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Chipperfield Within Living Memory

2nd of October 2002

Looking Back to 1909
Copies of St Pauls Church magazines have been deposited over many years with the County Records Office at Hertford. My son Andrew recently referred to a batch from 1909-14, which Lieut-Colonel “Bob” Morkill sent there when he was churchwarden. They make interesting reading and the following notes about 1909 are based on Andrews researches. For example, the magazine cost one penny and baptisms were conducted at 3 p.m. on the first Sunday in each month. Generally the times of services were not that different from those of today.

In January 1909, people were pretty confident that building work would have commenced on the new Church Institute (now the Village Hall) by the time that next months magazine was in circulation. Funds were being raised to cover the cost of the new building and details of amounts being given by subscribers were published on the back page. Mrs. Blackwell of the Manor House gave £100 and several people donated £10, but the majority of contributions did not reach double figures. A rummage sale raised £13 and a concert £5. A couple of months later, the magazine was saying that people had been deterred from donating because they couldnt match the sums that had already been given. It was stressed that donations of any size would be welcomed. Mrs. Machin, the vicars wife, was able to announce that a “Maternity Club” had been formed through the kindness of various friends. The benefits would be available to working-men of the parish and their families. By paying a small weekly subscription for six months beforehand, members would have free use of the maternity bag at the time required, a pint of milk daily for the first fortnight after the birth and a bonus of 2s 6d would be added to the money saved weekly. In addition, all offerings presented to the Church, at the ceremony of Churching women after the birth of a child, would in future be given to the funds of this club.
In February it was reported that 140 children had enjoyed a Christmas tea party with a good supply of crackers, and that every child received one more cracker and an orange, when Mrs. Blackwell presided over the Christmas tree. There had also been a social gathering in the schoolroom on New Years Day, for 120 people. It was a very informal evening enlivened by dancing, interspersed with songs and recitations.

The March edition reported that Mr. Hudson, the headmaster, had suffered a breakdown in his health. (He lived in the School House, which was the left hand section of The Two Brewers) In April George William Bunyan was baptized. (In later years he ran the shop at the right side of The Two Brewers and at the end of Queen Street) The progress of the building of the Church Institute was being watched with interest. In June1909, the Church Accounts included: Income from pew rents ——— £35. 10. 6.
Expense of organ blower ——— £2. 10. 0. …………..coal and coke ——— £8. 18. 0. New Bell and Turret: Bell and hanging same ——— £20. 10. 0.

Building Turret (E. Waterhouse) ——— £27. 5. 6. Architects fees ——— £5. 5. 0. Lightning Conductor ——— £6. 2. 6.

(The new bell which was twice the weight of the old bell and carried sound further, had necessitated structural alterations) By July, the large room, of the Church Institute, was almost finished. Insufficient funds had been raised at this stage, to build the planned smaller room.
Unfortunately, there wasnt a copy of the August 1909 magazine on file and so the opening of the hall passed by without mention, at this stage. In September, the committee met in the hall for the first time.

October brought Chipperfield Working Mens Club back into the news. There was talk of re-forming the club on a more extensive level.(See Chipperfield News, March 2002, for details about formation of club in 1901). Mr. Allen (presumably of Commonwood) donated a full sized billiard table, complete with accessories and lights, to the Institute. In the same month, the Harvest Festival was postponed until 14 October, due to a late harvest.

As a final highlight, it was noted that in November, the Working Mens Club became Chipperfield Village Club. Mary Nobbs

This page is edited by Tony

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