he noted that she went to DMC (Drayton Methodist Church). When this was on a Thursday afternoon, I have assumed this was for the ladies’ meeting. When grandma was keeping grandad’s diary, she was less consistent in how she referred to this meeting. For example, on 9 May 1974, she wrote “MCM” which I initially thought meant Mile Cross Methodist but, given that it was a Thursday, I suspect this was her ladies’ meeting (perhaps Methodist Church Meeting?). Grandma tended to refer to both Sunday services and the Thursday ladies’ meeting as MC (Methodist Church) although she also used DM (Drayton Methodist), DMC and women’s fellowship.

They Met on Thursday Afternoons

This was held on a Thursday afternoon except during the month of August each year when no formal class meetings were held (see Chapter 90).

Grandma Usually Walked There

As with church services on a Sunday, grandma usually walked to the meetings but, occasionally, she got a lift, for example, with Rev Hayman on 4 January 1973. This was because grandma had been unwell. Grandad noted that she was better and able to walk to the meeting by the following week. On 10 and 17 January 1974, grandad noted that grandma had difficulty walking to church because of the problems she was having with her feet (see Chapter 100).

Sometimes Meetings Were Held at Members’ Homes

While meetings were usually held at the church, they were sometimes held at grandma and grandad’s or the house of another group member. Group members who hosted meetings at their house included Miss Cooke, Mrs Noble and Mrs Hodson. There were various reasons for holding meetings in a house rather than at the church.

Cold Weather

On 1 and 8 January 1970, grandma held the ladies’ meeting at their house because of the cold weather.

Painting and Decorating at Church

On 24 September and 1 October 1970, grandma held the ladies’ meeting at their house because there were painters at the chapel.

Power Cuts

On 10 February 1972, grandma had gone to chapel to prepare for the meeting but there was a power cut so she came home and held the meeting there. The power cuts continued and she held meetings at their house for the next two weeks.

On 15 November 1973, grandma had the ladies’ meeting at their house. Grandad said this was because of the banning of electricity due to a go slow by Electrical Engineers. The ladies also met at their house on the 22nd because of “trouble with the electricity workers”.

Extract from grandad’s diary for 22 November 1973 explaining why the ladies’ meeting was held at their house that day

On 3 January 1974, grandad made reference to the three-day week (see Chapter 112). He noted that on account of the coal crisis, shops could only open to use electricity three days a week and several companies also could only use electricity three days a week. Also, he commented that, while hospitals and a few others were exempted, churches or chapels were not. He did not say what the implications of this were for the ladies’ meetings but these did continue during this period.

No Reason

Sometimes, grandad gave no reason for meetings having been held at their house, for example, on 19 February 1970.

Informal Meetings in August

There were no formal meetings in August of each year except in a few cases where formal meetings at the church resumed at the end of the month, e.g. 31 August 1972 and 29 August 1974. I thought this might have occurred when there were five Thursdays in August. But, this was not the case in 1973 as the meeting on 30 August was held at Miss Cooke’s. Nevertheless, group members often met informally at each other’s houses during that month, for example, at Miss Cooke’s on 20 August 1970. Grandma hosted a ladies’ party at theirs on 27 August 1970.

On 26 August 1971, the meeting was held at Mrs Noble’s. The next year, on 3 August 1972, grandad noted that grandma went with some other ladies to Miss Cooke’s. On the 17th, grandma and Auntie Dolly went to a meeting at Mrs Hodson’s and on the 24th, the meeting was held at grandma and grandad’s.

The following year, on 9 August 1973, when grandma had a party of ladies round for an afternoon gathering, grandad went to Arthur Elsegood’s. On 1 August 1974, the ladies’ meeting was held at grandma and grandad’s house. Grandma noted that 17 ladies and three men enjoyed games and reading. Apparently, the men sat in the bedroom. On the 22nd, grandma and Auntie Dolly went to Miss Cooke’s for a musical afternoon. There were 11 there.

Arthur Elsegood

Sometimes, while grandma was at her meeting, grandad went to Arthur Elsegood’s house . Arthur’s wife Rose also attended the ladies’ meeting. For example, on 16 September 1971, Tom took Ray and grandad to Arthur Elsegood’s. He then took Rose to Drayton’s Ladies’ Meeting. He brought her home at 4pm and then took grandad and Ray home. On 9 August 1973, grandma had a party of ladies round for an afternoon gathering. Grandad went to Arthur Elsegood’s.

Later, in the period, when grandad’s health was not so good, Arthur sometimes came to sit with him, for example, in May 1974.

Anniversaries of the Ladies’ Meeting

Grandad noted that anniversaries of the group took place each year in October. During this period, the meeting celebrated it sixth to tenth anniversaries. Attendance was always good, around 40-45 people. In 1973, there were about 50 there including some from the Mothers’ Union from the Church of England.

Christmas Parties

The ladies’ meeting also had a Christmas party each year in December. Grandad sometimes referred to Christmas as Xmas (see Chapter 36).

Little Detail of Meetings

The diaries don’t often record activities at the meetings but there were a few exceptions.

Sewing

On 27 April 1972, grandma took her sewing machine to the meeting to help with repairing cushions.

Games and Reading

On 1 August 1974, the meeting was held at grandma and grandad’s and included games and reading.

Musical Activities

On 21 December 1972, Tricia and her friend Sally went and played the violin for a Christmas sing song (see Chapter 106). Also, on 22 August 1974, grandma and Auntie Dolly went to Miss Cooke’s for a musical afternoon.

Picture Shows

On 21 January 1971, grandad helped grandma take the projector and screen to Drayton Methodist Church. Grandma was showing “the films of the continental holiday” to the ladies’ meeting. This presumably related to the trip to the Passion Play in Oberammergau.

In April 1971, grandad noted that Mrs Pointer gave a picture show at Drayton Ladies’ Meeting.

Also, in July 1974, grandma noted that Dr Gale showed his holiday slides of Rome, Capri etc. She noted that men were invited too and many turned up, She noted that the collection was £3.13.

On 21 November 1974, the meeting featured a picture show. It looks like this was presented by “Paster Warren”. This could refer to the Methodist Minister by that name but he left the circuit in 1968 and the surname is not very clear. It could be “Vanan”. The final vowel looks like an “a”. It would also be somewhat unusual to refer to a Methodist Minister as “pastor”.

Grandad Rarely Noted the Attendance

Only occasionally did grandad note how many attended the meeting, usually when attendance was unusually low or high. For example, on 29 October 1970, there were only nine there as several were ill. Similarly, on 29 November 1973, grandad noted that there were only nine there including the speaker. He noted that this was because of the cold weather, On 9 May 1974, grandma noted that there were only 11 there.

On the other hand, on 19 December 1974, more than 20 attended the Christmas party. Attendance was also good for anniversaries.

Attendance was also noted for some activities in August.

Others Went With Grandma to the Ladies’ Meetings

As with Sunday services, when Amy and Auntie Dolly were staying with grandma and grandad, they went with grandma to the ladies’ meetings. Also, Florrie Booth went with her when she visited in 1973. On at least one occasion, Tricia went with her, for example, on 25 April 1974 and according to grandma, played the chime bars.

Tea After the Meetings

Sometimes, members of the groups came for tea to grandma and grandad’s after the meeting, for example, Miss Cooke came for tea on 2 November 1972. Then, in the evening, about 7.15pm, they went to Mile Cross Methodist Church.

Mile Cross Ladies’ Meeting

Grandma also sometimes went to Mile Cross Ladies’ Meeting which took place on a Wednesday afternoon (see Chapter 90). However, the frequency with which she went reduced from around once a week in 1970 and 1971, to around once a month in 1972 and only a handful of times in 1973 and 1974. Grandad sometimes gave reasons for not going but not always. For example, grandma did not go on 28 January 1970 as it was foggy. On 26 January 1972, she did not go as she had a problem with her foot (see Chapter 100). In March 1973, grandad noted that it was the first time that year that grandma had gone to the Mile Cross Ladies’ Meeting.

Sometimes Grandma Went With Others

Sometimes, she went with Amy Wilson, for example, on 2 December 1970.

She Mostly Went by Bus

I think she mostly went there by bus but she sometimes got a lift. It is possible she walked but as it is almost three miles one way I think this is unlikely. One example of when she got a lift was on 6 November 1972 when she got a lift with Mr Beckett because it was raining. On 2 December 1970, when she went with Amy, Tom took them both. On 2 October 1974, Miss Walker brought her home in the car.

Almost No Details of Meetings

There are almost no details of the meetings in the diary but, on 12 September 1973, grandad did note that grandma was the speaker. On 11 December 1974, he seemed to be impressed that they had a ”dinner supplied free”.

Other Ladies’ Activities at Mile Cross

Grandma sometimes went to ladies’ activities at Mile Cross on days other than Wednesday. For example, on Friday 5 March 1971, she went with others to the Mile Cross Methodist Church Ladies Day of Prayer and, on 30 November 1974, grandad noted that there was a “scotch market”. At least I think that is what it says. I don’t know what this was, perhaps a Scottish-themed market. Google guides me to the scotch whisky market which is unlikely to be relevant!

Ladies Trips and Outings

Grandma also organised and went on a variety of trips and outings with Drayton and Mile Cross ladies. They visited a range of places.

Bungay

This was on 23 March 1972 and was for a meeting on women’s missionary work. It was held in the Congregational Church because the Methodist Church was not big enough. The Methodist Church in Bungay is now part of Bungay Emmanuel Church which itself is part of the Waveney Valley Ecumenical Partnership. There was a Wesleyan chapel on Trinity Street, at the junction with Cross Street. The building is still there. This opened in 1836 and was refurbished in 1904. It suffered bomb damage in 1940 and this was repaired in 1948. It closed in 1976 when the church merged with the Emmanuel Church. From the same source, it appears that Emmanuel Church was indeed the former Congregational Church. It is now a joint Methodist and United Reformed Church.

Former Congregational church in Bungay, now Emmanuel, a combined Methodist and URC © Chris Holifield and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Cambridge

Grandma went on a bus trip here in May 1970.

Clacton

Grandma went here in June 1971 with the ladies from Mile Cross.

Cromer

During this period, there were four trips to Cromer. Of these, three also went to Weybourne and one to Walsingham. Florrie Booth and Auntie Dolly each went with grandma on one of the trips.

Diss

On 26 April 1973, grandma and Auntie Dolly went by bus to a ladies’ meeting in Diss.

Felixstowe

Grandma went on trips there in June and October 1970 and June 1974.

Framlingham

On 26 July 1972, grandma went with a party of ladies to Framlingham. The following year, on 25 July1973, grandma went by private bus to a Methodist Missionary meeting. Initially, I thought this might have been at Framingham Earl as the diary clearly says Framingham. But, given this was basically the same Wednesday each year, I have assumed both trips were to the same place. I have also assumed that the 1972 entry was the correct one.

Gorleston

Grandma and Amy went there in December 1970. Also, in August 1971, grandma and Auntie Dolly went with others from Drayton Ladies’ Meeting to an afternoon picnic. Apparently, they went by bus along the Norfolk coast from Mundesley to Gorleston.

Hethersett

In August 1973, grandma went with a party of ladies to Hethersett for the opening of a Methodist Sunday School. The next year, there were two trips to Hethersett in April and August 1974. Auntie Dolly went on the one in August and, apparently, the coach overflowed.

Hunstanton

In June 1972, grandma went with Mile Cross ladies to Sandringham and Hunstanton.

Ipswich

In October 1972, grandma went on a ladies’ outing to Ipswich.

Little Melton

In August 1971, grandma and Auntie Dolly went to a garden party at Little Melton.

Mulbarton

On 23 May 1972, grandma went with other ladies to Bastins in Mulbarton. Initially, I was not sure if this relates to a family but I think it does. The diaries mention a Mr Bastin who lived in Drayton in the late sixties and was involved in the Methodist Church. He was also a solicitor in the firm Mills and Reeve. He often gave lifts to grandma (see Chapter 90). There appears to have been a Bastin family involved in the Methodist church but only perhaps after 1984. I did find an obituary for John and Mavis Bastin who were listed as Mulbarton residents from 1971 to approximately 1992. Based on that, it appears that John Bastin was a well-known Methodist local preacher. I have assumed it was the same Mr Bastin who perhaps moved from Drayton to Mulbarton in the early 1970s. 

Mundesley

In August 1971, grandma and Auntie Dolly went with others from Drayton Ladies’ Meeting to an afternoon picnic. Apparently, they went by bus along the Norfolk coast from Mundesley to Gorleston.

Overstrand

In March 1973, grandma went with “some chapel folk” to a conference in Overstrand. Mum also went but was staying over until Sunday.

Sandringham

In June 1972, grandma went with Mile Cross ladies to Sandringham and Hunstanton.

Sheringham

In March 1974, grandma went with a ladies’ party to a Methodist church in Sheringham.

Shotesham

In June 1970, grandma went with other ladies to a garden party in Shotesham but it was held in the Methodist Church because the weather was “unsettled”. I am not sure if it was an annual event but grandma went there each May from 1972 to 1974. Phyllis Attwood went with her in 1972. 

Southwold

In August 1973, grandma went with a chapel party to Southwold. Mum, Alan, Liz and I also went.

Spalding

This trip was in May 1971 and was to visit tulip fields. It was organized by Drayton Good Companions (see Chapter 90).

Walsingham

In August 1972, grandma and Auntie Dolly went on a ladies’ trip to Walsingham and Cromer.

Weybourne

Grandma made three trips to Cromer and Weybourne during this period, in July 1971, July 1973 and June 1974. Florrie Booth went with her in 1973.

Wisbech

In October 1971, grandma went with others to visit Wisbech.

Yarmouth

Grandad noted that this was on 2 June 1970 specifically to visit a Methodist Church in Yarmouth. I have not found any details of a specific event on or around that date.

Norvic Shoe Factory

In February 1971, grandma went to visit the Norvic shoe factory. Founded by Howlett and Tillyard in 1846, Norvic became a major manufacturer and seller of shoes. The factory closed in 1981 and the company in 1982. The factory was converted into residential properties.

The former Norvic shoe factory in Norwich © Evelyn Simak and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Examples of adverts for Norvid shoes

The Blind Factory

In August 1973, grandma went to “the blind factory” in Norwich.  Initially, I did not know if this was an organised trip or something grandma had done by herself. I think this was particularly because I was thinking it was a factory that made blinds. But, it appears that it was a factory that provided employment for blind people and was called Norfolk Industries for the Blind. They continue to operate as Norfolk Industries for Disabled People producing pet products. Their website has a clear description of their history including its establishment in 1908 and becoming part of the local council in 1980. They are located at 95 Oak Street although I am not sure if this is where they were based when grandma visited.

Devon

Then, in October 1971, grandma went on a one week ladies’ “outing” to Devon (see Chapter 106).

Old Rectory Old People’s Home

At the beginning of June 1970, grandma and Auntie Dolly went with Drayton ladies to a home in Drayton to sing hymns. Initially, I was unsure if this was a private home or a care home but, based on other material, I think it is more likely to be the latter.

Grandad’s diary entries for 1-4 June 1970

Grandad referred to this as the old vicarage. Based on feedback from the Norwich Remembers Facebook group, it seems this may have been what is now Stower Grange Hotel and Restaurant. This was previously a rectory and then, from at least 1967 to 1973, was a care home called the Old Rectory run by a Mrs M Votier. Based on information from the Norwich Remembers Facebook Group, it seems the home was run by Vic and Mollie Votier who were linked to the Votier family who ran Mascot coaches.  

Grandma went hymn singing to an old people’s home in Drayton at the end of June and in both July and September in 1970. I am assuming this was the same place but I do not know this for sure. Amy went with grandma in September 1970.

Grandad noted that they were due to go on 8 November 1971, I am not sure whether they had been in the interim, but the owner phoned to cancel and said they did not want them to come again. I have no idea why.

Visiting Members of the Group

Grandma also visited members of the Ladies’ Meeting. For example, in December 1970, she went with Amy to visit Mrs Skipper. In March 1972, she went with Mrs Smith to visit Mrs James. In May 1972, grandma went to visit Miss Richmond in Taverham. That same month, she visited Mrs Ducker (see Chapter 100). The following year, in July 1973, grandad noted that grandma did some “invalid” visiting. In February 1974, grandad simply noted that grandma went visiting. Later that year, in July 1974, grandma went to Norwich to see (Miss) J Garrod. I don’t think she was a member of Drayton Ladies’ Meeting but she was definitely involved in the Methodist Church so I have included her here.

Other Church Events

In addition to services and women’s meetings, grandma also attended other church events.

Church Fundraising

Grandma was involved in a range of fundraising activities. In some cases, fundraising activities appear to have been for the church itself. I have tended to assume this was the case when no specific charity was mentioned. For example, in October 1970, grandma went to a Methodist jumble sale in Drayton Village Hall. Grandad noted that they realised over £47.

Grandma also helped with a jumble sale in April 1971. Grandad may have intended to note later how much was raised as he wrote the word realised but no amount.

In February 1972, grandad noted a jumble sale at Drayton Methodist Church that realised £30.

Also, in  February 1974, grandma went to help at a Methodist jumble sale that was held in the village hall. In September 1974, a coffee morning for church funds raised £28 was raised. That same month, grandma helped with a jumble sale at chapel with proceeds going to the chapel.

Fundraising for Charities

Grandma was also involved in raising funds for a number of charities.

(Dr) Barnardo’s (Homes)

Grandma was involved in fundraising for Barnardo’s (see also Chapter 90). Apparently, the charity changed its name from Dr Barnardo’s Homes to Dr Barnardo’s in 1965 and to Barnardo’s in 1988 when its last traditional orphanage closed. Grandad was a bit behind the curve in terms of these changes as he still referred to Dr Barnardo’s Homes in 1970 and 1971. Fundraising events were held for Dr Barnardo’s in February 1970 and 1971, November 1972 and May 1974. Events included coffee mornings (1970, 1971 and 1974), bring-and-buy sales (1971 and 1972) and a film show (1972). Amounts raised ranged from £15 four shillings in 1971 to £18.20 in 1972 with £16.20 being raised in 1974. The event in 1971 was held on 10 February, five days before decimalisation (see Chapter 112).

Barnardo’s badge

The Spastics Society

Grandad referred to grandma’s fundraising for the Spastics Society as for the “spastics” (see also Chapter 90). I have assumed this refers to the Spastic Society who changed their name to Scope in 1994, Interestingly, the section of the Scope website on the organisation’s history does not explicitly mention the old name although it does link to an Amazon ebook entitled “The Spastics Society to Scope: The Story of the Name Change and Relaunch November 1994”.

Fundraising events were held annually for this charity in July 1970,  May 1971, July 1972, August 1973 and July 1974. Events included coffee mornings (1970, 1971, 1972 and 1974), bring-and-buy sales (1971 and 1972) and a jumble sale (1973). Amounts raised ranged from £9.50 in 1971 to £12 in 1972, £16 in 1973 and £22 in 1974 (which grandma described as £18 + £4). Grandma did preparatory work for these events. For example, in 1974, she went to church the day before to find tables ready for the next day.

Football card from the National Spastics Society
Fundraising advert in the 1972 Radio Times in November for the Spastics Society

RNIB

Grandad referred to fundraising for “the blind“. I suspect these events were for RNIB. This was founded in 1868 as the British and Foreign Society for Improving Embossed Literature for the Blind. It became the Royal National Institute for the Blind in 1953 and, since 2007, has been known as the Royal National Institute for Blind People.

Fundraising events were held in November in 1971, 1973 and 1974. Events included coffee mornings (1971, 1973 and 1974) and a bring-and-buy sale (1971). In 1973, they raised £17.29 and, in 1974, £22.90, of which £20 was for “the blind” with the rest going to chapel expenses.

RNIB badge

The Coeliac Society

Details of grandma’s fundraising activities for the Coeliac Society are in Chapter 100.

The Coeliac Society logo from a food guide

Red Cross

A well-known humanitarian charity that was founded by Henry Dunant in 1863.  On 20 February 1974, the Drayton ladies organised a coffee morning for the Red Cross and St John’s Ambulance. They raised a total of £20, ten pounds for each charity.

Selection of Red Cross badges

St John’s Ambulance

A well-known first aid charity that was established in England in 1877. On 20 February 1974, the Drayton ladies organised a coffee morning for the Red Cross and St John’s Ambulance. They raised a total of £20, ten pounds for each charity.

St John’s Ambulance badge

RNLI

Grandad notes that, in April 1974, grandma helped with “the lifeboat collection”. I have assumed this was raising funds for the RNLI. For more details of the RNLI, see Chapter 106.

RNLI badge
Fundraising advert in the 1972 Radio Times in November for the RNLI

Different Types of Fundraising Events

Grandma was involved in a variety of fundraising events including coffee mornings, bring-and-buy sales, film shows, jumble sales and organised collections.

Coffee Mornings

Grandma also sometimes went to coffee mornings or evenings in people’s homes. For example, in July 1971, grandma went to a coffee evening at Mrs Bellemey in Costessey. Also, in May 1972, grandma and Auntie Dolly went to a coffee morning at Mrs R G Carter’s.

Bring-and-Buy Sales

There was one on the afternoon of 29 September 1973. Grandad did not say what it was for. Also, in June 1974, grandma held a bring-and-buy sale at the ladies’ meeting. This raised £4.29 and she noted that Rev Hayman came. At least, I think it was a bring-and-buy sale. Grandma referred to it as ”a B B”.

Saturday Night Concerts

Grandma sometimes also went to Saturday night concerts at chapel. For example, on 16 May 1970, grandma attended a concert at Drayton Methodist Church that was given by members of Framlingham Methodist Church. This was the Whit weekend. Also, on 15 May 1971, grandma went to a concert at church which meant she did not go to Tricia’s 13th birthday party (see Chapter 106).

Methodist Luncheon Club

Grandma sometimes went to a Methodist luncheon club, for example, in November 1971.

HF

In July 1974, grandma went to “HF” at night. I don’t know what this was, perhaps house fellowship. But, in September, grandad referred to Harvest Festival as HF.

British Women’s Temperance Association

During this period, Grandma was active in the women’s temperance movement, for example, attending a  meeting in April 1970. According to grandad, this was a BWTU meeting. I assume that this was referring to the British Women’s Temperance Union which I think, in fact, was called the British Women’s Temperance Association (see Chapter 69).

That same year, in September 1970, grandma held a temperance meeting at theirs. Grandad described this as a meeting of the Women’s British Temperance.

In January 1972, grandma went to a temperance meeting in Norwich. Grandad described this one as British Women’s T A, i.e. Temperance Association.

In July 1974, grandma attended another temperance meeting. At this point, grandma was keeping grandad’s diary and she refers to this as a BWTA meeting. That same year, in October 1974, grandma went to a women’s temperance meeting in Felixstowe which grandad described as a circuit outing. The next month, in November 1974, grandma went to another temperance meeting. At least, I think that is what it was. Grandad referred to it as a British Women’s meeting.

Practical Jobs

Grandad sometimes did practical jobs for the church.

Hymn Board Stand

For example, in March 1970, grandad made a stand to hold the hymn board. He had got the wood from Dixon’s. Grandma stained it.

This is the picture of a hymn board in Norwich Cathedral. It is fixed to the wall whereas I think the one grandad made the stand for must have been free standing © Leo Reynolds and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Odd Jobs

Later that year, in September 1970, he went to the church with grandma to do some odd jobs. They took him about two hours.

Weeding

The next year, in May 1971, he went with grandma and Mrs Pointer to clear some weeds from the chapel grounds. This included applying weed killer.

Cleaning the Launder

The next month, in June 1971, grandma and grandad went to clean the launder at Drayton Methodist Church.

Helped by Arthur Elsegood

From 1972 onwards, he was helped in doing these kinds of jobs by Arthur Elsegood.

Caravan Repairs

In May 1972, grandad and Arthur Elsegood repaired the step at the caravan at Drayton Methodist Church. The following year, in April, grandad and Arthur Elsegood went to church to look at broken windows, which I think were in the caravan, to see what needed to be done. A few days later, grandma and grandad collected the frame from the broken pane in the caravan at the church. Grandad replaced the glass with hardboard and he and grandma put it back the next day.

Because of Grandad’s Health Arthur Elsegood Took on Most of These Jobs

By July 1974, Arthur Elsegood was doing these kinds of repairs on his own. In July 1974, grandma noted that Arthur came to do the window at chapel. A few months later, in November 1974, Arthur went to Drayton Methodist Church to do some work on the old coal-house door which would not open because it had swollen in the damp weather.

Access to Woodworking Material

Grandad also used his connections to the church through grandma to get access to woodworking material. In November 1970, he bought two beds from the chapel that were sent for a jumble sale but they had been unable to sell them. He paid ten shillings for them and he noted that he was going to pull them to pieces, presumably for the wood.

Windmills

There was also a church connection in relation to the windmills (see Chapter 94) he had made. He noted, on 13 September 1972, that the Salvation Army borrowed his two windmills for their Harvest Festival. The Salvation Army Major brought them back on the 18th at 8pm. The following year, in September 1973, the Salvation Army major came again to borrow the tower mill for their Harvest Thanksgiving. In April 1974, a vicar came to see him about the windmill. Grandad told him that they took some time to keep in repair.

Items Delivered to Church

Grandad also noted the purchase and delivery of various items for the church. For example, in May 1972, grandad noted that Suttons of Norwich (see Chapter 93) delivered a re-conditioned piano to Drayton Methodist Church. He noted that the price was £120.

In October 1972, Ron Douglas got an electric kettle from the Electric Board for Drayton Ladies’ Meeting. Grandad noted that it held four pints and was 3,000 watts. It cost Ron £4.50. Grandad gave him £5 as the retail price was £6. 40.

Interested in Methodism

Grandad did have an interest in Methodism and Methodist churches although he did not attend church himself. For example, in September 1970, he went with grandma, grandad. Tom and Amy to see the new Methodist church in Lowestoft on their way back from Southwold. This was the current Trinity church in Lowestoft (see Chapter 79).

On 1 December 1970, grandad noted that we had bought him the New English Bible with apocrypha for his birthday (see Chapter 106).

In November 1972, he noted that he watched the Armistice service at the Albert Hall.

Extract from the Radio Times in 1972 showing the programme for the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance that grandad watched

A few days later that same month, grandma, grandad and Arthur Elsegood watched the service from Westminster Abbey that was celebrating the silver wedding of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh.

Front cover of Illustrated London News from the Queen’s Silver Wedding in 1972
Dad’s First Day Cover for the Queen’s Silver Wedding in 1972

Attending Other Methodist Churches

As in previous periods (see, for example, Chapter 90), grandma attended a range of Methodist churches and meetings across the Circuit and wider District. On quite a few occasions, grandad just noted that she went to a meeting, or a ladies’ meeting, often in Norwich. I don’t know specifically if these were Methodist meetings or perhaps wider Christian women’s meetings. There were examples of these in February and July 1970; January, February, March, April (twice), July and September 1971; January, March and October 1972; March 1973; and March 1974 (twice). Sometimes, she got a lift into Norwich for these meetings, e.g. with Mr Beckett in March 1974.

Grandma went to a wide range of places for these meetings.

Bury St Edmunds

In October 1974, grandma went to a ladies’ meeting in Bury St Edmunds on “Womans Work”. I am not sure exactly where this was held or what it was about.

Chapelfield Road

For details of Chapelfield Road Methodist Church see Chapter 79. Grandma went there in April 1970 and, in May 1970, for a District Missionary Meeting. It was after this meeting that grandma brought the missionary Miss Day to stay with them (see Chapter 106).

Grandma also went to Chapelfield Road in October 1970, after tea, but grandad did not say why. In April 1972, grandma went there with Miss Garrod for a concert.

The next year, in April 1973, grandma went to Chapelfield Road to hear the President of the Methodist Church, the Rev Harry A Morton MA. T

hat same year, in December 1973, grandma, Miss Cooke and Miss Garrod went to Chapelfield Road in the evening. The reason for this was not stated. However, from a local news article, it appears that it may have been an Overseas Missions Anniversary.

Dereham

For details of Dereham Methodist Church see Chapter 90. In March 1973, grandma went to a ladies’ meeting in Dereham.

Diss

Grandma went to Diss for a Methodist Synod with Miss Walker in September 1970. The Methodist Church in Diss has a website with a good history section. This explains that the original chapel was built in 1833 and closed in 1961. A new church was built almost adjacent to it in 1964.

Diss Methodist Church © Geographer and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Framingham Earl

For details of the Methodist Church in Framingham Earl see Chapter 90. When grandad wrote Framingham, it is not always clear if he was referring to Framingham Earl or Framlingham although the former appears to be the meaning in most cases.

In October 1974, grandma went with Mrs Pointer to Framingham Methodist Church 21st anniversary for the ladies’ Bright Hour. A local news article confirms that this did indeed refer to Framingham Earl. In December 1974, grandma went with others to Framingham Methodist Church for the opening of a new Sunday School. Again, a local news article confirms that this was also in Framingham Earl.

Framlingham

For details of the Methodist Church in Framlingham see Chapter 90. In September 1970, grandma and Amy went to a ladies meeting there. Grandad noted that he and Tom waited for them in the car.

Great Melton

As far as I can see there is no Methodist church in Great Melton and I have not found evidence that there was one. In July 1973, grandma, mum and family went to Saturday NITE out in Great Melton which grandad described as a Methodist do (which he spelled “due”).

Horstead

Grandad spelled this Horsted. I have found quite a few examples of this spelling online. However, the correct spelling appears to be Horstead and this refers to a village near Coltishall. Grandma went there for a missionary meeting in October 1970. Initially, I assumed it would have been at a Methodist church but I cannot find any evidence that there was or is such a church. Perhaps it was not at a Methodist church. It could have been at the Anglican church or elsewhere.

Ipswich

For details of Methodist churches in Ipswich see Chapter 90. Grandma went to a meeting in Ipswich in April 1971. Grandad noted that they “went on a minibus (12)” which I presume means there were 12 of them.

King’s Lynn

For details of Methodist churches in King’s Lynn see Chapter 90. Grandma went there in May 1970 for a Methodist Synod with Miss Walker. I found a local news article about this meeting, which was held at London Road Methodist Church, and which covered a wide range of topics including the forthcoming South African cricket tour, drugs problems in Wisbech, whether church membership should be restricted only to those who had been baptized and abortion.   

Lowestoft

For more details of Methodist churches in Lowestoft see Chapter 79. Grandma went to a Methodist meeting in Lowestoft in March 1971.

Mile Cross

For details of Mile Cross Methodist Church see Chapter 79. For example, grandma went to a garden party for the Methodist Missionary Society in June 1970. A year later, in June 1971, grandma went to another garden party at Mile Cross. Grandad recorded it as MC. So, I guess it could be Methodist Church but he tended to use DMC for Drayton Methodist Church and, if it was a different Methodist Church, I think he would have specified. He sometimes referred to Mile Cross Methodist Church as MCMC. In November 1972, grandma went to a bring-and-buy sale at Mile Cross. The next month, in December 1972, grandma went to Mile Cross for a Christmas show of music.

Park Lane

For details of Park Lane Methodist Church see Chapter 79.  In February 1971, grandma went to a meeting at Park Lane Methodist Church. The following year, in June 1972, grandma went to a coffee morning at Park Lane members. That same month, in June 1972, grandma went to Park Lane again to help mum and others who were giving a party to children in Norfolk who were Coeliacs (see Chapter 100). Later that year, in October 1972, grandma went with mum and Tricia to  Park Lane Methodist Church.

Rosebery Road

For details of Rosebery Road Methodist Church see Chapter 79. Grandma went there for a circuit meeting in March 1970 and for a meeting in March 1971. Also, in May 1971, she got the bus to Wensum Park and then walked to Rosebery Road Methodist Church. In March 1972, grandma went with Mrs James to a society meeting at Rosebery Road Methodist Church. I am not entirely sure why this was at Rosebery Road as I thought the church was the society so shouldn’t the meeting have been in Drayton?  In October 1972, grandma went to a flower festival at Rosebery Road.

Sheringham

[For more details of Sheringham Methodist Church see Chapter 90. In October 1971, grandad noted that grandma went with Miss Walker to Sheringham and that she was staying overnight there.

Shotesham

For more details of Shotesham Mthodist Church see Chapter 90. In May 1971, grandma went with a  party to Shotesham for a circuit meeting. She also went there with Mrs Pointer and Miss Cooke in July 1971.

Taverham

For more details of Taverham Methodist Church see Chapter 79. Grandma went there for a concert with Mrs Smith in March 1970 and for a jumble sale in June 1970 with mum, dad and the four of us. Also, in September 1970, 1971 and 1973, grandma went to the harvest festival at Taverham Methodist Church. In 1970, she went by bus and Rev Hayman brought her home. Then, in 1973, there was a Harvest Festival concert.

In October 1971, grandma and Amy went to help with a jumble sale at Taverham Methodist Church. The next year, in March 1972, grandma went to a film show on Oberammergau in Taverham (see Chapter 106). In October 1973 and 1974, grandma went to a Methodist jumble sale at Taverham village hall. In March 1974, grandma went to the chapel anniversary at Taverham.

Thetford

Grandma went to Thetford for a missionary meeting in March 1970. Although grandad does not specify that the meeting was in the Methodist Church in Thetford, I assume that it was. There was a Primitive Methodist Chapel in Thetford from at least 1837. This chapel was in Melford Bridge Road but the church moved to a new building in Guildhall Street/Cage Lane. It appears that the Primitive Methodists merged with the Wesleyans at the time of Methodist Union in 1932 with the Primitive Methodist building being retained as Methodist Central Hall. This building was sold in 1957. The current Methodist Church is the former Wesleyan chapel in Tanner Street.

Thetford Methodist Church © Jonathan Thacker and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Thorpe

However, when grandma went here it was for a house meeting and not to a church.

Types of Events

Grandma went to other Methodist churches for a variety of different events.

To Hear a Particular Speaker

In April 1973, grandma went to Chapelfield Road to hear the President of the Methodist Church, the Rev Harry A Morton MA.

Synod

Grandma went to Synod in in May 1970 in King’s Lynn and in September 1970 in Diss. For both of these, grandma went with Miss Walker.

Society Meeting

In March 1972, grandma went with Mrs James to a society meeting at Rosebery Road Methodist Church.

Circuit Meetings

Grandma went to a circuit meeting at Rosebery Road, in March 1970. She went there again the next day by bus. She also went to a circuit meeting in Shotesham in May 1971.

Ladies’ Meetings

Examples of ladies’ meetings grandma went to included in Framlingham in September 1970 and in Dereham in March 1973. In October 1974, grandma went with Mrs Pointer to Framingham Methodist Church 21st anniversary for the ladies’ Bright Hour. I assumed this was Framingham Earl. A local news article confirms that this indeed was the case. Also that month, in October 1974, grandma went to a ladies’ meeting in Bury St Edmunds on “Womans Work”. I am not entirely sure where in Bury that was held or what it was about.

Missionary Meetings

Grandma attended missionary meetings in Thetford, in March 1970, at Chapelfield Road in May 1970 and in Horstead in October 1970.

House Meetings

For example, grandma attended a house meeting in Thorpe, in January 1970.

Chapel Anniversary

Grandma attended a chapel anniversary in Taverham in March 1974.

Sunday School Opening

In December 1974, grandma went with others to Framingham Methodist Church for the opening of a new Sunday School. A local news article confirms that this was in Framingham Earl.

Harvest Festivals

Grandma attended Harvest Festivals in Taverham in September 1970, 1971 and 1973.

Flower Festival

Grandma attended a flower festival at Rosebery Road on 21 October 1972. I think this was part of a wider Methodist Festival which is described later in this chapter.

Coffee Morning

In June 1972, grandma went to a coffee morning at Park Lane members.

Party

In June 1972, grandma went to Park Lane to help mum and others who were giving a party to children in Norfolk who were Coeliacs.

Jumble Sales

Grandma went to jumble sales in June 1970 and in October 1971, 1973 and 1974 in Taverham. Grandad noted that mum, dad and the four of us went too in June 1970 and Amy went with grandma in October 1971. The ones in 1973 and 1974 were held in Taverham village hall.

Bring-and-Buy Sales

In February 1972, grandma went with mum to “her chapel” where they had a bring-and-buy sale. I am not sure if this was Park Lane (see Chapter 79) or Belvoir Street (see Chapter 90). Later that year, in November 1972, grandma went to a bring-and-buy sale at Mile Cross.

Concerts

Grandma went to concerts at Taverham Methodist Church, in March 1970 and September 1973, and Chapelfield Road in April 1972. In July 1973, grandma, mum and family went to Saturday NITE out in Great Melton which grandad described as a Methodist do. I am not exactly sure what this was but I have treated it as some kind of concert.

Music Show

In December 1972, grandma went to Mile Cross for a Christmas show of music.

Film Show

In March 1972, grandma went to a film show about Oberammergau in Taverham (see Chapter 106).

Garden Parties

Grandma went to garden parties at Mile Cross in June 1970 and 1971. The one in 1970 was for the Methodist Missionary Society and was presumably intended to raise funds.

Grandma Went With Other People

Sometimes, the diaries noted who she went with.

Mum, Dad and the Four of Us

We all went with her to a jumble sale in Taverham in June 1970. Also, in February 1972, grandma went with mum to “her chapel” where they had a bring-and-buy sale. That same year, in June 1972, grandma went to Park Lane to help mum and others who were giving a party to children in Norfolk who were Coeliacs. Later that year, in October 1972, grandma went with mum and Tricia to  Park Lane Methodist Church. In July 1973, grandma, mum and family went to Saturday NITE out in Great Melton which grandad described as a Methodist do.

Miss Cooke

Miss Cooke went with grandma to a Methodist meeting on 19 January 1970 and to a meeting Shotesham in July 1971. In November 1973, Miss Cooke also went with grandma to visit Cromwell House. She also went with grandma and Miss Garrod to Chapelfield Road in December 1973.

Miss Garrod

Grandma and Miss Garrod went together to a circuit meeting at Rosebery Road in March 1970 and to a concert at Chapelfield Road in April 1972. Miss Garrod also went with grandma and Miss Cooke to Chapelfield Road in December 1973.

Mrs James

In March 1972, Mrs James went with grandma to a society meeting at Rosebery Road Methodist Church.

Mrs Pointer

Mrs Pointer and grandma went together to a meeting in Shotesham in July 1971. Also, in October 1974, grandma went with Mrs Pointer to Framingham Methodist Church 21st anniversary for the ladies’ Bright Hour. I assumed this was Framingham Earl. A local news article confirms that this indeed was the case.

Mrs Smith

Mrs Smith and grandma went together to a concert in Taverham in March 1970.

Miss Walker

Grandma went with Miss Walker to the Methodist Synods in King’s Lynn in May 1970 and in Diss  in September 1970. They also went together to Sheringham in October 1971 and this involved staying overnight.  

Amy Wilson

Grandma and Amy went to a ladies’ meeting in Framlingham in September 1970 and to a jumble sale in Taverham in October 1971.

Cromwell House

In November 1973, grandma and Miss Cooke went to the Methodist Home for the Aged in Norwich. I think this was Cromwell House a purpose-built care home which opened in April 1969. Grandma lived here in later life. Mum was very involved with Cromwell House for many years but, when she needed residential care, she moved to another MHA home, the Martins, in Bury St Edmunds, as this had/has greater provision for people with dementia. It is interesting that grandad refers to MHA as Methodist Homes for the Aged and this appears to have been the organisation’s original name. But, the MHA website states that it was founded in 1943 as Methodist Homes (MHA). MHA currently has 90 care homes, 7,500 employees and 4,000 volunteers supporting 18,500 older people across the UK.

St John’s Methodist Church

The following year, in November 1974, grandad noted that grandma went to St John’s Methodist Church but I don’t know where this was. There is a St John’s Methodist Church in Loddon but I am not sure this is it as she came to visit us in the afternoon.

Churches Beyond Methodism

In addition to attending activities and events at other Methodist churches, grandma also participated in activities of churches of other denominations.

Dereham Road Baptist Church

Grandma went for a meeting there in April 1970.This church was built in 1904 but ceased functioning as a Baptist church toward the end of the 20th century. It was the base for the Potter’s House Church but that now seems to be based in Paddock Street, although Google still shows it based on Dereham Road as of October 2022.

Former Dereham Road Baptist Church © Evelyn Simak and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Drayton Parish Church

For more details of Drayton Parish Church see Chapter 90. In February 1970, for example, grandma and Mrs Smith went to a Good Companions service at Drayton Parish Church. For details of Good Companions, also see Chapter 90.

There were also quite often combined services between Drayton Methodist Church and Drayton Parish Church, for example in October 1970, January and June 1973 and in January and June 1974. However, grandad noted that grandma did not go to the joint service in October 1970 but he did not explain why.

In March 1973, grandma went to the women’s day of prayer at Drayton Parish Church. The next month, in April 1973, grandma went to the funeral of Mr and Mrs Moore at Drayton Parish Church (see Chapter 100).

In October 1974, grandma went with Ron Douglas and others from Drayton Methodist Church to a united Harvest Festival service at Drayton Parish Church.

Norwich Cathedral

For more details of Norwich Cathedral see Chapter 79. In May 1970, grandma took Miss Day to see Norwich Cathedral. She was a Methodist missionary in Rhodesia who was staying with them (see Chapter 106). Grandma also went to carol services here in December 1970, 1971 and 1972. In 1972, she also went to a Christmas oratorio by J S Bach. This seems to have been a performance by Norwich Girls’ High School. In March 1974, Mum and grandma went to the Cathedral to see Tricia helping in giving parts from “Messiah”. She played the violin and sang in the choir.

Princes Street Congregational Church

For more details of Princes Street Congregational Church see Chapter 90. Grandma went here quite often including in June and September (twice) 1970, June and November 1971, June, September, October and November 1973 and September, October and November 1974. It is possible that some of the other meetings she went to in Norwich were here and grandad just did not specify this in his diary. Sometimes, grandad just wrote Norwich Congregational Church and once “com” church. I have assumed all these refer to the church in Princes Street but they may not.

The Railway Mission

This is a listed building on Prince of Wales Road and now houses the Norwich Evangelical Free Church. The Railway Mission continues to function having been founded in 1881. In November 1974, D Johnson took grandma and two other ladies to Norwich to the Railway Mission.

Former Railway Mission in Prince of Wales Road in Norwich. This is currently used by Norwich Evangelical Free Church © Evelyn Simak and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The Salvation Army

In May 1974, grandma went to a Salvation Army rally at St Andrew’s Hall (see Chapter 79).

St Michael’s Church Swanton Abbott

Mum took grandma, Auntie Bertha and Mrs Davis to a flower festival in Swanton Abbott in June 1974.  Grandma wrote “Sheila took Mrs Davis to North Walsham. Auntie & E went too, went to Flower Festival at S Abbott.” So, I think that they all went to the flower festival but it could mean that they took Mrs Davis to North Walsham and, on the same trip, mum, grandma and Auntie Bertha went to the flower festival.

Swanton Abbott is a village in North Norfolk. Initially, I thought this might have been at a Methodist Church but, as far as I can see, there is no Methodist Church there now.

However, apparently, a Wesleyan Reform Union Chapel opened there in 1856. It was still functioning in 2015 having been saved from closure. The building is still in existence and appears to now be used as Swanton Abbott Community Chapel.

Also, it seems that there may have been a Wesleyan chapel there from 1829. Apparently, this was converted to a garage in around 2002 but is now used as a house. More details of both chapels, including photos, are available on the My Wesleyan Methodists website.

However, it turns out that this was in fact the village life” flower festival at St Michael’s Church in Swanton Abbott.

Swanton Abbott St Michael’s Church © Adrian S Pye and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

St Peter Mancroft

For more details of St Peter Mancroft see Chapter 90. In January 1973, grandma went here by bus for a ladies’ meeting.

Surrey (Street) Chapel

For more details of Surrey Chapel see Chapter 90. Although this church is known as Surrey Chapel, grandad referred to it as Surrey Street Chapel. Grandma went here for Mr Davis’ funeral in January 1972 (see Chapter 100). She also went there with Mrs Davis in March 1974.

Taverham Parish Church

For more details of Taverham Parish Church see Chapter 90. In June 1971, grandma went with Miss Garrod to a Flower Festival at Taverham Parish Church.

Types of Events

Grandma went to churches of other denominations for a variety of different events.

Services

One example of a service was a Good Companions service at Drayton Parish Church in February 1970. Quite often, there were combined services between Drayton Methodist Church and Drayton Parish Church, for example in January and June 1973 and in January 1974. In October 1974, grandma went with Ron Douglas and others from Drayton Methodist Church to a united Harvest Festival service at Drayton Parish Church.

Carol Services

Examples of carol services that grandma attended were those at Norwich Cathedral in December 1970, 1971 and 1972. Based on a local news article, it appears that the service in 1971 was the High School carol service and grandad noted this to be the case in 1972. However, the one in 1970, on the 22nd, was the main carol service at the Cathedral, attended by about 1,000 people.

Women’s Meetings

Grandma attended many women’s meetings at the Congregational church in Princes Street, for example, in September 1970, November 1971, November 1973 and October and November 1974. It is very possible that some of the other meetings grandma attended were also women’s/ladies’ meetings. Grandma also went to a ladies’ meeting at St Peter Mancroft in January 1973. 

Days of Prayer

In March 1973, grandma went to the women’s day of prayer at Drayton Parish Church. It seems this may have been reciprocating the 1972 event which was held at Drayton Methodist Church. These gatherings were for the women’s World Day of Prayer, an event which is still celebrated. There is a really good account of the history of this on the WWDP website. This makes it clear that this is more than simply an annual event but is more an interdenominational, women’s movement. I recall that mum was involved in this in later life. In October 1973, grandma went to a ladies’ meeting near the Cathedral about the Women’s Day of Prayer the next year.

Rallies

In May 1974, grandma went to a Salvation Army rally at St Andrew’s Hall.

Musical Performances

In December 1972, grandma went to Norwich Cathedral Christmas oratorio by J S Bach. This seems to have been a performance by Norwich Girls’ High School. In March 1974, Mum and grandma went to the Cathedral to see Tricia helping in giving parts from “Messiah”. She played the violin and sang in the choir.

Flower Festivals

Grandma went to flower festivals at Taverham Parish Church in June 1971 and St Michael’s Swanton Abbott in June 1974.

Funerals

In January 1972, grandma went to Mr Davis’ funeral at Surrey Chapel. She also went to the funeral of Mr and Mrs Moore at Drayton Parish Church in April 1973 (see Chapter 100).

Grandma Went With Other People

Grandma went to these activities with a variety of people.

Mum

Mum and grandma went to see Tricia helping in giving parts from “Messiah” at the Cathedral in March 1974. In June 1974, mum took grandma, Auntie Bertha and Mrs Davis to a flower festival in Swanton Abbott.

Auntie Bertha

Auntie Bertha went with mum, grandma and Mrs Davis to a flower festival in Swanton Abbott in June 1974.

Mrs Davis

Grandma went with her to Surrey Street Chapel in March 1974. She went with mum, grandma and Auntie Bertha to a flower festival in Swanton Abbott in June 1974.

Ron Douglas

In October 1974, grandma went with Ron Douglas and others from Drayton Methodist Church to a united Harvest Festival service at Drayton Parish Church.

Miss Garrod

Grandma went with Miss Garrod to a Flower Festival at Taverham Parish Church in June 1971.

David Johnson

In November 1974, D Johnson took grandma and two other ladies to Norwich to the Railway Mission.

Mrs Smith

Grandma and Mrs Smith went together to a Good Companions service at Drayton Parish Church in February 1970.

Services With People from Other Denominations at Drayton Methodist Church

Sometimes, services were held at Drayton Methodist Church that brought together people from different churches. For example, in March 1972, a women’s day of prayer was held there with women attending from Drayton and Taverham parish churches. Grandma went to church the day before to prepare for it.

Joint Church Activities at the Royal Norfolk Show

In 1970 and 1971, mum and grandma both helped with the churches’ stand and tea canteen at the Royal Norfolk Show (see Chapter 106).

Vote on Reuniting Anglican and Methodist Churches

During this period, there was a major vote on whether the Methodists and Church of England should reunite. The Methodists voted for but, in May 1972, grandad noted that the Church of England voted against. In fact, it seems that the Church of England narrowly failed to secure the 75% vote for the change that was needed.

Mum’s Involvement in Church

Grandad did not note much about mum’s church involvement over this period unless it affected him directly. So, for example, in November 1972, he noted that mum went to a Methodist luncheon (which grandad spelled “luncion“) club and, because Alan was not very well, mum left him with them. Grandad noted he was with them from 00.11 to 15.20. This seems pretty odd as essentially mum brought Alan to them in the middle of the night. This does not seem normal behaviour for someone who wanted to go to a luncheon club! I suspect there was more to it, either involving some kind of row with dad or mum just was not coping with Alan being ill. Perhaps there was a combination of both.

Our Involvement in Church

Similarly, there is almost nothing about the four of us attending church except where it affected grandma and grandad. On 19 May 1974, grandma noted that we did not come for tea as Liz was doing a sponsored walk and Tricia was at a youth event in London. I believe this was the MAYC weekend which took place on that date.  

MAYC

The Methodist Association of Youth Clubs (MAYC) was established in 1943 but the MAYC weekend appears to have been replaced with a youth conference in 1995 which became a youth assembly in 2009. What is interesting about this piece is that it does not actually mention the dramatic decline in the number of young people attending Methodist churches from say the seventies and eighties to now.

Examples of MAYC badges

My Recollections

Based on my recollections, Tricia, Alan and Liz all continued to attend church during this period and beyond, although both Alan and Liz stopped attending once adults. Tricia and Liz both went on the MAYC weekends and Alan may have done so too although I remember him being more involved in Boys’ Brigade (see Chapter 90). I did not. I stopped attending church during this period although I am not sure entirely when. This would have been when I was around 11 or 12 I think. I know mum was extremely unhappy about this and exerted a lot of pressure on me to attend. But, in my case, peer pressure was stronger! I remember one boy at school mocking me for going to Sunday School. I replied that it was not Sunday School but Junior Church and he said that was far worse!

Alan was active in the Boys’ Brigade during this period. Above are various pictures from a memory book Tricia put together showing a Boys’ Brigade parade along Park Lane (top) and Alan in his Boys’ Brigade uniform (above).
 News article from 14 June 1973 and it may be Alan second left
News article from 9 July 1974. Alan is mentioned as the winner of the Recruits Cup

Methodist Festival 1972

Among mum’s papers, I found a number of certificates related to a Methodist Festival held in Norwich in 1972. Four of these were mum’s. All were “third” standard and were for thrift, knitting, fair isle knitting and cookery (flan), There was also one for me which under class was labelled “1st” and for standard was labelled “credit”. On the reverse, it reads “a very firm, authoritative reading. You have an extremely good voice. Don’t be afraid to slow down some times.” So, it seems it was for a reading but, sadly, I don’t know what the reading was. I also wonder if it means I was still attending church at this point.

A Combined Effort

Based on a local news article, it appears this festival was a combined effort between Park Lane and Chapelfield Road churches and that it started with music at Chapelfield Road on Monday 16 October 1972. According to another article, it involved three evenings of music including a final concert at the Hewett School on Saturday 21 October 1972. I think there was a flower festival at Rosebery Road church on that Saturday too as part of the overall Methodist Festival. Grandma attended that. There was also a news cutting with a photo of this flower festival in one of mum’s scrap books.

One of mum’s certificates from the Methodist Festival in 1972. This one is for Thrift although I am not sure what that was. I did find a war-time book on “Thrift” and wondered if it related to that
Above – certificate that I was awarded in the 1972 Methodist Festival. Based on an annotation on the back of the certificate (below), It appears to have been for a reading I gave but sadly I do not know what the reading was.
Photo and news article relating to the flower festival at Rosebery Road Methodist Church on 21 October 1972 that was part of the overall Methodist Festival that was happening at that time. The woman on the right is mum.

Methodist Ministers

During this period, grandad almost never mentions particular Methodist Ministers. One exception was in July 1974 when he noted that Rev Hayman came round to tell them about Dorothy Berry (nee Hodson) (see Chapter 100). As with Ministers in Kirkby (see Chapter 54), I found myself wishing I had  a list of Ministers in Norwich to refer to. So, in the absence of one, I have gone about compiling one starting from 1960 when we moved to Norwich. I have drawn on the diaries and, in addition, I have found quite a lot of material in local newspapers including articles which describe Ministers arriving and leaving. In addition, details of Sunday Services were published most weeks and these were helpful for names of Methodist Ministers.