Halton congregational church Sunday school newsletter - February 1943



Halton congregational church Sunday school newsletter - February 1943


Covers local news and also covers news from primary department, short notices, leave calls, letter from lads and lasses including one from K Gill, cartoons, and more replies to letters.




Temporal Coverage





Five page typewritten document


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

My Dear Friend,

I'm afraid we are a little late this month, but trust we may be forgiven in view of all the work falling upon one person's shoulders these days. We haven't missed a month yet, and have no intention of so doing.

The year has opened in a very mild manner compared with recent years. Oh yes I know that some of you have been experiencing gales of a type almost unknown to this generation, but I am speaking generally. I have had my cycle out several Saturday afternoons, and thoroughly enjoyed the outings. Last Saturday for instance, I journeyed along to Garforth cliff and then turned down to Ledston. From there to Ledsham, a lovely little village just sufficiently far off the main road to escape all the traffic and leave it comparatively unspoiled. From there to Sherburn with it's lovely old Church dominating the whole surrounding district, and on to Saxton and Towton. Returning via Lead, we kept a sharp look out for evidence of a recent visit from foreign gentlemen who arrived uninvited during the night and left a few 'visiting cards.' We were given to understand that several windows of the old Church had been destroyed. Assuming this to be true, repairs must have been quickly put in hand, for we could discover no sign of the visitors. Strange isn't it that this old battlefield with its memories of the wars of the Roses should receive a visit from the enemy in this present war. Passing through Lead and Aberford, we arrived home round about 5-30 p.m. ready for a good tea. During the whole afternoon, I doubt very much whether we met half-a-dozen motor vehicles of any kind. I assure you, cycling is a delightful experience these days.

The countryside is looking very nice and fresh. I always keep a sharp look-out for the first sign of buds on the hawthorn, and these I discovered on the 15th February, which seemed to me a little earlier than usual. Snowdrops and crocus are profuse just now and making a wonderful show. It is really lovely to see nature reawakening. Those of you who received the letters 12 months ago will probably recall the difficulty I had on that occasion when trying to describe the scene in Temple Newsam about that time. All the bother centred round the plural of the word crocus. Was it croci or Crocusses, and again, might it not be just 'crocus.' What a 'to-do' it caused. Opinion in our office was about equally divided and tempers got hot as the champions of one side or another waxed eloquent on the subject. Finally, we rang up the Reference Library and were asked to 'hold the line' for a minute or so. After 10 minutes they confessed that they could not supply the answer! Anyhow, using a 'flanking attack' I have got over the trouble very well this year. Marvellous how good we are at going round problems when in trouble is it not?

Leeds is very quiet. There doesn't seem to be anything of importance to report. Needless to say, Leeds United continue their losing way. They have acquired about 5 points so far in this season's games. We can't even win in war-time. Leeds Rugby Club are doing fairly well. I tried to get hold of the tables to include but they are not publishing them quite so often these days. In connection with the Red Army celebrations, I noticed the Red Flag with the sickle and hammer floating from the flag staff of the Town Hall the other day. Shades of memories of a few years ago, especially at election times! Things have switched round with a vengeance and no mistake. What with Days of Prayer for this 'Godless country' (for so it was described a year or two ago) plus the eloquent tributes to the magnificent Red Army by politicians who a few years ago would have dropped dead at the thought of anybody saying the things which they themselves are saying to-day! It is really most amusing! On the fuel front, the vandals are still busy pulling up Temple Newsam in their search for surface coal, mostly in the field just below the lawn pond, and from the Golf Courses. What a mess they are making of the landscape.

Glad to report that everything at the Church seems to be going well. Mr. Brining has settled down to the job of Genl. Supt. of the School, whilst your humble servant continues to find his time fully occupied with the youth side of the


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work. We have had some fine talks at the Youth Fellowship, and in addition have recently formed a discussion group. Here such topics as "Post War Education" "The Beveridge Report" and such like problems are discussed very thoroughly. There is a tremendous lot to be done in the years ahead, and it is just as well that youth should keep itself informed. Next Sunday, the speaker is to give a talk on the Quaker Faith whilst the following Wednesday, pa is to tell of his visit to the U.S.A.

Well now, I don't think there is anything else to record, except that Mr. Seager appears to be much better. I thought that "Dr. Sunshine" would work the trick. We keep losing our older boys into one or other branches of the forces. It only seems like yesterday since they were coming up out of the Primary Department. I often wonder what we seem like to them! Give our very best wishes to all your chums. Keep smiling everybody.

Cheerily yours,


[underlined] A STORY FROM OUR PRIMARY DEPARTMENT. [/underlined]
The staff of the Primary Department were very amused the other Sunday. The Supt. had been talking about Jacob's dream, with which you will be familiar. One of the youngsters held up her hand. "Please Miss, my mother was dreaming last night." "Was she love?" "Yes, she dreamt that salmon had come off points."

[underlined] BREVITIES. [/underlined]
The latest recruit from our School is Kenneth Longden, and we wish him many happy voyages in the Royal Navy. Three from one home, is quite enough.

Several of you speak of the good times you had as kids in concerts and so on. Our next effort is a pantomime given for the Church Anniversary.

One of our old scholars married recently – MILDRED WOOD – and we offer our very best wishes for her future happiness, not forgetting 'the victim' of course.

Have just had a letter returned undelivered from Albt. Branfoot. If this should catch Alf. Horsman's eye and he can supply the [underlined] new address [/underlined], I shall be grateful.

In spite of the war, our Church finances are in a healthy condition. This year we have found it possible to establish a reserve fund to meet the heavy costs which are bound to arise immediately after the war for repairs, painting, etc. We also recorded our appreciation of the services of our Pastor with a further gift of £50.

The Red Cross Penny a week fund for the District is organised by our Church. The collections to date exceed £700 – a most remarkable achievement. We have also raised £80 towards the £300 promised during the next three years towards the Reconstruction Fund of the Congregational Churches. Lastly, we have collected a record amount for the London Missionary Socy. during the past twelve months.

We have had letters from 41 of the boys and girls during the past six weeks. Good!

[underlined] PERSONAL (More or Less) [/underlined]
We have reason to believe that we are shortly to witness the marriage of one of our "Little Gals." Might be able to tell you more next month. Till then, – patience.

[underlined] LEAVE CALLS. [/underlined]
Glad to welcome home for a few hours the following friends:-

[underlined] MISSING. [/underlined]
The twins – Muriel and Gladys. What's happened to them this month?

[underlined] LETTERS FROM THE LADS AND LASSIES. [/underlined]
[underlined] K. Gill (Norfolk) [/underlined]. You're right! Losing my right hand helper has added to the work. By the sound of things, you'll be more at home above the earth than on it Ken. There will be plenty of yarns to swap when all the boys and girls get home. So brother Ron is in Egypt? Wishes to be remembered to all the gang? Good. Yes, it's a pity you can't both be together. Quite true about Mildred as you will see elsewhere. Yes, Ken has gone into the Navy. There's only we old crocks left now to hold the fort. Cheerio.


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[inserted over text] four cartoons
A selection of Richardson’s popular sketches reproduced from “The Yorkshire Evening Post.” [/inserted over text]

[underlying page included later]

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[underlined] W.C. SMITH (Lancs). [/underlined] Crikey Bill, another new address! You're the blooming limit. Anyhow, you looked very fit when home recently. Does one good to hear of your experiences as far as the Churches are concerned. They seem to be helping very well from what I can make out. I very much appreciate all that you and your pals are doing, to help the younger end. Am sure Mr. Brining will value your good wishes to him in his new post. Best of good wishes to everyone. You quite understand brevity of replies? Dont cut your letter.

[underlined] N. KENDALL (P.A.I. Force). [/underlined] Delighted to have a line from your Norman. You've received every News Sheet? Well that's topping especially bearing in mind all the hazards of the journey. Keep gleaning items of News from your good people and they keep asking me. Cold weather? Isn't it strange when one always thinks of your part of the globe as resembling an oven. My word Norman you'll have to cut down your cig consumption when you get back here. They're not 5d for 10 in these parts mister. Understand Tom is a bit nearer you?

[underlined] F. BYWATER (M.E.F.) [/underlined] Inundated with letters Frank? Well, I'll bet you'd sooner have it that way than none at all! Your diary will be a most interesting document for post war days. Plead guilty to going Carol singing. Your carol singing was unique. Fancy holding carol services at the base of the pyramids and the sphinx? Did the old chap look offended? I'm glad indeed to learn that the Congl. Fellowship is again functioning. Heartily agree on the magnificent courage shown by the boys preparing for the Dieppe exploit. Courage of a very high order that. Give our very best wishes to ALL Frank.

[underlined] H. ARNOLD (Yorkshire). [/underlined] Oh what a surprise! I like your letters Harold and enjoy reading them. Guess the Major wasn't pleased about your intended move. You managed to wangle a day's leave out of the episode. You're the giddy limit. What have you done with your gun? So you don't think 'Old Joe's' boys are kept busy with the everlasting blanco. "Too busy pushing Jerry into the muck". I guess you're right. So the boys say "Bomb Rome to. . . . . . ." I can understand their sentiments especially as so many of them have lost folk near and dear to them. I've to tell Mr. Seager to 'pull his socks up'. Done it.

[underlined] W. McANDREW (M.E.F.) [/underlined] What a pleasure to hear from you again Bill. One of the copies gone astray? Sorry. Reading between the lines, you seem to have been busy in your part of the globe. I thought you were going to wallop then straight out of Africa, but it doesn't look quite so easy as all that. Have you come across any of the old boys? A. Eastwood is hoping to be coming home soon. The lads are all over the place now. I pass on your good wishes William.

[underlined] A. HARTLEY (India) [/underlined] So you've arrived in India – our fourth representative there. Bob Scott, D. Cooling and T. Foster are the others. I only wish I knew whether you were anywhere near one another. So the sea voyage didn't trouble you? Well now, think what that trip would have cost you before the war! It doesn't seem long since you bobbed in to see us last Xmas does it? Well now, look sharp and finish the job off and we'll have a grand 'do' waiting for you. Cheerio.

[underlined] C. ATKINSON (Home Forces) [/underlined] You think you could never do this job of writing this letter. Well you know, my trouble is trying to keep things cut down and especially just now with the added worry of the paper shortage. Your brother is getting a most regular correspondent isn't he? He is most appreciative too. Been home for a while I see. The country is looking fine isn't it? Hope you've got rid of the cold. Delighted to have a line from you.

[underlined] D. COOLING (India) [/underlined] Grand to have a line from you Douglas. You've heard from Arthur? He has left England now and I'm wondering whether you have heard from his new abode or the old one? No, he doesn't like the Army life. He's more of a 'home bird'. He had a pretty good toughening up course before he left. Made us laugh all right talking of his experiences. So you're quite fit and well. Most of your old college chums are now abroad. Cherrio Douglas.

[underlined] C. BEVERIDGE (Wales) [/underlined] You are the giddy limit Cecil. How many times per month do you change your address? Whats this? "Tell G. Longden that this is the first place we've been in huts for 18 months and we are looking forward to getting back in tents as soon as possible". You must be a lot of tough guys that's all. Sorry to hear you have been in hospital. I hope there is no suggestion of pneumonia arising from the previous paragraph? "Might as well be in Timbuctoo as in this Welsh town." Can well believe it. Welsh is supposed to be the only language the Devil can't understand. Terrible isn't it. I'll tell Pa what you think of it.

[underlined] W. MORRIS (M.E.F.) [/underlined] The papers you sent me have not yet arrived but I am looking forward to receiving them with a good deal of pleasant anticipation. I've heard about those wonderful rations of water that have to be used for shaving, washing, teeth cleaning etc., and then finally for making tea. They also tell me (I know I'm very green) that the tea is really fine! The menu doesn't seem to vary very much – bully and biscuits still the same old stand bys I notice. You'll see I've heard from your brother. Best of good wishes.

[underlined] E. EASTWOOD (Somewhere). [/underlined] Started off very well Eddie with a posh flat in town for your first billets abroad. Jerry must have been afraid of you to send over all his pals to give you such a grand welcome. "Gone back to boy scouting now". Fancy there being plenty of mud about. About the last thing on earth I should have imagined. "Oranges


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and eggs are both plentiful". Is that so? Well what about it, big boy. Can't you send any along? How do the cattle manage to eat the spiked cactus of which you speak? I say Eddie, I could manage the sort of cooking which you describe – "warming up the tinned food". Glad you like the cruise.

[underlined] E. HAIGH (Isle of Wight) [/underlined] Enjoying your holiday Edward? I understand I visited the I. of W. when I was a baby in arms but don't remember a thing about it. I've often wanted to go since and never got there. Now you find yourself there with everything provided free of charge and paid for it in the bargain. (Don't say it, Edward). Aye, you've had some terrific gales there according to the wireless. My brother is stationed in the extreme North of Scotland and he tells me that gales are a daily occurrence up there. I've had a letter from your good lady.

[underlined] H. GOODHALL (Northumberland) [/underlined] By the time this reaches you no doubt you'll have been home for a few days and I shall have had the chance of a chat, I hope. I value very much your expression of appreciation of any little help I might have given you as Supt. of the School. Things have certainly quietened down in your line of defence, and very welcome it must be. Glad you didn't see the match between Leeds United & Newcastle with a score of 9-0 against poor old Leeds. We can't get cracking even with a war on. Still they didn't do so bad the following week did they to turn the tables, 7-1 or thereabouts? Thanks for good wishes.
{underlined] A. HORSMAN (Suffolk) [/underlined] You're right. The motto is, the News Sheet MUST get through. Not very many missings either Alf, I'm glad to say. No, it wouldn't do to chop anybody out for not replying. There's no telling of the difficulties they might be up against. I didn't know that Tommy Palfreyman was also on the high seas. If I had his address I'd gladly include him on my list. You'll soon be a linguist Alf. At present a mixture of your native Yorkshire, spiced with a little Scotch (acquired from your first pal) seasoned with a good share of Canadian, and now the Suffolk dialect, plus American influence. Gosh, it's more like a Yorks. Hot Pot. Rather funny the Whitehall Printeries should send out a similar letter.

[underlined] S. W. WOOD (Essex) [/underlined] Glad to know the Xmas mail reached you O.K. even if it was somewhat delayed. Been on a course? Many of the lads report having been kept exceedingly busy these past few months. You will notice how many of the boys have left us recently. One or two of them left these shores some weeks ago and we have not yet received any line from them. I share your wishes that we shall soon be having more peaceful times. And we need them!

[underlined] T. FOSTER (India) [/underlined] Got quite a thrill when I saw your name on the outside of the envelope, Tom. You've no idea how pleasing it is to hear from the old boys. You've met quite a number of Halton boys and Whitkirk. Any that we know? Don't think I could stick those terrific temperatures of which you speak. Yes, it must be curious to see women doing men's work and the men making frocks. If it was us we should be leaving a few pins in! "Please pass on my best wishes to all the boys". Well, there you are Tom, and now, another letter please.

[[underlined] K. LONGDEN (Lincs.) [/underlined] Seems funny to see your name here Kenneth. You've soon got into print haven't you. They tell me you look grand in the uniform of the Kings Navy. I don't doubt but what you'd sooner be in civvy clothing all the same. Given Clifford your message. Nobody seems to have heard from Arthur Markinson since he left England. We have an address to write to but that's about all. I will pass on your messages to all those mentioned in your letter. Shall look forward to seeing you in the near future. Keep smiling.

[underlined] AND NOW FOR THE LITTLE GALS. [/underlined]
[underlined] DOROTHY MITCHELL (Norfolk) [/underlined] Had a dose of the flu' eh? Not very pleasant is it? It makes you feel 'washed out' for such a long time after it too. I'm glad to know that you've stopped crooning and returned to straight singing. I heartily dislike the former stuff – they always sound in such terrible pain to me. You'll have to give us a turn some time when home on leave. The Concert Party is still going strong apparently. So sorry to hear about your friend's long stay in hospital and hope that he is now fully recovered. It's a bit stiff when rank is reduced simply because of illness isn't it. All the best.

[underlined] MARJORIE HAIGH (Yorkshire) [/underlined]. Glad to hear that the weather has picked up so wonderfully well in your parts for you've had a worse spell than we during the winter months. It sounds good to hear you mention the gardens full of snowdrops. You'll see I've had a letter from Edward. Yours was the later date. I thought it would be nice down there but he tells me they've been just about blown into the channel with those terrific winds. Glad to hear from you.

[underlined] DOREEN SMITHERS (Wales) [/underlined] Ever so sorry Doreen to hear of your accident. Whatever were you doing to have an accident of this kind? No wonder you cannot cope with correspondence. Extremely good of you to attempt the job at all. So George and you didn't manage to get your leaves together after all. How disappointing. Haven't heard from George this month. Well now, if you do manage to get a week or two sick leave in the near future please bob in and have a word with us won't you? In the meantime, here's wishing you a speedy recovery.

An M.P. has reminded a meeting of schoolboys that everyone must start at the bottom of the ladder. Divers excepted of course!






R Thomas, “Halton congregational church Sunday school newsletter - February 1943,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed March 2, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/35791.

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