In my very younger years I can recall of Sunday School trips to Walton on a double decker bus and I attended as a learner. The parish book also relates that the cost of these trips were generally paid for by Charles Leeds who had a butcher shop in town and his wife, a lingerie store. Both these were in Crouch Street, and Mr Leeds’ shop was up near Headgate, whilst Mrs Leeds was a regular at our church and the pair kindly underwrote the travel costs.
After my time as a pupil, a few years on and then later times, for several years I was a teacher. My stay there ended when the Junior Church moved from St Cedd’s to All Saints. Due to conflictions with my roles at church as a sidesman and other outside interest, it was difficult to commit to them all. However I think back a very long time ago and the All Saints Sunday School was then in the Egerton Green Institute, this has now been converted to a small bungalow which is on the mini roundabout on the Gosbeck Road/Shrub End Road junction and is pictured above.
For several years the Junior Church and the Adventurers Club linked up after the Good Friday stations of the cross about 11am for a three hour workshop. This involved us making religious related items like crosses, Easter cards, the Easter Garden, decorating Easter eggs.
Looking back to the far past, the church booklet also revealed that in the mid 1950’s whilst the Reverend Richard was here, there were about 300 in the Sunday School, and the overflow saw some using the Egerton Green Institute. This is the building, which is a bungalow, right on the corner of the junction of Shrub End Road and Gosbeck Roads. Both my brother and I remember very well using that building for the cubs too, however once St Cedd’s was opened in 1955, this helped with the problem.
I was once a teacher, but it was whilst my brother was a teacher that a very funny incident occurred, mum and dad were away on holiday, and I was doing a roast dinner, my brother came home and said he needed to go out in a hurry. The dinner was generally cooked, but the Yorkshire pudding was not, which in those days was handmade, and was still not done, but he needed a quick dinner, so we took it out as it was, and it was rather runny as I put it on the plate, it then set fair on the plate, but we both ate it, and it tasted all right. Those must have been my early efforts of Sunday Roast cooking, a deed I took up again, with good effect, when mum was ill, and I banned her from cooking, due to her health problems.
It was also in the newly built St Cedd’s that the Christmas parties were held and I can recall for a while that the local magician came there when he was very young and learning his trade, and he did a good ten years attending our parties and it was good to see how his career progressed since then.
As part of the Junior Church calendar, there was for a while, the annual Playweek. For a good few years, a week in the Summer Holidays was set aside and it was a mixture of prayers, songs and craft. Generally there had been a theme which had included – the Mountain of Prayer, Johnny and the Dreadful Giants, Six Weird Witches, God’s Creatures, Kingdom Kids on Safari, Kingdom Kids in Space and Kingdom Kids at Sea.
Whilst I helped out with a class, I had some very familiar faces there. At one point I made a small board game, a simple dice and counter one, where you moved down a religious course and this was called “The Game of Life”.
From my neighbour’s memory, when the Sunday School started, a little time later, a young disabled helped out and then took over whilst the Reverend Brian was the curate here, who gave her good advice.