54. Methodism in the Early 1950s

Mum was Very Involved in Bourne Methodist Church

Mum remained actively involved in Bourne Methodist chapel. During this period, she did something at chapel almost every day. However, her routine varied as she started new activities and ended old ones. She attended Sunday School and chapel on Sunday. She also went to choir (and junior choir) practice, youth club, “Seekers”, a young people’s fellowship, preparation class, society meetings and the concert party, Rainbow Follies.


Mum attended the Bourne choir from the age of 14 (see Chapter 38). At the start of 1950, practices were held on a Tuesday night. Before big events, the choir sometimes had extra practices, e.g. on a Sunday afternoon. In early January 1952, mum went to chapel for choir practice but found “that there was not one”.

Examples of What the Choir Performed

Mum sometimes noted who she went to choir practice with. For example, she went with Barbara Coupe in April 1951. She also sometimes noted what they practiced including anthems, anniversary hymns and sometimes specific pieces, such as “All in the April Evening” in March 1950. Sometimes, for example, in March 1954, mum played piano for choir practice.

Sheet music for “All in the April Evening” which mum noted Bourne choir practicing in March 1950. Presumably, this stayed part of their repertoire as mum mentioned that they performed it in February 1954. The words of this came from a poem by Katharine Tynan Hinkinson which was set to music by Hugh S Roberton.

Choir Annual General Meetings

The choir had an annual general meeting each January. At the AGM in 1952, Arthur Cross resigned as choirmaster and Ken Hodges took over. But, he did not do this for very long as, in May 1952, he resigned as both organist and choirmaster (see box). In 1954, the choir AGM was combined with a social and supper, at Adams[4] Fish and Chip shop, which was initially on Lowmoor Road but then moved to Kingsway. Mum, dad, Margaret Varnam and Ken Roome were MCs.

In later years, when Ken Hodges visited grandma and grandad, it seems he had left the Methodist Church and was attending the Church of England. For example, in August 1964, when grandma, Pearl, Auntie Bertha and Mrs Merry went to Mile Cross Methodist Church, Ken went to St Catherine’s Anglican Church in Mile Cross. Similarly, when Auntie Bertha, Mrs Merry and grandma went to evening service at Drayton Methodist Church, Ken went to the Anglican church in Drayton. The same thing happened in April and August 1965 when Pearl and Ken visited.

Junior Choir

It appears that Bourne chapel also had a junior choir. From May 1951, mum also referred to junior choir practice. She sometimes played for them. By October 1951, junior choir practice was being held regularly on Thursdays. In December 1953, the junior choir sang at the missionary service.

Youth Club

From the time her diaries started, mum had been actively involved in the chapel youth club (see Chapter 38). At the start of 1950, this was meeting on a Thursday night. It appears that the youth club had a break over the summer as it stopped after the end of April 1950, or at least mum did not note attending, and resumed at the end of September that same year. When it restarted, it was held on a Wednesday.

Methodist Guild

Mum referred infrequently to both a junior and senior Methodist Guild. Mum had referred to this for the first time in January 1948 (see Chapter 38). Apparently, the Methodist (or Wesley) Guild was established in 1896 with the aim of retaining young people in the church once they left Sunday School. It seems that this guild may have been linked to the chapel youth club in some way and, at times, mum seemed to use the terms interchangeably. She went carol singing with the junior guild in December 1950 and, on Thursday 4 January 1951, she said she attended the Senior Methodist Guild.

Youth Club Committee

Youth Club also continued on Wednesdays with mum becoming a member of the Youth Club committee.

Mum Went to Youth Club with Friends

Mum sometimes noted when friends had gone with her to youth club. These included Dallas Wright and Hazel Munns.

Youth Club Activities

Mum also sometimes noted youth club activities which included film shows, a beetle drive, a play by the Bentinck players, suppers and socials. In March 1950, on a Thursday, mum went to see “Cinderella” at chapel. She did not say explicitly that this was a youth club activity but I think it was. In December 1953, mum referred to a youth club party. The youth club sometimes had speakers including, in March 1950, Tom Wilson.

Mum Enjoyed Youth Club but….

While mum was generally positive about youth club, there were notes of criticism in some of her entries. In January 1951, she noted that while youth club had not been too bad, it could have been better. In April 1950, mum noted that the film show had not been very interesting. That same month, she commented that the supper and social had not been very good. In September 1950, mum noted that there were only 12 at youth club.

Junior Youth Club

A Junior Youth Club (JYC) was started in January 1951, initially on a Thursday. From September 1951, Junior Youth Club ran on a Monday. The junior youth club (JYC) had similar activities to the main youth club including socials, voting and storytelling (whatever that was), table games, tracking (in the Quarries), rambles, e.g. over the cowpastures, a Beetle drive, rounders, sports in the park and gramophone records. Some of the activities were divided by gender with boys doing PT and indoor games and girls doing sewing, embroidery and dancing, including country dancing. Sometimes, they had speakers, including Mrs Robinson, Rev Howells and Graham Hardy. Topics included youth hostels, the fire service and the police force.

I found this shorthand note tucked into mum’s 1953 diary on the reverse of a name and address. Thinking that it might be of some interest, I got it translated. It says… “Dear Inspector Davey. On Monday night, the junior youth club of our church hold their meeting from 7 to 8 pm. We wonder if you would come to speak to us on the duties of the Police Force or something similar. I enclose a stamped addressed envelope for the convenience of your reply.
Sincerely“. It appears that it was mum’s shorthand notes for a letter inviting Inspector Davey to speak at the junior youth club! 

Junior Youth Club Parties and Concerts

On New Year’s Eve 1951, mum went to the junior youth club party. This must have finished more or less immediately after midnight as mum noted being home by 12.10. In February 1952, the junior youth club held a concert which featured in the local press. Ahead of this concert, practices were held twice per week for four weeks. Mum considered the concert very, very good and she also noted that Uncle Tom took her there in his car. In March 1952, there was a party for those who had been involved in the concert. The news report of the concert noted that Olive (Mrs J W Smith) opened the programme, that the children had been trained by Margaret Varnam and Joan Fisher, and that mum was the pianist.

Newspaper cutting concerning junior youth club concert in February 1952.

Differences Between Junior Youth Club and the Main Youth Club

The main difference between the junior youth club and the main youth club was that it was aimed at a younger age group, perhaps under 14s. In November 1953, mum noted that junior youth club was divided into two with those under 11 coming from 6-7pm and those over 11 coming from 7-8pm. It seems to have been better attended and perhaps better organised than the main youth club. However, this could possibly be bias on mum’s behalf as, from September 1951, mum was involved in organising the Junior Youth Club along with Margaret Varnam and Joan Storer.


In October 1954, “Seekers” started to meet on Monday nights. This appears to have been a re-branding of Junior Youth Club. Mum became its Treasurer. The programme seems to have been similar to junior youth club in that it had socials, quizzes and speakers, e.g. Rev Howells, Mr Simpson on Byron, Rev Marsh on the Baptists and Mr Bratley on crime and punishment. There was also something called “GI” which appears to have been general interest. Other activities included “literary”. I am not exactly sure what this was but, in November 1954, there was a literary session on make-up for stage which mum rated “VG”.

In November 1954, mum noted that there had been a mix-up over dates so instead of A J Heyworth speaking to them about test flying they had a quiz. Perhaps, it had a slightly more serious tone than junior youth club had had with more emphasis on talks on “worthy” topics.

Youth Fellowship

A youth fellowship started after Sunday evening service from October 1952. This appears to have taken over from the midweek youth club. Activities were pretty similar and included games, quizzes, charades, film shows (see box note 1), “What’s My Line” (see box note 2), “One Minute Please (see box note 3), Junior Wranglers (see box note 4)and carols at Christmas. There were also sometimes speakers. Sometimes, the youth fellowship was held at the Parkins’ house.

[1] One of the film shows, in December 1952, was a “film show of Truro”, presumably of the Truro trip.

[2] I assume the “What’s My Line” activity was based on the TV show but I am not sure how it worked given that everyone knew each other!

[3] “One Minute Please” was the forerunner of “Just a Minute”.

[4] I don’t know what Junior Wranglers was.

Preparation Class

Mum had started attending Preparation Class from July 1948 (see Chapter 38). At the start of 1950, this was meeting on a Friday night. From November 1951, it seems that Preparation Class moved from Friday to Thursday so mum went to both Junior Choir Practice and Preparation Class on a Thursday.

During this period, mum referred to preparation classes, training classes and members’ classes. It is not clear to me if these were the same thing or different. In November 1953, mum referred to an intermediate preparation class. Classes took place at different places including the Parkins’ house, Rev Robinson’s house and, in particular, at Edna Bust’s. Other people involved included grandma, Joan Storer, Mr Searson, Margaret Varnam and Hazel Munns. In December 1952, four new teachers from senior Sunday School joined the class. They were Mavis Clarke, Jean Bacon, Charlotte Reynolds and Maureen Hobbs.

Anniversary Practices

Anniversary and primary anniversary practices started in around March on various days. These included Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday afternoon. Tuesday practices preceded choir practice. In April 1953, mum noted that Bernard Lilley recorded some of the hymns at anniversary practice. As the anniversaries got closer, the Sunday Schools held practices twice or even three times per week.

Play Practices

Mum also noted sometimes play practices on a Sunday afternoon. In November 1953, mum refers to practicing a play at Ken Hodges’ house. It was “The Missing Link” and involved, mum, dad, John Overfield and Margaret Bostock. In December 1953, mum referred to practicing “The 4th Wise Man”. (This may be a play based on the story of the other wise man by Henry Van Dyke). The story was made into a film in 1985. In February 1954, mum noted that dad took the senior Sunday School’s play. I think this means he led their practice. That same month, mum referred to a concert practice in Annesley.

Rainbow Follies

Rainbow Follies’ practices resumed from the end of February 1952. Sometimes, these took place at the Marshalls’ house. The practices seemed infrequent initially. For example, there was one in February 1952 and the next ones appear to have been in April and May 1952. It seems that from then they were held roughly monthly.

Making Costumes for Rainbow Follies

In addition to practices, mum also made costumes. In August 1952, she and Joan Storer cut out material for skirts for Rainbow Follies and she also bought material for an evening dress for the concert party. It is a little confusing as mum used “CP” for both Choir Practice and Concert Party.

Rainbow Follies Concerts in 1952

The first recorded concert of the new Rainbow Follies took place in October 1952 as part of the Choir Effort. Mum considered it very, very good.

Rainbow Follies Concerts and Intensified Practices in 1953

Another concert took place in Annesley (Sherwood Street) in January 1953. In February 1953, practices became more frequent, with four practices in the week of the 9th, ahead of a concert on 28 February for the Banner Fund. I think this refers to the banner they used for the Whit procession. They had a new one in 1953. At that concert, mum did a sketch called “The Kiss” with Ron Rowe, Joan Storer and Ken Roome. In December 1953, Rainbow Follies did a concert at chapel called “The Crinoline Wedding”. Mum considered this very, very good too. The day before there was a full dress rehearsal at which photos were taken.

Rainbow Follies December 1953 featuring Arthur Cross, dad, John Overfield, Robert Ollerenshaw, Ken Roome (back) Joy Munns, Margaret Varnam, Hazel Munns, mum, unknown, Joan Storer, unknown (front)
Rainbow Follies December 1953 featuring Robert Ollerenshaw, Arthur Cross, Ken Roome, John Overfield, dad
Rainbow Follies December 1953 featuring mum, unknown, Ken Roome, Arthur Cross, Margaret Varnam, John Overfield, unknown, Joan Storer
Rainbow Follies December 1953 featuring mum, unknown, unknown

Other Rainbow Follies’ Concerts in 1954

Other Rainbow Follies’ concerts took place in 1954 including to old people in January (see box note 1), at Annesley and Selston (see box note 2) chapels in February, at chapel in October, in Selston in November and at chapel and Annesley Welfare (see Chapter 59) in December. Both the December concerts were aimed at old people. Although things seemed to be going well, they were not completely unproblematic. In July, mum notes that only four people turned up for practice. In addition to mum and dad the others were Ken Hodges and Hazel Munns.

[1] Mum referred to the concert for old people as Darby and Joan. Mum rated this concert not bad.

[2] There is currently a Methodist church in Selston in Chapel Road. This is now referred to as Dove Green Methodist Church. Apparently, previously this was known as “Middle Chapel” as it was halfway between the Congregational and Primitive Methodist chapels in the village. There also was a Primitive Methodist Chapel.

Other Chapel Activities

There were also sometimes activities at chapel on other nights. During this period, they included Leather Craft (see box note 1), a production of “Sleeping Beauty” (see box note 2), a faith tea (see box note 3), an old folks treat, a dance (see box note 4), a jumble sale and a Bero film show (see box note 5).

[1] Mum noted Leather Craft on a Wednesday in January 1950 and that eight people went.

[2] Sleeping Beauty was performed in March 1950. Mum considered this very good.

[3] I am not particularly familiar with the term faith tea but it seems to be a tea where everybody contributes something and might also be called “bring and share”. I have found some discussion about this which considers whether the term is linked to religious faith or is associated with a particular geographical area. It does seem to be a term used in religious circles, particularly Methodist but also Salvation Army.

[4] The dance took place in the church hall. Mum went with Margaret Varnam, Ken Roome, Betty Longden, Hazel Munns and dad. 

[5] I am not entirely sure what the Bero film show was but there was another one in 1958. Be-Ro was/is a type of flour but I can’t see a connection between that and a film show!

Saturday Night Events at Chapel

There were often Saturday night events at chapel including teas, suppers, socials, concerts and rallies.

Saturday Night Suppers

In January 1950, there was a choir supper. Mum noted that she got home at 10.45 and that she had had a “super time”. Another choir supper was held at the beginning of March 1952 and mum noted that it was very nice.

Saturday Night Socials

In February 1950, there was a church social and mum noted that she “had a lovely time”. The next month, in March 1950, there was a chapel ladies’ effort and social but mum commented that it was “not very good”! The next year, in January 1951, there was a tea and social. Mum had a “super time”. The following year, there was a social hosted by Ken and Pearl Hodges. Mum said it was “very nice” and it was featured briefly in the local media. However, in mum’s scrap book the date is given as February and the report itself has the host and hostess as Mr and Mrs R Hodges. In December 1952, there was a Saturday night social for the Young People’s Fellowship. Mum noted that it was “very nice”.

Details of social held at Bourne chapel. Despite the annotation, this was in January 1952. The host and hostess were Ken and Pearl Hodges.

Saturday Night Concerts

In November 1950, there was a concert at chapel. Mum played for the primary which was the first part. This featured in the local press. Children who took part in the primary part included Geoffrey Cross, Brenda Scothern, Lynne Evans and Sylvia Bust. The following year, in February 1951, mum went to a concert at chapel with Margaret Varnam, Hazel Munns, Joy Munns and Beryl. While mum said it was “not bad”, she wished she had gone to the pictures with Barbara Coupe and Ina and David Stubbs! Later that year, in December 1951, there was a concert at chapel . In November 1952, there was a Saturday night concert as part of the ladies’ effort weekend.

Concert given by the Sunday School children in November 1950. Mum is mentioned as the pianist for the first part of the concert given by the Primary Sunday School.

Saturday Night Rallies

In April 1950, mum went for tea at chapel and Rev W T Edwards spoke for the circuit rally. Mum considered it “boring”! This was the night before the chapel anniversary.

Saturday Night “Efforts”

Some of these were put on as part of “efforts” by sections of the church, e.g. the choir, ladies etc.

Choir Efforts

In October 1950, there was a choir effort on a Saturday night and mum’s friend, Dallas Wright, attended. The following year, in September 1951, the Gresley quartet’s visit was part of the choir effort. In October 1953, as part of the choir effort, there was a concert followed by a supper of chips and peas and a social. The next year, in October 1954, as part of the choir effort, there was an American Tea (although I am not sure what this was!) at chapel followed by a Rainbow Follies concert.

Ladies’ Efforts

In December 1950, the ladies’ effort involved a sale of work. At the end of March 1952, there was Ladies “At Home” at chapel. Mum rated it “not bad”. It merited a piece in the local press. There was a programme of items and games. Joy Munns sang while Hazel Munns played the piano. Grandma, Mrs Munns and Mrs Robinson “made arrangements”. In November 1953, as part of the ladies’ effort, there was a tea and concert at chapel involving the Salvation Army songsters. The next year, in November 1954, there was a ladies’ effort tea and social at chapel. Dad and Robert Ollerenshaw were the MCs.

Details of Ladies At Home in March 1952

Events for Particular Ages

There were also sometimes events for particular age groups, e.g. old people.

“Old Folks’ Treats”

At the start of April 1950, mum noted that there was an “old folks treat” at chapel and that she and Joy Munns served. In April 1951, chapel hosted another “old folks treat”. Mum again helped with tea. There was a concert party from Hucknall Methodist Church (see box).

At some point, there were as many as ten Methodist churches in Hucknall and there are now two. I suspect this reference was to Trinity Church in Baker Street. The current Central Methodist Church is also on Baker Street although a number of churches joined together to form this church and a new building was constructed in 1989.

The Number of Saturday Night Events at Chapel Reduced from 1953

From 1953, there were perhaps fewer Saturday night activities at chapel. The only ones noted by mum were the choir and ladies’ efforts each year.

Parties at Chapel

Parties were also held at the chapel. These included children’s birthday parties, e.g. for Sylvia Bust, and some of mum’s friends’ 21st birthday parties. At the time, perhaps turning 21 was a bigger milestone than turning 18 although this has changed over time. Indeed, according to grandad’s 1969 diary, this transition occurred officially on 1 January 1970.

21st birthday parties during this period included for Pearl Marshall, dad, Ken Roome and Margaret Varnam. Mum was unable to attend dad’s party as she was unwell. For Ken Roome’s party, dad and Robert Ollerenshaw organised games. Mum seemed to particularly enjoy this party as she noted that Margaret Varnam’s party had not been as nice as Ken’s!

There were also Sunday School parties. Weddings were also held at chapel, for example, for Pearl Marshall and Ken Hodges in August 1951. The reception was held at the Miners’ Welfare but mum noted it was not as nice as [Pearl’s] 21st birthday party!

Chapel Trips and Outings

Mum was involved in various chapel trips and outings.

Ladies’ Trip to Mablethorpe in May 1950

In May 1950, on the day after Whit Monday, mum and Barbara Coupe went with the ladies to Mablethorpe. Mum noted that the weather was not too bad and that they had a nice time.  

Ladies’ Trip to Bridlington in August 1950

In August 1950, mum and grandma went with the ladies to Bridlington. Barbara Coupe went on that trip too and stayed overnight with mum when they got back. In Bridlington, they met up with Uncle Bert, Aunt Edie, Marilyn and Jennifer.

Sunday School Trip to Crich Stand and Matlock Park in May 1951

In May 1951, they went on a Sunday School outing to Crich Stand and to Matlock Park. Mum noted that they had a nice time and that there had been no old teachers on their bus just young ones! The outing merited a mention in the local paper.

Press cutting concerning Sunday School trip to Crich and Matlock in May 1951

Choir Trip to Skegness in June 1951

In June 1951, mum went with the choir to Skegness for the day (see Chapter 52).

Primary Sunday School Outing to Bull Farm Park in July 1951

In July 1951, the primary outing was to Bull Farm Park in Mansfield. Mum said they had a ride round Southwell & “through water splash” then home.

Junior Youth Club Trip to Wicksteed Park in May 1952

In May 1952, mum went with Joan Storer and the Junior Youth Club to Wicksteed Park (see Chapter 51). Among mum’s papers were photos from this trip.

 Trip to Wicksteed Park in May 1952 – Sheila Cobb, mum, Betty Longden, Joan Storer (back) Lynne Evans, Trevor Scothern (front)
 Trip to Wicksteed Park in May 1952 – mum, Irene Millard, Joan Storer (back) Lynne Evans (front)
Mum in Wicksteed Park in May 1952
Water Splash in Wicksteed Park in May 1952 – this still seems to be in operation as the Water Chute
Miniature Railway in Wicksteed Park in May 1952 – this is also still in operation

Primary Sunday School Outing to Alfreton Park in July 1952

In July 1952, the primary outing went to Alfreton Park.

Intermediate Sunday School Outing to Skegness in July 1952

That same month, the intermediate outing went to Skegness. Lynne Evans went and stayed overnight at the Parkins. Again, among mum’s papers, there were photos of this trip.

Skegness July 1952 – Joan Storer and Lynne Evans
Skegness July 1952 – Lynne Evans and mum
Skegness July 1952 – Lynne Evans
Skegness July 1952 – Lynne Evans
Skegness July 1952 – Lynne Evans

Truro Trip in July 1952

At the end of July 1952, mum went on a trip to Truro. There are not many details in her diary as there was a separate book about this but this has been lost over the years. She simply noted that she left on the 10 o’clock train from Nottingham. There are, however, lots of photos in one of mum’s albums and it is possible to piece together some details of the trip from those.

The Trip was for an MYA School

Grandad noted that mum went with three friends and it was for an MYA school. I am not sure exactly what MYA stands for although presumably “Methodist” and “Youth” are part of it. There is a company called Methodist Youth Activities but this developed from Methodist Youth Camps and only adopted this name in the 1980s. There is, of course, MAYC, formerly the Methodist Association of Youth Clubs. The Truro School is a Methodist School.

They were Based at Truro School

It does appear that they were based at Truro School as there are pictures of it, particularly of the chapel. Mum had a postcard of the school in a later album with a note that she went there on holiday in the 1950s.

Outside of Truro School chapel in 1952
Inside Truro School chapel in 1952
Mum had two postcards of Truro School in a later photo album and these were labelled “Holiday Here ?1950ish”

There are two different official group photos. Could it be that one was taken in each of the two weeks that they were there? It appears that the three friends mum went with included Joan Storer and Joy Munns. The third one may have been called Irene. Or it is possible that grandad was mistaken and that three went including mum. According to the signature sheets mum had, it seems Sheila Cobb may have attended. One of mum’s photos at Wicksteed Park in 1952 includes Irene Millard and it is possible that this is the Irene who went to Truro. But, I do not see her signature among those of people who were in Truro. Indeed, the Irene there seems to have the surname Parish.

Group photo from Truro 1952 with mum and Joan Storer marked with red circles
Joy Munns and mum in Truro in 1952

There were Activities and Trips Out

Activities included pottery, playing tennis and trips to tourist attractions.

Pottery in Truro in 1952

There are photos of people they met in Truro including Joan Chidgey, Pat Hampton, Geoff, Ruby, Mrs Kellow, Peter, Roger, Keith, Dave and Colin.

Truro 1952 – Pat Hampton, Joy Munns, Geoff, Joan Chidgey and Joan Storer in St Ives
Truro 1952 – Joy Munns and Geoff in St Ives
Truro 1952 – Pat Hampton and Joan Chidgey in St Ives
Truro 1952 – Joy Munns, Geoff, Joan Storer, mum, Joan Chidgey in St Ives
Truro 1952 – Joy Munns, Joan Storer, mum, Pat Hampton, Joan Chidgey in Newquay
Truro 1952 – Joy Munns, Joan Storer, mum, Joan Chidgey in Newquay
Truro 1952 – Peter, Roger, Keith and Pat at Kynance Cove

Among mum’s papers was a pocket-sized Methodist Hymn Book that appears to have been published in 1933. It has been signed at the back by people mum met in Truro in 1952. However, I have not managed to match these names to the names on the photos. In addition, there were two separate sheets of signatures in mum’s autograph book.

Signatures from Truro trip from hymn book
Signatures from Truro trip
Signatures from Truro trip from hymn book includes Joan Chidgey, Patricia Hampton, Sheila Cobb and Joy Munns

Places they visited included St Michael’s Mount, Land’s End, St Ives, Penzance, Looe, Newquay, the River Fal (including views of Malpas and King Harry’s Passage), Church Cove and Kynance Cove.

Truro 1952 – St Michael’s Mount
Truro 1952 – Land’s End
Truro 1952 – mum at Land’s End
Truro 1952 – Joy Munns and Joan Storer in Penzance
Truro 1952 – Joan Storer and mum in Looe
Truro 1952 – mum in Newquay
Truro 1952 – mum on the River Fal
Truro 1952 – Malpas
Truro 1952 – King Harry’s Passage
Truro 1952 – Church Cove
Truro 1952 – Joy Munns, Irene and Joan Storer at Church Cove
Truro 1952 – Kynance Cove
Truro 1952 – Joan Storer, Joy Munns and mum at Kynance Cove

Sunday School Teachers’ Conference in Ashover in February 1953

In February 1953, mum attended a weekend Sunday School teachers’ conference for the Sutton and Kirkby Circuit, Mansfield Bridge Street Circuit and South Normanton Circuit at Eastwood Grange (see box) in Ashover. She said she had a smashing time. On the Saturday night, she said she went to bed about 12 o’clock but only went to sleep around 1.30. Others who went included Barbara Coupe, Margaret Varnam, Margaret Bostock, Hazel Munns, Ken Roome and Robert Ollerenshaw.

Eastwood Grange is now a specialist independent day school for girls and boys aged 11 to 19 with Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) Difficulties. 
Mum (left) at Ashover in 1953

Sunday School Teachers’ Conference in Ashover in 1954

A similar Sunday School Teachers’ conference took place the following year, again at Eastwood Grange in Ashover. Mum noted she slept in room 7. Others who went included dad, Margaret Varnam, Ken Roome, Joan Storer, Sheila Cobb, Margaret Bostock, Robert Ollerenshaw and Hazel Munns. Mum noted she had to play the piano twice while at Ashover and that it had been much better than the previous year. The event merited a mention in the local press.

News cutting concerning Sunday School teachers’ conference at Eastwood Grange in 1954

Primary Sunday School Outing to Chesterfield Park in August 1953

In August 1953, mum noted that the primary outing was to Chesterfield Park.

Chapel Trips to Blackpool in 1953 and 1954

In October in both 1953 and 1954, mum was part of a chapel trip to Blackpool at the time of the illuminations (see Chapter 52).  

Junior Youth Club Trip to Wicksteed Park in May 1954

In May 1954, mum went to Wicksteed Park with the junior youth club. Mum noted that she, dad, Margaret Varnam and Ken Roome played golf for nearly two hours. There were photos of this trip among mum’s papers.

Wicksteed Park 1954
Back –Ken Roome, Brian Coleman, Michael Meakin, Roy Case, Peter Nuttall, Joan Maddox, David Headley, Ian Whildes, Driver, Robert C Brooks, Pauline Hodgekinson, Rev Howells, Betty Brimson
Middle – Edna Bust, Norma Blow, Christine Searson, Kathleen Barnett, Brenda Scothern, Marion Slater, Maureen Carlin, Mrs Howells, Eileen Slater
Front – Sylvia Bust, Margaret Varnam, Arthur Bust, Michael Hodgkinson, dad, Eric Hodges, Trevor Scothern, Ivan Fowler, Colin Fowler

Wicksteed Park 1954 showing dad, mum, Margaret Varnam and Ken Roome
Wicksteed Park 1954 showing mum and dad
Wicksteed Park 1954 showing Margaret Varnam and Ken Roome
Wicksteed Park 1954 showing mum
Wicksteed Park 1954 showing dad
Wicksteed Park 1954 showing dad playing golf

Sunday School Trip to Matlock in June 1954

In June 1954, mum went to Matlock with Sunday School. They went with two Skills double decker buses. Skills Buses were established in 1919 in Nottingham and are still operational.

Model of Skills bus
Entry from 1941 Kelly’s Directory

Sunday School

Mum was active in the Sunday School. At the start of 1950, aged 15, she was already taking the youngest children. In January 1950, she took Beginners’ Class with Sheila Cobb. They started making calendars. Mum actively participated in the teaching. In July 1951, she told the story and, in April 1952, she “gave Easter flannelgraph” (see box). In October 1953, aged 19, mum decided that, from December, she would be going into “big school”, i.e. to intermediate level and she moved in November 1953.

Wikipedia has a description of the use of flannelgraphs including their link to Christianity.

Sunday School Teachers’ Meetings

There were regular monthly Sunday School teachers’ meetings sometimes held after Sunday School on Sunday afternoon but also on other days. In October 1952, at the teachers’ meeting, mum, Joy Munns and Joan Storer told the other teachers about their trip to Truro. There were also annual teachers’ meetings, and at such a meeting, in October 1954, mum was made Treasurer. In June 1954, on Whit Sunday service, a rededication service was held for Sunday School teachers.

Circuit and District Sunday School Activities

Mum was also involved in Sunday School activities in the circuit and the district. For example, in February 1950, she attended a meeting of the Sunday School Youth Council in New Cross (see box note 1). In May 1951, she went to “Sunday School Union” in Brook Street (see box note 2). In March 1953, mum went with Joan Storer to a Sunday School demonstration at Brook Street, which was jointly between their circuit and Mansfield (Bridge Street) circuit. Mum noted that she and Joan did the Easter story in flannelgraph.

[1] I believe this reference to New Cross is to the New Cross Methodist Chapel in Sutton in Ashfield. It is mentioned many times subsequent to this in the diaries. It is currently a community church, i.e. a joint venture between the Methodists and the Church of England.

[2] This reference to Brook Street is to St John’s Methodist Church in Sutton in Ashfield. Although its address is Titchfield Avenue, it is on the corner of Brook Street.
 New Cross Community (formerly Methodist) church in Sutton in Ashfield. This photo is included with permission from Barrie Smith’s book “A Brief Record of the Ashfield Circuit (22/13) 1959-2010
New Cross Community (formerly Methodist) church in Sutton in Ashfield © Dave Bevis and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Photo of programme for the Golden Jubilee Anniversary celebration of the New Cross Methodist Church in Sutton-in-Ashfield. This is in the collection of Englesea Brook Chapel and Museum
 St John’s Methodist Church in Brook Street in Sutton in Ashfield before extension. This photo is included with permission from Barrie Smith’s book “A Brief Record of the Ashfield Circuit (22/13) 1959-2010
St John’s Methodist Church in Brook Street in Sutton in Ashfield after extension © Dave Bevis and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Main Chapel Services

Mum also actively attended the main chapel services during this period. In January 1950, she noted that she went in the choir. She also sometimes noted what the choir sang, e.g. “Non Nobis Domine” in September 1950. This is a short Latin hymn meaning not to us, O Lord.

Other Musical Groups and Choirs

Mum also noted other musical groups and choirs that came to chapel.

Joan McCourt’s Choir

For example, in March 1950, she noted that Joan McCourt’s choir came in the afternoon and they were very good. I am not sure if this choir was linked to Brook Street (St John’s) Methodist Church in Sutton but it may have been. Joan McCourt is mentioned as one of the former Musical Directors of Sutton Choral (now Sutton Melody) although that was only formed in the 1960s, so this choir pre-dates that (and see Chapter 38). 

Gresley Quartet Party

In October 1950 and September 1951, mum noted that the Gresley quartet party (see Chapter 38) came to chapel.

Vernon Road Girls’ Choir

In November 1951, Vernon Road Girls’ Choir came in the afternoon. At night, Bourne choir sang “Bless this House”. This service was reported in the local press.

News cutting of Bourne service in November 1951

Mowlands Choir

In March 1952, Mowlands choir came to chapel and mum went to hear them. They were also referred to as Mowlands Evening Institute Choir. Edith Searson, in her book(let) “I Remember” (p64) commented on the enjoyable service taken by the Mowlands Choir. There are some details in the 1969 Kirkby Directory (p27) including that the President was Mr R H Purseglove. It explains that the choir was run as a class through the Kirkby Evening Institute.

Mowlands Choir – Olive appears to have been part of this choir and is circled in red. Others identified by people on Kirkby Living Memory Facebook Group include Laura Poole and Barbara Thorpe (red rectangle), Bob Purseglove (blue circle), David Purseglove (black circle), Donald Weston (green circle) and possibly Herbert Weston (yellow circle). It appears that the photograph was taken at Mowlands School with Bentinck Welfare in the background.

Eastwood Colliery Male Voice Choir

In October 1954, Eastwood Colliery Male Voice Choir came to chapel. Based in Eastwood, near Nottingham, the choir continues to perform.

Specific Events and Features of Services

Mum also sometimes noted specific events or features of services including who the speaker was, how long the service had been and how many people attended.

Long Sermons and Services

In January 1950, she noted that the speaker was Mr John Smith and that his prayer lasted 16 minutes and his sermon 35 minutes. She did not state explicitly whether this was a good thing or a bad thing but the implication seems to be that these times were long and that was bad! At the end of February, she noted that there had been a long service at chapel at night.  At the end of January 1950, she just noted that there had been a good preacher at chapel but I do not know if this meant they had been brief!

Rev W T Edwards

At the chapel anniversary, in April 1950, the speaker was the Rev W T Edwards from Chester. Mum considered it good in the morning and noted that they sang “Count your blessings”. At night, she stayed for communion and she noted that 106 people attended at night. Mum occasionally noted how many people attended a service. For example, in August 1953, she noted that there was a family service at night and that this was attended by 150 people.

Rev Brian White

In August 1953, mum noted that Rev Brian White took all the services that day. She noted that there was a carnival service after the ordinary service.

LPMA Services

In March 1954, mum noted that there had been “LPMA” services. I presume this refers to the Methodist Local Preachers Mutual Aid Association which, in 2005, became the Leaders of Worship and Preachers Trust (LWPT).

The Day the Lights Went Out!

In November 1950, when Harrison Slater (see Chapter 38) was speaking at chapel, the electricity failed or as mum put it, “the lights conked out”! The power cut lasted for almost two hours and they had to have candles.  From the report in the local paper, two other church services were affected and a concert by the Kirkby Old Band at the Festival Hall (see Chapter 59) was cancelled. In February 1951, mum noted that she missed the sermon at night as she and Mr Stubbs had had to take Olive home as she was not well. Olive died the following year (see Chapter 47).

News cutting related to the electricity failure

Sunday “Efforts”

As mentioned above, in relation to Saturday night activities, sometimes, different parts of the congregation, the ladies, the choir etc., took responsibility for a weekend’s activities, including the Sunday services and mum described these as “efforts”.

Ladies Efforts

In February 1951, mum rated the ladies’ effort at chapel not bad. In March 1952, mum noted that the ladies gave “14 women of the Bible” at night and grandma was the “recording angel” but mum did not go. This was all part of the women’s “At Home” weekend mentioned above. In both 1952 and 1953, the ladies’ effort took place in November. In 1952, this was part of a weekend with a concert the previous evening.

Choir Efforts

The choir effort seemed to take place in October each year. In 1951, as part of that effort, mum collected in the afternoon. Mowlands choir came and, at night, Bourne choir sang “God is a Spirit” which mum considered not bad. In 1952, the choir effort included a Rainbow Follies concert the previous day. In 1953, as part of the choir effort, the choir gave a cantata – the story of music.

Young People’ Sunday

On 15 October 1950, mum noted that it was young people’s Sunday and that the young people gave the play “The Mother of a Disciple”. Mum considered this very good. There was a report in the local press and this showed that mum and her friends, Pearl Marshall, Sheila Cobb, Hazel Munns, Joy Munns, Barbara Coupe, Joan Storer and Margaret Bostock were involved in the play. Soloists were Margaret Varnam, Joan Fisher and Joy Munns. Grandma was conductor. In the afternoon, the juniors gave a play, “The Children’s Angel” and this involved Brenda Scothern, Ian Smith and Christine Searson.  In October 1952, the young people gave the play “Heroes of Faith” as part of the Sunday Services.

News cutting for young people’s day at Bourne chapel in October 1950

Sports Service and Bill Corkhill

In March 1951, chapel had a sports service at night and this was addressed by Bill Corkhill, a Christian footballer who played for Notts County. He had two spells at Notts County separated by a short time at Cardiff City. Overall, he played 264 games for the club. At this point, he was towards the end of his second spell at the club. Perhaps of interest is that his grandson. Greg Tempest, also played for Notts County. Chapel had a similar service the same month in 1952.

I bought a number of programmes for Notts County matches between 1947 and 1950. These included games against Walsall and Port Vale in 1947, against Norwich and Swindon in 1948 and against Nottingham Forest and Torquay in 1950. Bill Corkhill is only mentioned in the team for two of these – against Walsall in 1947 (when he played number 6) and against Norwich (when he played 5).

Front cover of the programme for Notts County’s game against Norwich City on 17 April 1948.
A note in the above programme explaining that because of the paper shortage the programme was smaller than usual. This was also the case for the game against Port Vale in December 1947.
An extract from the above programme giving the teams for the day with annotations. This shows that Bill Corkhill was playing number 5/centre half for Notts County. According to an account of the game, Notts County took the lead but Norwich equalized just before half-time through an own goal. Ron Ashman scored the winning goal from a corner that had been conceded by Bill Corkhill. This was Ron Ashman’s first senior goal.

Mum and Dad Become Increasingly Active in Church Services

Over time, mum and dad were increasingly active in church services. In July 1951, at night, mum went in the pulpit to read hymns and lessons for Mr Alcock from Newstead. Also, increasingly, in 1952, she noted that she stayed for “S”, i.e. for sacrament/communion. In May 1953, it seems mum may have joined the rota of welcome stewards. She said she did it with Margaret Varnam. In June 1953, mum noted that Barbara Coupe, Joan Storer and Margaret Varnam were received into chapel membership. In January 1954, dad was received into membership. Mum had become a member in 1948 (see Chapter 38).

Mum and Dad Speak at Services

In July 1954, dad spoke at the Ladies’ Bright Hour and mum and dad took the service at Annesley Woodhouse.

The Methodist Church in Annesley Woodhouse – Forest Road

Currently, the Methodist church in Annesley Woodhouse is on Forest Road.  There is also an older chapel on Forest Road. In her book(let) “I Remember” (p43), Edith Searson refers to going to Forest Road Church in Annesley Woodhouse “frequently”.

Annesley Woodhouse Methodist Church in Forest Road © Phil Evans and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Other Methodist Churches in Annesley Woodhouse

There may have been other Methodist churches in Annesley Woodhouse. I have found reference to Annesley Main Street and Annesley Sherwood Street. For example, Edith Searson refers (p41) to the Sherwood Street church.

History of Methodism in Annesley

here is quite a detailed description of the history of Methodism in Annesley in the book “Annesley through the Ages” by Denis R Pearson (pp 308-318). It appears that the two chapels on Forest Road may have been the result of a split with one being Wesleyan (which Bill Clay-Dove says was built in 1887) and the other being Free Methodist , although Bill Clay-Dove refers to the latter as Wesleyan Reform noting that it was built in 1888.

Skegby Road

Before this, according to Bill Clay-Dove in his book “Kirkby-in-Ashfield: An Interesting Township” (p55), a chapel had been built in 1815 on Skegby Road. Interestingly, a Mr Parkin used to play the flute there. There is a photo of that building in Barrie Smith’s book “Strangely Warmed in Ashfield” (p29). In 1849, a split occurred resulting in the building of a Wesley Free Church not twenty yards from the original church.

Photographs of Methodist Churches in Annesley

There is a picture of the interior of the Wesleyan chapel in David Ottewell’s book, “Kirkby-in-Ashfield and Annesley on Old Picture Postcards” (#37) and there is also a photograph of the interior of Forest Road Methodist Church in Annesley Woodhouse in the book “Kirkby & District from old photographs” by Frank Ashley, Sylvia Sinfield and Gerald Lee (p113).

Sherwood Street Chapel

The church on Sherwood Street was originally Primitive Methodist. According to Barrie Smith’s book “A Brief Record of the Ashfield Circuit (22/13) 1959-2010”, the chapel on Sherwood Street was built in 1900 and closed in 1960.

Annesley Woodhouse Methodist Chapel in Sherwood Street which closed in 1960. This photo is reproduced with permission from Barrie Smith’s book “A Brief Record of the Ashfield Circuit (22/13) 1959-2010

Barrie Smith’s Book – Noah’s Ark – A Century Before and After

More details about Wesleyan and Primitive Methodism in Annesley are available from Barrie Smith’s book “Noah’s Ark – A Century Before and After” that was published in 1979. This includes lists of notable dates. Much of the material in Bill Clay-Dove’s book is based on this book by Barrie Smith.

Taking Services with Ken Roome and Margaret Varnam

In August 1954, mum and dad took the service at chapel with Ken Roome and Margaret Varnam. That same day the four of them took an evening service at Huthwaite (see box note 1). They may have taken another service at Stanton Hill (see box note 2) in September 1954. In October 1954, mum attended a meeting about circuit affairs at chapel. That same month, mum, dad, Margaret Varnam and Ken Roome took a service in Kirkby Park (see Chapter 17). In November 1954, mum went to Annesley in the afternoon to give the services. This involved “4 part & duets etc” and included Margaret Varnam, Ken Roome, Hazel Munns, Joy Munns, Margaret Bostock, Robert Ollerenshaw, dad and Arthur Cross.

[1] There were at least two Methodist chapels in Huthwaite, one on Sherwood Street, which appears to still be operational, and another on Sutton Road but there had also been a Primitive Methodist chapel on New Fall Road.

[2] There was a Primitive Methodist chapel in Albert Street in Stanton Hill. This opened in 1908 and closed sometime after 1998. There was an earlier Primitive Methodist chapel in New Street from 1876. There is also reference to a chapel in Victoria Street but this may be the same place as the chapel was on the corner of Albert Street and Victoria Street. The chapel has been demolished and replaced with housing. Also, there was a Baptist Chapel on Victoria Street.
Huthwaite Methodist Church, Sherwood Street © Dave Bevis and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Former chapel on Sutton Road in Huthwaite that closed in 1991. This photograph is included with permission from Barrie Smith’s book “A Brief Record of The Ashfield Circuit (22/13) 1959-2010

Other People Attended Chapel with Mum

Mum also noted people that attended chapel with her including Norma (I wonder if this was Norma Blow), Roy Case, Norman Hitch, John Bradley, Kathleen Barnett, Janet Barnett and Christine Searson. Many of these appear to have been young people who had finished intermediate Sunday School.  

Chapel on Holiday

It was also mum’s habit to go to chapel when she was away on holiday, e.g. in Guernsey and Blackpool in 1953 and in Yarmouth and Stokesley in 1954. When visiting Dorothy Lofthouse, mum and dad took part in some of their chapel’s activities including a choir pie and peas supper and a concert (see Chapter 52).

Scripture Exams

Mum continued to take Scripture exams as she had at the end of the 1940s (see Chapter 38).

Scripture Exams in 1950

In March 1950, she also helped grandma with Divisions I and II Scripture. These Scripture exams featured in the local press. For example, the Sunday School collectively won the Nathan Vann shield. I don’t know what this was nor who Nathan Vann was. From FreeBMD, I did find details of a Nathan Vann who died in Mansfield in 1926 aged 65. Also, some people on the Kirkby Living Memory Facebook group recalled the Vanns being a family butchers in Kirkby. A number of children and young people won circuit and district prizes including Ian Smith, mum and Margaret Varnam. It surprises me that mum did not note these prizes in her diary! In August 1950, she did note going with grandma and Mr Marshall to Cotmanhay, now a suburb of Ilkeston, to collect the Scripture shield.

News cuttings related to Scripture exams in 1950 – mum won a circuit and district prize for division 4

Scripture Exams in 1951

Mum took more Scripture exams in March 1951. Again, these merited reporting in the local press. Ian Smith and Brenda Scothern both won circuit and district prizes. Mum won the lower senior circuit prize. From mum’s diary, it appears that they received their Scripture prizes in August 1951 but a newspaper cutting suggests it was May.

News cuttings related to Scripture exams in 1951
Mum’s final Scripture exam certificate for Division 5 in 1951 when she was 16.

Scripture Exams in 1952 and After

There were more Scripture exams in March 1952 although I think mum was no longer taking the exams herself as her last certificate was for 1951. In January 1953, mum made reference to going to Scripture practice and taking Division II. Presumably, this meant she was teaching it. Joan Storer taught Division I and dad Division IV. These practices took place on a Thursday evening for five weeks from the end of January 1953 with the exams taking place at the end of March. In January 1954, mum noted going to take scripture practice but no-one turned up. It does seem that these practices were up and running in February 1954 though. The Scripture exam again took place in March 1954.

I have vague recollections of taking such exams myself as a child and, among mum’s papers, were my certificates for the years 1968 to 1972, that is between when I was eight and 12.

Annual Events

There were certain events which were held at or by the chapel every year during this period.

Sunday School Parties

Annual parties were held for each of the Sunday Schools – primary, intermediate and senior, either at the end of December or the beginning of January. For example, in December 1951, the intermediate Sunday School party was held, between Christmas and New Year, and this was noted in the local press. Hazel Munns played the piano and Ken Stanger did magic tricks. Each child received a handkerchief, a bar of chocolate and an orange. 

News cutting concerning the Intermediate Sunday School party in 1951

In January 1952, the senior Sunday School party was held at the Parkins’ house. Mum noted that there were nine people – Beryl Cumberland, Jean Shaw, Monica Berridge, Margaret Chance, Heather Cresswell, Freda Robinson, Pearl and Ken Hodges and Joan Storer. Also that month, mum noted going to Joan Storer’s one evening to put chocolates and oranges in stockings ahead of the primary party. In December 1952, after Rainbow Follies practice, mum decorated the primary room. In 1952 and 1954, the senior party was held on New Year’s Eve.

Sunday School Prizegivings

Both the main (intermediate and senior) and primary Sunday School prizegivings took place in January each year. In 1950, mum won eight shillings which she put towards a new Sunday School Hymnal. That year, mum played for primary prizegiving and Phyllis Attwood gave out the prizes. Mum also played the piano for the primary prizegivings in 1951 and 1952 and for the main prizegivings in 1952 and 1954. In 1953, mum and Joan Storer gave out the primary prizes.

Mum was also involved in preparations for prizegiving, such as sorting prizes, which I think were usually books (see Chapter 38), and sticking labels in. In early January 1952, mum went to stick labels in prizes. She noted, “had an argument at night – it cleared the air – I think”. She did not specify who the argument was with or what it was about. In 1952, both the main and primary prizegivings were covered in the local press. Other years may have been covered also but these are the cuttings that mum kept.

News cutting for Bourne Sunday School senior and intermediate prizegivings in 1952.  
News cutting for Bourne Sunday School primary prizegiving in 1952

Covenant Service

Covenant service is an important event in the Methodist calendar, held at the start of each new year. In both 1952 and 1953, mum noted that this coincided with the primary prizegiving and also involved the sacrament/communion.

Easter Services

There may have been special services for Easter but mum did not make these a particular focus in her diaries. In both 1953 and 1954, she did note going to a “Holy Week” service at chapel.

Chapel Anniversary

In March 1953, mum noted the chapel anniversary taking place. She noted that the choir sang two anthems at night and that there had been 27 people in the choir. The preacher was George Cresswell and he was “v v v good”. While mum sometimes used two “verys” when describing how good something had been, I don’t recall her using three “verys” elsewhere. Certainly, it was not common! He was also the speaker in 1932 and the leaflet for that service was among mum’s papers (see Chapter 17). However, in general, the chapel anniversary did not receive as much emphasis as the Sunday School Anniversary, particularly not in mum’s diaries.

Sunday School Anniversaries

These remained (see also Chapter 38) the highlight of the Sunday School’s annual calendar with the main anniversary taking place over two Sundays in April or May and the primary anniversary in June each year.

New Clothes and Intense Practices

There were lots of preparations for these events including new clothes and intense practices. For example, in March 1950, mum was measured for an “ann dress” which I have assumed is an anniversary dress. In 1950, anniversary practices started in March. In 1952, from April, practices for primary anniversary were held on Mondays and for the main anniversary on Thursdays. Mum attended practice for the anniversary on 1 May 1952 and noted that “it was terrible”!

The Anniversaries as Fundraisers

One of the aims of the anniversary was to raise money and mum sometimes noted how much they raised. For example, in 1950, the anniversary raised £100 10 6d and, in 1952, £102, a record. In 1953, the record was broken with £107 15 9d raised. In 1954, the total raised was lower £101.

The Anniversaries as Social Events

The anniversaries were major social events, so family members often came for tea and the services, e.g. Uncle Frank, Auntie Bertha and Renie in 1950.

Sunday School Anniversary 1950

That year, the anniversary was reported in the local press. This report noted that, on the second Sunday, grandma had given an address to the youngsters. The same report noted that Hazel Munns was the pianist and that Joy Munns and Ina Stubbs gave solos. Brenda Scothern and Christine Searson were among those who gave recitations and Ian Smith performed a dialogue with Keith Townsend.

The main Sunday School Anniversary ran over two Sundays, for example, in 1950

Primary Sunday School Anniversary 1950

At the end of June 1950, Bourne held their Sunday School Primary Anniversary. Mum noted that it was very good. The local press report noted that the anniversary was opened by Sheila Cobb. It seems mum assisted the organists while grandma and Mrs Cross were in charge of the recitations. Geoffrey Cross, Ian Smith and Trevor Scothern all took part.

News cutting of Primary Sunday School Anniversary in June 1950

Sunday School Anniversary 1951

In 1951, the Sunday School Anniversary took place in April, as usual over two weekends.

The main Sunday School anniversary in April 1951 – mum shown with white arrow and red circle

Primary Sunday School Anniversary 1951

The Primary Anniversary took place in June 1951 and mum noted that she was in the pulpit with Barry Cumberland in the afternoon. This merited an article in the local press. Joan Storer was the conductor, Sheila Cobb was in charge of recitations and Ken Hodges played the organ. Mum opened the afternoon service and introduced seven-year-old Barry Cumberland. Among those giving recitations were Sylvia Bust, Lynne Evans, Geoffrey Cross and Trevor Scothern. Lynne Evans and Trevor Scothern also each sang solos. Grandma was there as a teacher along with Mrs Cross, Mrs (Edna) Bust and Mrs Searson.

News cutting concerning the Primary anniversary in 1951
Primary Anniversary 1951 – the two smaller photos above zoom into the larger photo immediately above which is quite blurred. Mum and grandma are shown in the larger photo with white arrows and in the smaller photos with red circles.
Above left – a clearer picture of mum. To her right is Joy Munns, in front of her is Joan Storer and in front and to her right is Edna Bust.
Above right – a clearer picture of grandma.

Anniversaries in 1952

In 1952, the main anniversary took place on 11 and 18 May. Mr Limb from Bulwell preached on the 11th and Rev Purvis on the 18th. The primary anniversary was in June. Mum played the piano, Hazel Munns played the organ and Joan Storer conducted.

Anniversaries in 1953

In 1953 and 1954, the main anniversary took place over two Sundays in May and the primary anniversary was again in June. In 1953, mum noted that the preacher on the first Sunday was Mr R Farrington and that he was very, very good. She also noted that the preacher on the second Sunday was Mr Limb of Bulwell and he was not bad.

Anniversaries in 1954

In 1954, the speakers at the anniversary were Mr G Cresswell from Long Eaton and Mr R Farrington. Before the second of the anniversary services that year, mum noted that she and Margaret Bostock put flowers in. Mum noted that, on the second Sunday, Mr Farrington came to tea at their house.

Whit Walks

Of course, another highlight was the annual Whit procession (see also Chapters 17 and 38).

Whit Walk 1950

In 1950, mum noted walking with Barbara Coupe. However, I have not found any photos from that year. There was a report in the Nottingham Evening Post.

Participants from Eight Churches

This noted that there had been more than 1,000 participants from eight churches and that the procession concluded with a service in Kingsway Park. Seven of them are listed in the news article – St Thomas’s, St Andrew’s, Salvation Army, Four Square Gospel,  Bourne Methodist, Diamond Avenue Methodist and the Baptist Tabernacle.

St Andrew’s Church

St Andrew’s Church was a third Anglican church in Kirkby but it closed in 1961. It was located on Marlborough Road on the corner of St Andrew’s Street. The building still exists but has been converted into a house. Based on information from the Kirkby Living Memory Facebook group, I understand that the building came from Clipstone camp and that the church served the mining community on the streets around Marlborough Road. There is a picture of the church when it was at Clipstone camp in David Ottewell’s book “Kirkby-in-Ashfield and Annesley in Old Picture Postcards” (#6).

Four Square Gospel

I don’t know if the Four Square Gospel was the same as the Full Gospel Church but it may have been. Both sound Pentecostal although one sounds more like Elim and the other like Assemblies of God. I am not aware of an Elim church in Kirkby although there may be.

Baptist Tabernacle

The Baptist Tabernacle was on Lowmoor Road but is now closed. I understand that a church called 7Cs (or Seven Seas) Christian Fellowship now meets there. There were adverts for the tabernacle’s Christian Endeavour Society and Ladies’ Bright Hour in the 1969 Kirkby Directory.

News cutting concerning the Whit procession in 1950

Whit Walk 1951

In 1951, grandma was unwell so she was not able to take part in the Whit procession that year. However, there are photos of mum in the procession with Lynne and Carol.

Whit procession 1951 with Rev Robinson and the old banner
Mum, Lynne and Carole in the Whit procession 1951

In 1951, there must also have been a similar joint service as, among mum’s papers I found a photograph from May 1951. It is labelled 16 May 1951 but has been annotated to say Monday morning. Whit Monday that year was 14 May. It featured some of the Ministers mentioned in 1950 including Rev S Butler, Rev P Robinson and Rev R W Salmon. In addition, there was a Captain Carby from the Salvation Army and Mr W Hazlewood and Mr W Marsh, although I am not sure who the last two were. With this photo was another which shows Olive and Hazel Munns on the Whit procession. I am not entirely sure of the year but it must be 1952 or earlier as Olive died in September 1952.

Photograph from Whit Monday 1951 showing Captain Carby, Rev S Butler, Mr W Hazlewood, Rev P Robinson and Rev R W Salmon with Mr W Marsh at the microphone
Olive and Hazel Munns on Whit walk possibly in 1951. Olive died in September 1952.

Whit Walk 1952

In 1952, the Whit procession took place in early June.

Whit Walk 1952 – this photo is labelled as showing Ian
Whit Walk 1952

Whit Walk 1953

In 1953, the chapel had a new banner for the procession. Mum described it as “lovely”. There is a good quality photo of the Kirkby Park banner on the My Primitive Methodists website. It was dedicated on Wesley Day 1953.

New Bourne banner for the Whit Walk in 1953
New banner in use Whit Walk 1953
Grandma in front of the new Bourne banner on the Whit Walk in 1953

Whit Walk 1954

Mum noted that she joined the Sunday School procession at Whit in 1954.

Mum on the Whit Walk in 1954
Whit Walk 1954

Harvest Festivals

Another highlight was Harvest Festival, held in September each year.

Harvest Festival 1950

In 1950, mum noted that she played in chapel and that there was a Harvest Sale the following day.

Harvest Festival 1951

In 1951, the primary Sunday School gave a demonstration called “Months of the Year” and mum played the piano. At night, the choir sang the anthem “Sing to the Lord of Harvest”, a harvest hymn by John S B Monsell. The following day, there was a harvest festival tea which mum attended. The next Sunday, mum stayed in at night and watched the harvest festival service on TV with Joan Storer, Mrs Hill, Mrs Vaughan and Renie (see Chapter 53).

Harvest Festival 1952

In 1952, the pattern at chapel was similar with Harvest Festival held in late September with a Harvest Festival sale and tea the next day.

Harvest Festival 1953

In 1953, after the Harvest Festival, mum, dad, Margaret Varnam and Ken Roome went in the Roomes’ car to take fruit and vegetables to Ransom Sanatorium and Fever Hospital (see Chapter 50). There was a Harvest Supper the next night.

Harvest Festival 1954

In September 1954, mum, dad, Margaret Varnam and Ken Roome went to chapel the night before Harvest Festival to decorate. After the service, mum, dad, Margaret Varnam and Ken Roome did, as they had done the previous year, i.e. they took “stuff from harvest” to Forest Fever Hospital and Ransom Sanatorium.

Bazaars and Gift Days

In November 1951, there was a chapel bazaar and mum was involved in preparing for it, including decorating stalls. On the day of the bazaar itself, she went after finishing work. Selling handkerchiefs from the primary stall made £21 2s. Overall, the bazaar made over £170 with more money still to come when mum made her notes. The bazaar was reported by the local press and this noted that mum played the piano for the opening and for the evening variety programme.  

News cutting about the Bourne bazaar in November 1951

In November 1952 and 1953, the chapel held a gift weekend, perhaps as an alternative to the bazaar. In 1952, mum noted that the Sunday Schools did a concert which she rated very, very good. This was repeated in 1953 as a Gift Day Concert. Mum played for primary and she noted that the event was quite good. In 1954, the bazaar was back but it was held in March instead of November. In his diary, grandad referred to this as a daffodil bazaar. Mum and dad made coal gloves to sell at the bazaar. Mum also made 26 trifles and sold ice cream for the youth clubs, making £4.

Missionary Sundays

Also, in November, in 1952, 1953 and 1954, there was a missionary Sunday and, in 1954, mum chaired this.

Christmas Activities

Naturally, there were chapel activities for Christmas. These included carol singing, carol services, parties, Christmas services and special plays and performances. Carol singing took place in various locations including Diamond Avenue, Birds’ Farm, Summit colliery and Kingsway. Sometimes, there were watchnight services on New Year’s Eve, e.g. in 1952, following the Senior Sunday School party and in 1953 and 1954.

In 1950, Christmas Eve fell on a Sunday so mum attended chapel three times that day. She noted that Santa came to the afternoon service and gave all the choir and children a shilling.  That evening, the choir gave a play “They Took their Gifts” and mum noted playing a “cripple”. According to the news cutting, the play’s name was “They Brought their Gifts”. The carol services were featured in local press reports. Others who took part in the play included Margaret Bostock, Barbara Coupe and Joy Munns. In 1953, in the run up to Christmas, the Sunday School teachers gave the play “The Fourth Wise Man”.

News cutting of Christmas Eve services at Bourne in 1950

Memorial Services

There were also sometimes memorial services for particular people, including church members. For example, there was a memorial service for Mr Sharpe[1] on 17 August 1952. This could be Mr Walter Sharpe who died aged 73 during this period. According to grandad, he died on the 7th and was cremated at Wilford Hill five days later. When Olive died in 1952 (see Chapter 47), her funeral service was held at Bourne with a memorial service two days later. In October 1953, there was a memorial service for Mrs Scothern. In February 1954, mum attended the funeral of Jean Kirk. She had been part of the Sunday School but had died aged 13 from what sounds like septicaemia. That same month, the funeral of E A Bird was also held at chapel. In May 1954, there was a memorial service for Mr Bust.

Local Community Events – Carnival

The Sunday School also took part in local community events, such as the Festival carnival in 1951 (see Chapter 52).

Special Coronation Services

There were special services for the coronation in 1953. For example, on the last Sunday of May, the Sunday School teachers gave a coronation service in the afternoon.

Services Relating to the Death of King George VI

Among mum’s papers was a news cutting of services held in Kirkby on 15 February 1952, the day of King George VI’s funeral, including one in the afternoon at Bourne. However, based on their diaries, I am not sure either mum or grandad attended as they did not mention it. Rather, they referred to seeing the funeral on television (see Chapter 53).

News cutting of services held in Kirkby in February 1952 in memory of King George VI

Involvement with Other Churches and Chapels

Mum had some involvement with other chapels and denominations.

Other Methodist Anniversaries

In particular, she went to other Methodist chapel anniversaries, for example at Newgate Lane, the Hill, Newstead and Diamond Avenue. This was a common practice at the time and was remarked upon by Edith Searson in her book(let) “I Remember” (p43). She says, “church people generally, and young people in particular, used to visit each other’s church when it was the Sunday School Anniversary” and she recalled (p44) going to Forest Street Baptist Church in 1918 or 1919.

Newgate Lane Chapel

Initially, I could not find details of this chapel. Mum mentioned that she went there on 30 April 1950 after having had tea with Renie and Jim. So, I assumed it was in Mansfield. There is a Christian bookshop at 2 Newgate Lane and the martial arts centre next to it looks as if it could have been a chapel. I heard from the bookshop. They got the building in 1970 from a butcher but they thought it might have been a church before that. I also heard from Allan Barham, the Secretary of the Old Mansfield Society. By coincidence, he went to Sunday School at this chapel in the 1940s and 50s. He confirmed it was where the martial arts place is now and that it was indeed a Methodist chapel.

The Hill

This is on Victoria Road. There is a detailed history in the book “Light on the Hill” by J Barrie Smith.  It was originally a Wesleyan chapel. It was opened in 1910 and took over from the chapel, built in 1834, that is now a snooker hall.

The Hill Methodist Church, Kirkby in Ashfield © John Topping and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Front cover of the book by J Barrie Smith about The Hill Methodist Church. The pen-and-ink drawing of the church is by Dennis Hill

There are photos of this earlier building in the book “Kirkby & District: A Second Selection” by Frank Ashley, Sylvia Sinfield and Gerald Lee (p65) and in “Strangely Warmed in Ashfield” by Barrie Smith (p26). The church is also mentioned in Gerald Lee’s book “Kirkby-in-Ashfield: Yesterday Remembered” (p90), in Bill Clay-Dove’s book “Kirkby-in-Ashfield: An Interesting Township” (p53), in Mark Ashfield’s book “Horses, Herbs and a Cockatoo” (p5)  and in Barrie Smith’s book “Noah’s Ark: A Century Before and After”. The latter book includes a list of notable dates and details of people who laid stones and bricks in the church. Mark Ashfield’s book “Horses, Herbs and a Cockatoo” contains a chapter based on a Sunday School Anniversary at the Hill. 

The Hill Methodist Church was part of the Ashfield Methodist circuit in 1959. In her book(let) “I Remember” (p42), Edith Searson notes that she and her husband, Ben, went there in the 1920s and 1930s to help in the choir at anniversaries.  The Hill advertised its DIY group, Sunday School, Tuesday Group, Ladies’ Bright Hour and Youth Club in the 1969 Kirkby Directory.

Newstead Chapel

Some details of the Newstead chapel are available on the My Primitive Methodists website but I have not located a photograph. It appears that the chapel has closed but I don’t have details of when it closed or what happened to the building.  Based on the map and description on the My Primitive Methodists website, the chapel appears to have been located on Chapel Terrace where there is now a small green area with a cross-shaped path. According to Edith Searson’s book(let) “I Remember”, the chapel was called Bethel and I found some records of this (1888-1969).

Diamond Avenue Chapel

Mum still referred to this church as “Wesleyan” despite the formation of the Methodist church 20 years previously. She did this in both 1952 and 1953 although she referred to Diamond Avenue Methodist Church in 1954. This is now Trinity Methodist Church. It is interesting that although that church website has a history section, this does not refer to Wesleyan at all. The name Trinity was only adopted in 1959. There was more than one Wesleyan chapel in Kirkby. In July 1954, mum and dad went to Diamond Avenue Methodist Anniversary with Margaret Varnam and Ken Roome.

Helping with Anniversaries at Other Chapels

Mum also helped with Newstead’s anniversary in 1950, 1951 and 1954. Based on Edith Searson’s book(let) “I Remember” this support was originally organised by Olive but must have continued after her death. Edith Searson writes (p42), “We occasionally went to the Bethel Church at Newstead, another small church with faithful members. For several years, Olive took a number of Sunday School scholars to help in the singing at the Anniversary. There was a service in the afternoon, and the young people had a most enjoyable time. On one occasion, some of them went exploring round about the church. They wandered a bit, and one of the boys fell into some coal dust at the back of some old colliery shed. His clothes all had to be washed. He was in a sorry state”.

Quarter Day at Forest Side

Mum also attended circuit quarter day activities including in Forest Side. I have struggled to identify this chapel. The first issue is to establish where Forest Side is. There seem to be several places by this name in Nottinghamshire but it seems it is referring to part of Sutton in Ashfield. There are certainly archives of a Forest Side Methodist Church in Sutton between 1864 and 1969. I have come across photos of that chapel participating in Whit walks in Sutton.

Image of the exterior of the Forest Side chapel in Sutton which shows why this was nicknamed “the clock chapel”. The photograph is reproduced with permission from Barrie Smith’s book “A Brief Record of the Ashfield Circuit (22/13) 1959-2010
Image of the interior of the Forest Side chapel in Sutton. The photograph is reproduced with permission from Barrie Smith’s book “A Brief Record of the Ashfield Circuit (22/13) 1959-2010
Photo of souvenir programme for the centenary of Forest Side Methodist Church in Sutton-in-Ashfield. This is in the collection of Englesea Brook Chapel and Museum

Perhaps most illuminating is information that Forest Side was a branch chapel from the Reform Street Chapel established in Porter’s Building (Mansfield Road) in 1856. Reference is made to churches in Forest Side and Porter’s Buildings in an article on the My Primitive Methodists website. So I presume this chapel is now closed and that it was in the Eastfield Side/Mansfield Road area of Sutton. However, I then found reference to a Primitive Methodist Chapel in Mansfield Road now being Zion Baptist Church but the Baptist Church on Mansfield Road in Sutton now seems to be called The Bridge.   

Youth Council and Other Youth Activities

Mum was also part of a Youth Council and, in November 1952, she attended a meeting in Stanton Hill. In July 1954, mum and dad went to a meeting of Young Methodist torchbearers with Rev Howells at Bridge Street. In May 1953, mum went to Diamond Avenue chapel for a united service for Wesley Day (see box) and they dedicated the new Bourne banner at this service. Among mum’s papers was the order of service for this. She also attended other chapels for special musical performances, for example going to hear “Elijah” at the Hill in December 1953.

Wesley Day is 24 May and commemorates the day that John Wesley’s heart was “strangely warmed”.
Line drawing by E Ferris Brown of Albert Street Methodist Church in Stanton Hill. The line drawing is reproduced with permission from Barrie Smith’s book “A Brief Record of the Ashfield Circuit (22/13) 1959-2010
Bridge Street Methodist Church, Mansfield © Enchufla Con Clave and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Photo of booklet about the history of Bridge Street Chapel in Mansfield. This is in the collection of Englesea Brook Chapel and Museum
Order of service for Wesley Day celebrations, Diamond Avenue Kirkby in 1953

Visiting Churches and Chapels of Other Denominations

In addition to visiting other Methodist chapels, mum sometimes went to chapels and churches of other denominations.

East Kirkby Baptist Chapel

This included the Baptist chapel to support NCHO in February 1950 and 1952. Mum did not specify which Baptist chapel it was but the news cutting for 1952 identified that it was East Kirkby Baptist Church which I think was the one in Forest Street.

News cutting of a service at East Kirkby Baptist chapel for the National Children’s Home and Orphanage in 1952
Forest Street Baptist Church, Kirkby in Ashfield © Dave Bevis and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

National Children’s Home and Orphanage (NCHO)

NCHO stood for National Children’s Home and Orphanage which is now Action for Children. Mum also did street collections for NCHO, in April 1952, in Milton Street with Joan Storer and, in May 1954, in Alexandra Street with dad. In May 1952, mum went with 13 Sunday School teachers, including Joan Storer and Barbara Spencer, to NCHO in Nottingham. They had their tea in Nottingham. Two days after Christmas 1952, mum noted that they “had girls from NCHO at Nottm for tea”.

Other Visits to Baptist Churches

In April 1954, mum also went to the Baptists for a Holy Week service. The speaker was the President of the Baptist Union and mum rated it “VG”. In September 1953, mum went to Victoria Street Baptists for a table tennis match (see Chapter 52). Forest Street Baptist Church advertised their men’s and young people’s fellowships and the Baptist Women’s League in the 1969 Kirkby Directory.

Salvation Army

In February 1951, mum went to the Salvation Army as part of the group giving the play “The Mother of a Disciple”. In August 1953, when the carnival was rained off, both mum and grandad noted that they had two girls from Manchester Salvation Army stay with them for the weekend.

St Thomas’

In July 1951, she attended a Festival service at St Thomas’. Some of St Thomas’ activities were advertised in the 1969 Kirkby Directory including the Altar Guild, Mothers’ Union, Young Wives and Ladies’ Working Group (p33). There are pictures of the outside and inside of St Thomas’ in David Ottewell’s book “Kirkby-in-Ashfield and Annesley on Old Picture Postcards” (#4&5).

Postcard of St Thomas’ Church, Kirkby in Ashfield

Mansfield Baptist Church

In June 1954, grandma, mum and dad went to Jim’s anniversary and, in October 1954, mum went to harvest festival concert at his chapel. Mum referred to it as “Sunday School in talent time”. Margaret Varnam and Ken Roome should have gone but Ken was ill with what turned out to be appendicitis.

I believe Jim and Renie attended a Baptist chapel in Mansfield (see Chapter 69). Although I don’t know for sure, I assume it was Mansfield Baptist Church in Rosemary Street. This church was established in 1815 and has had three different buildings. Originally, the church was in Stockwell Gate and it moved to Rosemary Street in 1912. A new building was constructed and the old building demolished in 1974

Demolition of Rosemary Street Baptist Church in 1974. The church had been built in 1912 – Image licenced for re-use from Inspire

Religious Events at the Festival Hall

In addition, mum sometimes attended religious events held at the Festival Hall, for example, a Remembrance Service in November 1950 and a carol service in December 1950, which grandad also attended. In both 1951 and 1952, mum went to hear the Messiah at the Festival Hall.  At the end of May 1953, there was a united service at the Festival Hall for the coronation and there was a similar service the next day at the Albert Hall, in Nottingham.

The Albert Hall in Nottingham

The Albert Hall started life as a Temperance Hall. Building work started in 1873 and it opened in 1876. It served as a concert hall and venue for political rallies but, in 1902, it became a Wesleyan mission. In 1906, it was damaged by fire and rebuilt, reopening in 1909. It continued as a Methodist mission and concert hall until 1982 and, in 1987, it was purchased by Nottingham City Council. It was refurbished and linked to the adjacent Playhouse.

Postcard of Albert Hall, Nottingham
Albert Hall, Nottingham – photo by Andrewrabbott in the public domain  

Grandad’s Involvement in Chapel was Fairly Peripheral

Grandad continued to have peripheral involvement in chapel.

Grandad Helped Bourne Chapel in Practical Ways as Did Grandma

He helped out in practical ways including installing a pulpit light (see Chapter 49), repairing a pot which held glasses for communion and converting an old organ stool to a piano stool. Grandma also did practical things for the chapel including, in February 1951, getting some lino from Hannams (see box) in Carlton for the primary room. Grandma and grandad both helped F Bust lay the lino. In March 1954, grandma and grandad repaired locks and seats at chapel.

Initially, I could not find details of this business but this was because I thought it was Hannan’s. I posted a question on the Nottingham Memories Facebook group and quickly found out that it was in fact called Hannams and was an ironmongers located on Carlton Hill opposite St Paul’s church where the Tesco superstore is now. I came across an R H Hannam (Carlton) Ltd with a location in Carlton Business Centre but that was only formed in 1971 and appears to have been dissolved. I found more details and two photographs on the Nottingham Post website. According to details there, the block of shops was demolished in 1985 to make way for a new Tesco superstore. I found details of Hannams and Ronald Hannam in Kelly’s Directory for 1941.

Mum, Dad and Others also did Practical Tasks at Chapel

Both my parents also got involved in practical tasks at chapel. For example, at the end of November 1953, Ken Hodges, dad and John Overfield started some work on the church stage, e.g. pulling the old curtains down. This work continued into December including putting up a new curtain rail and new red and yellow curtains. Mum and Margaret Varnam scrubbed the stage. Sometimes other people did practical work at chapel, perhaps on a paid basis, including for example Vardy decorating the schoolroom and passage in December 1954.

Grandad Sometimes Went for Special Services Particularly Sunday School Anniversaries

Also, grandad attended some special services, particularly Sunday School anniversaries, which he attended every year during this period, and he took interest in how much money had been raised.

Grandad Also Enjoyed Watching the Whit Walks

He also enjoyed the Whit procession and noted watching in 1952. He also watched in 1954 but from his bed as he was not well.

Grandad Attended Chapel for Particular Musical Events or for Special Speakers

Also, grandad attended chapel when there were particular musical items, such as the Gresley quartet or speakers he wished to hear, such as Harrison Slater.

Grandad Also Attended Some Memorial and Commemorative Services

Also, grandad attended some memorial services, e.g. for Olive in September 1952 and, in August 1953, he attended a special service for all people who had been married in the chapel.

Grandad Watched Religious Programmes on Television

He also sometimes watched services and religious programmes on television (see Chapter 53).

Grandad Made Visits of Religious Significance

In August 1953, grandad went with grandma and John to visit Epworth (see Chapter 52).

Grandad Interacted with Visiting Preachers

Grandad also interacted with visiting preachers when they came for dinner, tea etc.

Ministers at Bourne Chapel

The diaries do make reference to various Ministers at Bourne but there is not a systematic list and initially I did not find one elsewhere (see box). For this reason, I compiled such a list which is attached at the end of this chapter.

Edith Searson does recall Ministers in her book(let) “I Remember” (pp58-62).  She mentions Alfred W Hall, Thomas Marlow and Bill Howels. She also mentions many others. She does not mention Rev Robinson or Rev Taylor and she does not have a systematic list.

Barrie Smith has a number of lists in his various books.

There is a list of Ministers in pastoral charge at The Hill from 1910 to 2008 in “Light on the Hill” (pp52-53) but there is little, if any, overlap between that list and Ministers at Bourne.

Also, there is a list of Ministers in the Ashfield Circuit in “A Brief Record of the Ashfield Circuit (22/13) 1959-2010” but as the list only starts in 1959, there is only overlap at the very beginning.

In “Noah’s Ark – A Century Before and After”, there is a list of Ministers who travelled in the Mansfield Wesleyan circuit from 1807 to 1899 but this pre-dates the period in which I am primarily interested. However, that book also contains lists of Primitive Methodist Ministers in the Mansfield Circuit from 1826 to 1901 and, in the Sutton and Kirkby Circuit, from 1904 to 1959. The latter list overlaps with the period covered by the diaries and I have cross-checked the details there with those I have from elsewhere.

Rev Alfred William Hall

Based on the diaries, it seems that, at the start of this period, the minister was Rev Hall and that he had been there from at least 1946. This was Rev Alfred William Hall and he was Minister at Bourne between 1946 and 1950. Mum refers to him frequently speaking at Youth Club including once on John Wesley in July 1947. He visited her when she was ill in January 1949 (see Chapter 37). In April 1955, he came back to Bourne for the chapel anniversary (see Chapter 69).

Rev Hall was born on 1 April 1889, in Clapton Gloucestershire, and he died in 1962 in Kingston upon Hull. He entered the Primitive Methodist Ministry in 1915 and spent the years of the First World War with the Royal Army Medical Corps in Greece and Palestine. Later, he served in a variety of country circuits. He married twice – Gertrude Barron in 1920 and Ida Hall in 1954, following Gertrude’s death the previous year. There is a detailed obituary available on the My Primitive Methodists website.  Mum noted his farewell service in August 1950 and that he was replaced by Peter Robinson.

Rev Peter Robinson

A reception was held for Rev Robinson in September 1951 and mum noted attending members’ training classes at his house with Margaret Varnam and Hazel Munns. She also went for supper there in November 1951 with a group of seven including Hazel Munns, Sheila Cobb, Pearl and Ken Hodges, Freda Robinson and J Lamb. In January 1952, she noted going to Rev Robinson’s after junior choir practice. I am not sure when Rev Robinson left but the last mention of him in mum’s diary was in January 1952.  I did find an article about him in the Nottingham Journal of 16 March 1953. He resigned from the Methodist Church to join the Church of England.

Rev Brian White

From 1953, there are a lot of references to Rev Brian White including to him getting a rota up for welcome stewards. But, there are also some other references which suggest that he may not have been the Minister at Bourne. For example, in June 1954, he was present at Edna Bust’s house and mum refers to him as the “preacher at anniversary”.

Rev W Taylor

In September 1953, mum noted that the Quarter Day activities had to be led by the Chairman of the District, Rev K Waights, as Rev W Taylor had left to go to Church of England. It seems that perhaps Rev Taylor may have been the Minister at Bourne from the time that Rev Robinson left. Grandad noted that Rev and Mrs Taylor came for the day in October 1952.

Rev W E Howells

In September 1953, a new Minister came to Bourne, Rev W E Howells. Mum described him as “quite nice”. In June 1954, mum went to his house to discuss what they were going to do for those aged over 14 during the winter.

Rev Marlowe

In September 1954, there was a welcome service for Rev Marlowe. It is not clear if he took over from Rev Howells as he is not mentioned in the diaries after that and Rev Howells continues to be mentioned until November 1954 at least.

Ministers at Bourne – A Systematic List 1910-1964

A systematic list of Ministers at Bourne chapel from around 1910 to 1964 is available here.