Free Church
Bell Ringers

Guild of St Richard

Boys Club

Good Bye


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 My first memories of ever going to church are at The Free Church only a few doors from the then Johnson's Stores. Sunday school was in a large room at the back of the church. Here we had social events and bible-study classes leading to an examination. Once a year we would have a coach outing. On one occasion we went to the church hall in West Marden where we had tea after playing games and races in a field opposite.

At the end of each year we were presented with a book signed by Mrs E G Freeland, Hon Sec, and given a grade for attendance. For year ending Dec 1943 my book for 1st Class Attendance was Ungava by R M Ballantyne. By 1946 my attendance must have dropped as my book for that year has no grade and the pages had reduced by two thirds.

I did earn some money, though only a few shillings a month. For each Sunday morning service I pumped the organ. I sat alongside the organ facing the congregation pulling a lever back and forth at a steady pace with my left arm. This could be tiring with a long hymn and if the rate slowed down too much the effect could be heard in the quality of the music and a glare from the organist. My memory may be wrong, but it could have been my piano teacher, Mrs Crouch, who lived in the old school house.

In the last year of infant school a group of boys and girls attended morning service at St John the Baptist. On the way back we would call in at Meads the baker and buy some hot, penny, bread rolls. I probably stopped going to the Free Church on becoming a bell ringer.