Children's memories of the church

Ann Male’s (Hailey)memories of going to church include one of: Mrs Farrah, who lived in Badgers Lane, wore a fox skin around her neck with head and dangling feet on it. She also had fur covered shoes and a matching hat. When I saw her going up to her front pew (the one with cushons on) if it was raining her fur covered shoes looked like two wet rats shuffling along. 

 

In the 1950s and 60s the children would collect primroses from the field and woods around Brook and, using lengths of wool they would make small bunches for decorating the church on Easter Sunday. Avice remembers the reward for helping: All the children would receive a shilling and one of Mrs Morris’ brandy snaps from Hanover Stores. The church was always wonderfully decorated, the font by Bunty Minchin and the altar by the older members of the village, Mrs Joe Morris, Mrs Daisy Newbery and Mrs Ella Hookey. 

Robin Shepheard was in the choir and rang the bells for a number of years: All my (Newbery) ancestors on my mother’s side of the family are buried here. It always seemed that the wind blew at the church and if the rain was from the south west – watch out! Burials in the wet weather were grim affairs. There was very much an order of seating in the church, seats were not reserved, but sitting in a pew of another family was frowned upon.  In the early days the front pew was reserved for the Seely family, the only pew to have cushions and kneelers. 

Erica Newbery was organist at Brook Church, when the children of Margaret Stone, the regular organist, were young. Her sister Myrtle, remembers: We had quite a good choir: there was myself, my sister Rosemary, Robin Shepheard, David Hookey, Gladys Morris and  Joe Morris. I remember one Harvest Festival and in the sermon hearing a loud munch from an apple – was David Hookey guilty?