Halton congregational church Sunday school newsletter - January 1942



Halton congregational church Sunday school newsletter - January 1942


Sends good wished for 1942. Contains news of congregation members. In particular announces the engagement of Kenneth Gill and Vera Longden. Also notes Kenneth Gill home on leave. Letters from the boys and other church news.



Temporal Coverage




Six page printed document


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[inserted] Vera Longden [/inserted]



Letters to R. Thomas, 6, The Crescent, Halton, Leeds

My Dear Friends,

Here's wishing you all the very best of good wishes for 1942 and may it see the end of this business! Things are looking much more cheerful in many ways than a year ago anyhow. And the newspapers seem to be much more optimistic and make pleasanter reading than was once the case. Oh yes I know Japan has come into the picture in recent weeks, – but so has America – and whilst the initial advantage is once again with the aggressor, yet I am equally sure that the action of Japan has done more to solidify the forces fighting against the Axis than any amount of speechmaking or pleading could ever have accomplished. It is now truly a world-war, – something that we thought well-nigh impossible after the last war. Well, we must see this job through and then see to it that there is no repetition this time.

Christmas 1941 is now an event of the past. What sort of a time did you have? Turkey? Plum Pudding? Yorkshire Pudding? Beef? If you [underlined] did [/underlined] manage any anything like this, then all I can say is you were very lucky. We didn't do bad mind you, but some of those little luxuries one has come to associate with Christmas were denied us this time. But bearing in mind the fact that we are an Island depending to a large extent on supplies brought from overseas, we did remarkably well – better than Old Nasty ever thought we should. Generally speaking, the Christmas holidays passed off quietly but very pleasantly. We didn't go out singing on Christmas eve; we decided to wait until Christmas morning, and meeting at the Church about 8 a.m. (still very dark) we set out on our rounds, starting at the home of Mr. & Mrs. Farrow. We covered quite a lot of ground during the four and a half hours spent visiting the homes of our many friends, but the financial result amply compensated us for sore throats and tired limbs. As a matter of fact we raised £8. 2. 0, some £2 more than last year. The composition of our party proved a mixture of youth and old age, Mr. Monkman and myself being in the latter category of course. We were something like that advertisement one used to see on the hoardings shewing [sic] the head and tail of a fish, the middle portion having been taken for John West's salmon I believe. Probably 1942 will permit the replacement of the middle section when we sing our carols this year. Let's hope so.

I am pleased to report that things have been pretty quiet here. Moaning Minnie did sound once (probably twice, I just forget) during the fortnight immediately preceding the holiday but nothing very exciting happened. Once again, a vastly different state of affairs as compared with 1940 during the same period. The weather has been exceedingly changeable but not what one might term in any way bad. In fact, Christmas morning was one of the loveliest I remember. When we went and knocked Chris Arnold up about 9 a.m. in order to sing to him and his family (don't tell him what I've said any of you) it was really lovely. And by the time we got to my father's house about 9.30 a.m. (just in time to hear somebody calling up to him "They're here" so that he might make a somewhat sleepy-eyed appearance) it was really warm. We should have included a charge for knocking 'em up too, although on second thoughts, they probably were "knocked up" after listening to us!

And now for the Church News. What a month! Our Climax Day effort exceeded our wildest expectations. I won't keep you in suspense any longer. We raised just over £405 after paying what little expenses there were. Magnificent result wasn't it? I can assure you, it was one continuous thrill as each group Secretary and Treasurer came forward to tell how much they had raised and the methods by which they had raised the money. For those who are interested here are the respective figures: Group 1 £86. 7. 11, Group 2 £72. 10. 9, Group 3 £67. 7. 9, Group 4 £92. 5. 7, S. School (who only started in August to raise £10) £27. 10. 0, Miscellaneous Efforts £40. 13. 7, Total £386. 15. 7. The Tea and Concert brough

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up the total to just over £405. No wonder the concert in the evening went off with such a swing. And that is not the end of the exciting story. A certain gentleman in Leeds, not a Congregationalist – in fact – so far as we know, not associated with any place of worship, was so impressed at the way in which we had set about overcoming the war-time difficulties, and the magnificent result attained, decided he would like to shew [sic] his admiration in a practical way and paid into our Church account at the Bank ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY POUNDS. (I have written it out in full in case you think I have made a mistake). This gentleman wishes to remain absolutely anonymous, and the only way we can make known to him our profound gratitude is by including the news through such agencies as this and hope that it will catch his eye. A really stupendous gift wasn't it? And what do we propose doing with all the money? Well, a good portion of it has gone already. We have paid off every single penny of outstanding debt, and have a nice little sum in hand with which to start the year. How's that for a send-off for the New Year? Probably in more normal times, we should not have paid off the debt so quickly, but we realised that many Churches have had a very rough time and will no doubt be in need of assistance to help them carry on. We thought if we returned the money loaned to us, it would then be available to help our less fortunate friends. Its marvellous how these gifts enable joy to be spread abroad like ripples on the surface of a pool, and one can never tell exactly where the ripples will stop. Just in passing, it's funny how GOOD news causes tears to flow isn't it? And there were a number of people confessed that they had all their work on to stop the tears from flowing. (Please don't tell anybody, but quite a number of men had to resort to coughing, and I had a queer feeling in my throat too!)

The kiddies have had their usual parties; we had to arrange them in three instalments and had a great time. The Intermediates and Seniors had their's on New Year's Eve, and a number stopped to the watch-night service, which was quite well attended. On the way home, several stops were made to 'let the New Year in' and judging by the laughter, the 'letters in' made quite a good job of it.

Mr. Arthur Brining tells me that one or two more of his class of Young Ladies are either joining up or having to go on munitions and such like. This means that I shall have to alter the heading when replying to correspondents shortly. (Don't get jealous Connie!)

Well, I think that's about all for this month. Don't forget to drop a line any time – a post-card will do, just to let us know that you are still alive and kicking. It is always a great pleasure to hear from you.

Cheerio, everybody, keep smiling.

Cheerily yours,

[underlined] PERSONAL (More or Less). [/underlined]
[underlined] Engagement. [/underlined]

I am glad I expressed a certain measure of caution last month when I said (with fingers crossed) that so far as I knew etc . . . . Well, I have now been informed that two of our friends became engaged last month, and I am sure you will wish me to express in your name our heartiest congratulations to

[underlined] KENNETH GILL and VERA LONGDEN. [/underlined]

The congratulations have already been made verbally, but it is only right and proper to record these events 'officially'.

So far as I am aware that concludes the news under this heading for the month – BUT . . . one never knows!

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???? [underlined] QUERY [/underlined] ????

No doubt you will recollect that under this heading last month, I enquired if anybody could supply me with the address of Leslie Day as I had not heard from him for some time. I had just received the desired information, when lo and behold, who should walk into school the following Sunday but our long lost friend. And now I'm going to make somebody jealous . . . Yes, he's out! Leslie has been released in order to take up work at a place not many miles distant. So for another of our boys, it's HOME, SWEET HOME AGAIN.

[underlined] LEAVE CALLS. [/underlined]

Quite a number of the boys have been home during the past few weeks and have paid us a visit. It was a refreshing experience to shake them by the hand and have a short chin-wag, and almost without exception the conversation sooner or later turned upon the jolly times we used to have, and the hope that those days should soon return. We share that hope to the full. Here are the names of our Visitors for December (with apologies for any name that may be inadvertently missed):-



[underlined] T. STOCKS. [/underlined] Right glad to hear from you Tom. It seems quite a long time since I last had a line although of course I hear about you from your Dad. You seem to have hit on a pretty good spot on the whole judging from your letter, with plenty to occupy your spare time, what with Concerts, Cinemas and the like. So you have been on manoeuvres too? Did you get anywhere near here. Some of the boys tell me that they have been quite close to home in the course of these 'trips off' but quite unable to pay even a fleeting visit. It must be pretty maddening to be so near and yet so far. I should like to see some of you with two or three days growth of beard – something like modern Robinson Crusoes I should imagine. I am very sorry that I didn't manage to have a chat with you when you were home recently. Since my illness, I have not been able to attend all the meetings. Your good wishes to all the friends are hereby duly recorded and I am sure we all share your wish that the day will soon come along when we shall all be together again. Have you heard from Norman lately? If so, how is he getting on? Is he involved in any of the Middle East activities? Give him our best wishes if you are in touch with him. I send him the News Sheet of course. Well, all the best Tom!

[underlined] G. DIXON. [/underlined] What cheer George. So you were fortunate enough to get two 'good do's' last year, Christmas and the New Year. Good old Scotland. You sounded a little pessimistic about the prospects this year in the South. I hope things have turned out better than you feared. Anyhow, if your leave comes round early in January, that will be a consolation. I pass on your congratulations to Herbert Eastwood on his marriage, but that pessimistic note still sticks I notice, for you say "Poor Herbert, he's in the river, all right now." (Shades of Sandy Powell). No George, Arthur Ramsey is [underlined] NOT [/underlined] in Scotland when he calls the Army 'home' – as a matter of fact he's in the South! (That's got you hasn't it?) Your sympathy with Ed. Eastwood in the matter of the cook's reputation is passed on and no doubt will strike a sympathetic chord. Many thanks for all your good wishes to friends both at home and away, and I am pleased to say that I am now feeling much better.

[underlined] E. HAIGH. [/underlined] I am glad that the News Sheet reached you safely in spite of your temporary absence from home. So you had no better luck in your new surroundings. You seem most anxious to try your luck having a 'crack' at something. If the long

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promised invasion comes off, you will probably get all the practice you want. You're getting as cynical as our mutual friend 'George' – see his letter above. Joking apart I agree with you that plenty of fellows would gladly change places with you. I can quite understand that you must get thoroughly bored, but cheer up. On behalf of all the boys, and those at the Church, I thank you very sincerely for all your good wishes, and hope that you managed to get home for a few hours leave. Glad to hear from you.

[underlined] H. GOODALL. [/underlined] Glad you continue to find the News Sheet so interesting Herbert. Yes, we're keeping pretty fit just now in spite of the dark mornings and evenings, although I notice from the paper to-night that from to-morrow the black-out may be removed one minute earlier so that the worst is over. I am glad you agree with my decision as to what duties I should still stick at, and look forward to your renewed help Herbert when we get over this trouble. I learned with pleasure that you are now housed in a place of bricks and mortar and share the 'companionship' of a fire. Being under canvas is all very well when circumstances make it necessary. Yes, I think you can count yourself very fortunate to have enjoyed a clean bill of health taking all things into consideration. Both Pa, and Mr. Seager are keeping well. Mr. Seager started the 10th year of his ministry with us yesterday. It doesn't seem all that time since he came does it? I gladly pass on your good wishes to all the boys for the New Year, and to the various friends mentioned in your letter. Thank you Herbert for another long and very interesting letter.

[underlined] W.C. SMITH. [/underlined] What? Another change of address William? You're the giddy limit and no mistake. I really don't know however you'll manage to stay in one place again when peace is restored. I share your hopes that men and women will wake up to the realities of life when the war is over and that they will never forget the lessons taught them. I am glad you were home for 'Climax Day'. What do you think to the latest gift? It's wonderful how our Church has been blessed.
Sorry the leave passed so quickly, and what a journey to your new abode! There is one consolation apparently in the fact that the camp seems a pretty decent place from your first impressions. I much appreciated your booklet greeting which was quite a novelty to me; I have read through it several times and many of our friends have commented on it. Needless to say, it will not go with the other cards when we take them down, but will find a place with my school reference books and be very useful. Many thanks too for your good wishes to Mr. & Mrs. Seager, Dad, and all the boys for 1942. All the best Bill.

[underlined] A. WEATHERILL. [/underlined] Another change of address, Allan. I think I shall have to drop a line to the War Office and tell them how much bother they cause me. One can imagine the effect such a letter would have in that quarter, – I don't think. So you've managed to squeeze in a few days leave. Good for you. You seem to have found bed very comforting. So do I too – at the wrong end of the day! Funny thing how one comes to hate leaving 'em in the morning – at least that is my experience. You would get a surprise to find Arth. Eastwood home didn't you? And Bill Dacre too. You know, I haven't seen him for donkey's years – however long that may be. If I had his address I would gladly send him a copy of the News Sheet. Yes, I remember your cousin Douglas too. You are quite correct, he has a 'brick' in the School. I have written a short history of our Church which will be published some day, and your cousin will find his name duly recorded in it. Where is he now? Further coincidence; you say he has married a girl connected with Burmantofts Congl. Church, and this was the Church we used to attend years ago before coming to Halton. I will gladly get out a list of all the chaps for inclusion in a future News Sheet – probably the next one if I can manage it. So you've heard from Alf Horsman. I have not had a letter from Alf for a while now. Going on O.K. is he? So you want to see him home "if only for the pleasure of seeing him pushing their pram about." You're getting cruel Allan. Anyhow, thanks for a letter full of interest. Write again soon for I enjoyed your letter very much.

[underlined] D. LONGDEN. [/underlined] It's nice to have a line from you Dennis. Yes, the Groups did really fine didn't they? Don't boast about Group 4 too much. They are the most miserly folk you ever met. When we asked them to join us in planning final details for "Climax Day" they said they would only give us "their advice" (which we had not asked for) if we paid them 2d for the help of the "Brains Trust." Scrooge was never in the picture where money grabbing comes in. So your team are in the semi-final.

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Best of luck. Hope by the time this reaches you that you have won the final. Yes by all means, bob in and have a look at us in our Y.P.F. when you get home. You'll enjoy it! I pass on your congratulations to Connie on her engagement and to Herbert, who has now reached the 'final' stage. Also your good wishes to R. Gill and Gladys; D. Lymer; D. Smith and D. Cooling. Yes Dennis (the last of the 4 D's) I well remember the days in the old hut with H. Hill, Ht. Eastwood, E. Connor, R. Wilson, yourself and one or two others I could mention! Good old days were they not? Thanks for all your good wishes Dennis, including your big brother George. He looked fit when home recently.

[underlined] D. SMITH. [/underlined] Now then, brother of the soft voice, how art? Glad to know that you received the parcel O.K. and that the contents thereof will have a 'good home'. I should like to congratulate you on your most original excuse for getting back 6 hrs. late after leave. "Train puncture" indeed! Well, you won't be able to plead a 'cracked wheel' very often to [sic] I hope you escaped punishment on this occasion if only for your ingenuity. And then you plead that you did not come on Sunday night because "something turned up unexpectedly". Anyhow, so long as it wasn't your toes we'll let you off this time. Once more I acknowledge the greetings to all the friends (including Ronnie Gill) for 1942. I have noted your change of address; no, its no nearer home as you remark. Best of luck Dennis.

[underlined] F. BYWATER. [/underlined] This is a bit queer Frank. Here am I in January, 1942, writing to thank you for your letter of the 28th August, acknowledging our News Sheet of February last. And this is described as the 'age of speed.' Nevertheless, I agree with you Frank when you say that we must not complain, bearing in mind the many difficulties involved, and it is a very great pleasure to hear from you once again. I am so glad too that the News Sheet is "just what we want" to quote your description, and that it is shared with the other fellows. Please give them all our very best wishes, especially any from good 'owd Yorkshire tha' knaws. And to turn to your letter again; I think your mother and the other members of your family do really feel at home with us now. I know is [sic] must have been a strange experience after so long a connection with Marshall Street. I was wishing your Mother a happy New Year last Sunday morning and then we had a joke or two between us, as we often do. She really does very well I think. Your letter Frank took me back in imagination to the days spent at Cockburn, and then memories flooded rapidly one upon another. Mr. Champion was due to speak at our Young Peoples Fellowship the other Sunday evening, so I took your letter down with me. He was most interested. I don't envy you Frank in the terrific temperatures you have to endure. Give me the Artic rather than the Equator any time. Your reference to the hospitable people of Leeds made good reading, and if the lads did feel so much at home in our midst after their nerve-racking experiences at Dunkirk, you can assure them from me, that speaking on behalf of my fellow citizens, it was a great joy and privelege [sic] to be able to welcome them into our homes. They were a set of grand lads and we shall remember their short stay with us for many years to come. You will have seen many places of interest during your visit to the East including the Pyramids, Sphinx, Mosques, Bazaars etc, but I should imagine Leeds City Square will take a lot of beating. Joking apart, I can quite understand your delight at the chance given to you to visit Palestine. Well Frank, I shall have to finish now. Please accept my best thanks for a long and extremely interesting letter. Our best wishes to ALL of you.

[underlined] YOUNG PEOPLE'S FELLOWSHIP. [/underlined]

When any of you have an hour to spare some Sunday evening when home on leave, will you drop in and see us? We shall be glad of your company and you will enjoy the evening – of that I am sure. It has also been suggested to me that probably several of you would welcome the chance of giving a short talk to the Young People – especially those of you who used to teach in the School, or are interested in young folk. Surely you will have much to say and much which may be a very real help to them. If you are willing to help in this way when home for a few days (we could never dream of asking you when on 48 hours leave!), will you drop me a line? In the meantime, you can be thinking out what to tell them. Think about it chaps.

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[underlined] JUST A SMILE! [/underlined]

Said the Nazi to a Swiss Official: "How do you come to have an admiral? You have no seaboard."

Replied the Swiss: I see no harm in that. On the other hand, in Germany you have a Minister of Justice."


Officer: Why did you shout kiss me sergeant in front of the other men?

Pte. Smith: Someone said 'e'd seen ‘im at our rum ration . . an' I wanted to find out if 'e 'ad, Sir.


It is rumoured in Rome that Hitler will shortly confer on the Duce a high Italian Decoration.


A young R.A.F. officer stationed somewhere in Egypt, was flying near the Great Pyramid, carrying out exercises in navigation and discovering his geographical position with a sextant. After a series of involved and confused calculations, he turned suddenly to his pilot and said "Take your hat off."

"Why?" asked the pilot.

"Because, according to my calculations, we are now inside St. Paul's Cathedral."




“Halton congregational church Sunday school newsletter - January 1942,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed February 26, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/35562.

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