Parish Rooms History

The Story of the Parish Rooms 1907 – 2007Parish Rooms

The Parish Rooms were built in 1907 and an exhibition was held on the weekend of the 24th/25th November 2007 to celebrate the event. The factual information was gathered mainly from articles inn the Parish News from 1907 onwards and augmented by memories from current parishioners and others who have used the rooms over the years.

September 1907
 

The Parish Room and Rifle Range.

The building of the Parish Room is going on apace, and the outside will probably be nearly completed by the time our readers get this number of their magazine. It is hoped that it will be opened before the end of the month, but the arrangements cannot be announced at present.   The room will be 32 feet long by 25 feet wide, and is calculated to hold 170 persons; it will be divided into two parts by a moveable partition, so that it will be convenient for both large and small gatherings.

At the back of the Room, and connected with it by doors, will be the Rifle Range, 90 feet long 10 feet wide; this will be fitted up in accordance with the rules and regulations of the National Miniature Rifle Association to which it is intended that our Rifle Club shall be affiliated; so that the members will have all the advantages of the Association, be able to Shoot for the Queen’s Prizes, &c. All further particulars will be announced shortly.

The Building Committee would be glad if the few donations still outstanding were paid to the Vicar at the donors’ early convenience; and the Vicar will also be glad to receive any further subscriptions, as the amount already raised is barely sufficient to pay for the building, and there will be furniture and other things required, and also a piano will be much wanted. It is proposed to hold a Rummage Sale in the New Rooms some time next month, and the Vicar hopes that every one will keep this in mind, and make a collection of articles of clothing and other things for disposal, as the profits will go towards providing the necessary furniture.

October 1907

The Room and Range are now nearly finished and will be ready in the early part of the month. The arrangements fur the opening are not yet completed, but it is hoped to be able to announce them very soon.

THE   RUMMAGE   SALE.

A  Rummage  Sale  will  be held  in the   Parish Room,  on Monday,   October 7th, the proceeds of which will it is hoped be sufficient to provide what furniture is required for the rooms. Will everyone therefore, kindly look through their possessions, and send what can be spared for this useful pur­pose. Parcels may be sent to the Vicarage, or if word is sent to the Vicarage, they will gladly be collected any day after October 1st.

December 1907

Opening of the Rifle Range.     

With the opening of the Rifle Range on November 20th,   we may now congratulate ourselves on the satisfactory completion of the Parish Rooms and Rifle Range project. Colonel Waterhouse who commands the Regiment to which our local Volunteers are attached, kindly came over from Penn to open the Range and fire the first shot; he gave us a capital address.

After praising us for setting a good example to other villages, he emphasized the importance of the fact that as we cannot in England have a large highly trained army, it is necessary that every man should know how to handle a rifle and shoot straight. His speech was followed by an appeal from Captain H. Taylor that more of the young men of Codsall would join the Tettenhall Company, an appeal which we hope will meet with a good response.  Mr. Gaskell and Mr Sam Loveridge then proposed and seconded a vote of thanks to Colonel Waterhouse, which was carried by acclamation.

Having  responded, the Colonel unlocked the door of  the Range, the large audience arranging themselves to see the eventful shot  fired; it was not a bull, but a good shot under the unusual conditions,  Captain Yates after­wards  scored  the first “bull,” and the  audience dispersed after singing “God save the King.”

Parish Rooms fund.

We have ranch pleasure in publishing the following summary of the Balance Sheet:-

      £      s      d
To Building Expenses 251      1      0
Lease, &c.—Messrs. Colebourn     5      5      0
Copyhold Fees—Mr. Langley     3      2      6
Stoves, Lamps, &c.     4    13      4
50 Chairs     6      0    11
Railings, &c.   …     2      9      0
Sundries     2      2      6
  274    14      3
By Subscriptions 235      9      0
Concert   12      2      0
Rummage Sale   24      0      4
By Balance due     3      2    11
  274    14      3

Audited and found correct, Nov. 21st, 1907, Frank Gaskell, Auditor.

 Every one has responded most liberally to the appeal and we have also to thank Mr. Neve for defraying law expenses on our side, Mr. Gaskell for fitting the Range, and Mr. Price for some wire netting, addition to their subscriptions; and General Wrotesley kindly gave us some very comfortable smoking chairs.

Thus we begin with a debt of only £3, and the important thing we now want is a piano; one is of needed and it is expensive to hire.    (N.B. The first offer gladly accepted!)

(Cost of piano hire in 1907 was 17/-.)

 

April 1909

The Vicar wishes to make the following statement with regard to these rooms.   They have now been open for 18 months, and the list of purposes for which they have been used seems fully to prove their great usefulness; The Men’s Institute and Rifle Club; Men’s Bible Class; The Mothers’ Meeting; The Girls’ Friendly Society ; Cooking, Laundry and Dress Making Classes, under the County Council; The Territorial Army; The Gardening Society; The Cricket Club, and the Football Club.  The total expenses for Ground Rent, Rates, Caretaker, Fire, Lighting, Cleaning and Insurances, &c, have amounted to £38. 12s. 5d.; towards this the Institute and Rifle Club pay £20, and £3. 12s. 6d. has been received from the County Council; for all those other purposes for which the rooms have been used they have been granted  entirely free of charge, and the Vicar would like if possible to continue this plan.

The accounts show that if this is to be done an income of about £10 a year will be wanted; and as most of the parishioners are more or less interested in one or more of the objects for which the Rooms are used, the Vicar feels confident that he ay recon on sufficient support.  On the present occasion he thinks that a Rummage Sale would be the best way of providing the necessary funds; and as good housekeepers are at this time of year doing some “spring cleaning”, he would ask them carefully to save up any articles either of dress or belongings to their houses for which they are finding no further use, so that in the course of three of four weeks there may be an attractive and lucrative sale.

January 1908 Parish Rooms used for:- Men’s Bible Class, Girls Friendly Society November 1913 Need £30-£35
June 1910 Debts of Parish Rooms of £15 December 1913 Raised £21/18/10
July 1910 Rummage Sale raises £20/5/3.  Vicar say “better do this annually rather than charge church groups”. February 1915 Raised £15/1/3
December 1912 Only Men’s Institue and Staffordshire Education Committee pay.  Need £19 (£5 to connect gas.) April 1916 Raised £28/1/2
January 1913 Raised £19/4/6 May 1917 Raised £29/5/1

 

 June 1918

From our successful Rummage Sale, £21/1/1 has been allocated to our Parish Rooms which has wiped out the deficiency, and has left a balance in hand of £13/2/1.

It should be noted that in the same issue on 3rd June Mrs S Loveridge received notification that her husband was a prisoner of war.  see:- December.   1907 Opening of the Rifle Range.     

 

 July 1918

We publish the accounts from Easter, 1917 to Easter.  One room and Rifle range is still let to the Codsall Institute.   Though now then are very few of the members left in Codsall, we hope to keep things going so we may be ready for our soldiers and sailors when they return.

The rooms  are let one day a week to the County Education Committee for Cookery Classes in connection with the Schools; and the Red Cross Society pay a small sum for fire and lights for their meetings; but otherwise the use of the rooms  has been granted free of all expense for a great number of Parish Meetings of all kinds;  and they have been especially useful as a place where for several months the school children have hot dinners at a small charge.

July 1921

The Church Council decided some time ago to purchase the land upon which the parish room is built. It was absolutely necessary to do this if our parish room was to exist. The Council are liable for about £150, towards which they have received from kind friends about £60. We appeal for further assistance, so that the room can start free from debt. Mr B. Bradley will gladly receive subscriptions. Please help us.

The following donations have been received:

    £   s.  d.
Mr. R. M. Shelton 10   0   0
Rev. C. Chinner   5   5   0
Mr. S. Loveridge   5   5   0
Mr. and Mrs, F. Gaskell   5   0   0
Mr. and Mrs. LI. Twentyman   3   3   0
Major Trench   3   3   0
Mrs. W. Loveridge   3   3   0
Mrs. Warner   3   3   0
Mr. W. M. Iliflf   3   3   0
Major J. Wilkins   2   2   0
Mr. P. S. Winstanley   2   2   0
Messrs. A. Jones & A. C. Harper   2   2   0
Mr. F.-Q. Copper   2   2   0
Mr. T. H. Wilkes   2   2   0
Mr. T. J. York   2   0   0
Major Lovatt   1   1   0
Mr. and Miss Rubery   1   1   0
Mr. J. Hough   1   1   0
Mr. R. H. Bailey   1   1   0
Mr. E. O. Davis   0  10  6
Mrs. Johnson   0  10  6
Mr. T. Harris   0  10  6
Women’s Co-operative Guild   0  10  6

 

August 1921

The following additional subscriptions have been received towards the purchase of the land on which the Parish Room is built.  We earn­estly ask others to help us: we still require fur­ther help:

    £   s.  d.
Major Thompson, D.S.O   5   5   0
Major and Mrs. Carr   3   3   0
Dr. Ashley-Smith   2   2   0
Rev. C.G. Barr   1   1   0
Mrs. Edgar Harley   5   5   0

 

February 1922

The Entertainments on Feb. 29th, were in every way successful. The performers at the Concerts were Mrs. Anderson-} Mrs Fowke, the Misses Bailey, Fowke, Loveridge, Pinson, Thorne, and Messrs. Lewis and S. Loveridge; and those who acted in Miss D. Rowland’s play were the Misses M, Barr, Man by (who at a, moments: notice-kindly took Miss Anderson’s part), Pinson, D. Rowland and Mr. Bradburn.  All of these, and also Mrs. Hazeldine (who assisted greatly in arranging the Concert), deserve our best thanks ; the financial result is— Receipts £10/12/0, Expenses £1, leaving £9/12/0 to be divided between the, Church Organ Fund and the debt on the Piano, Towards the latter debt we have also received from Mrs Bailey £1, Mrs. Fisher 10/-, Mrs. Gaskell £1/1/0, Mrs. G1over 2/6 , Mrs.-W. Loveridge £1/10/0, Mrs. W. Walker 10/-.

The Men’s Bible Class.

This Class is held on Sunday afternoons at 2-45, by Mr. Seddon. We are very glad to say the number of members is increasing.

The Rifle Club.

The Institute Rifle Club are to be congratulated on winning their first match (of the year). The occasion was the first round in the competition for the County Challenge Shield. Shooting against the 1st and 3rd Volunteer Battalions South Staffs. Regiment, they won by the handsome amount of 25 points; the scores were Codsall 491, 3rd Y. B. Wolverhampton) 466, 1st V. B. (West Bromwich) 414. The winning team were—

H. Boyes 65
W. Falkuer 65
 Rev. C. G. Barr 64
E. J. Sadler 63
C. Jones 62
W. Bird 60
E. H. Lewis 56
B. H. Yates 56

We hope they will do as well as this in the final competition.    Messrs E. J. Sadler, H. P Jones and W. Falkner have won the spoons in the Monthly Handicap competitions; and H. Boyes the one for the best score in the above match.

May 1922

In addition to the donations appearing in the July and August Magazines, the following donations have been received towards the purchase of the land upon which the Parish Room is built, There is still a small amount due to clear the cost of purchase, enfranchisement, legal costs, etc., and if other parishioners intend helping will they kindly forward their contributions to the- Church Council Treasurer, Mr. B. G. Bradley, as early as possible.

    £   s.  d.
Mrs. E. H. Lewis   2    2   0
Mrs. Lees (Codsall Wood)   1    1   0
Mr. and Mrs. Pryce   2    2   0
Col. T. E. Lowe   0   10  6
Mr. D. H. Etehells   1    1   0
Mr. W. H. Webb   0   10  6
Mr. S. Cartmel Wright   0   10  6
Mr. and Mrs. E. S. G. Rees   2    2   0
.Mr. W. H. Petters   2    2   0
Mr. H. S. Wearing   1    1   0
Mr. F. W. Close   0   10  6
Mr. R. N. Wilkes   0   10  0
Mr. A. S, Lealan   0   10  6
Mr. L. Feibusch   0   10  6
Mr. S. Lloyd   0   10  0
Mrs. Frost   0   10  6
Mr. B. G. Bradley   5    0   0
Contribution from last Rum­mage Sale 25    0   0

 

November 1922

Doubtless most remember that last year a Parochial Committee was formed to extend, renovate and re-roof the Parish Room. That has been done most successfully, greatly owing to the energy of Mrs. Shelton and the members of the Women’s Institute in raising funds. The debt has been paid, with the exception of about £60. To defray that, a Sale of Work is to be held in the Parish Room on Thursday, November 17th, at 3 o’clock. In connection with the Sale; there will be an Exhibition of work done by mem­bers of the Women’s Institute, and the stalls will contain china, sweets, cakes, hardware, plants, produce, as well as fancy goods.

Now that our Room is so comfortable and well-equipped, it is paying its way for the first time since it was built, and with the help of the caretaker, Mrs. W. Jones, it supplies a long-felt want.

Admission will be 6d. (after five, 3d.) and an excellent tea will be provided at reason­able charges.

May B. Warner, Chairman of Committee

December 1922

A most successful Sale of Work was organised by a special committee to clear off the debt on our Parish Room.

What a spectacle! Ten stalls, all decor­ated with a different colour scheme, trans­formed the now bright, clean room into a feast of loveliness. The Cake Stall was a special feature, being built to resemble a wedding cake on a massive scale. We commend Mrs. Hazel’s ingenuity for the clever decoration of this stall.

Other stalls, all wonderfully laden with goods, were Plant, Fruit and Flower Stall, Toilet Requisites, China, Fancy Goods, Sweets, Dairy and Home Produce, Pound Stall, Artificial Flowers and Hardware.

Codsall Women’s Institute arranged a stall, “For Exhibition Only,” of beautiful handicrafts, all very much admired by the visitors. This exhibition was a great asset to the Sale of Work and a credit to our village Women’s Institute, whose members have strived so hard towards the improve­ment of our Room. The Women’s Institute Tea Committee, augmented by ladies of the village, served an excellent tea under the able management of Mrs. Walter Loveridge.

The opening ceremony was performed by Mrs. Pratt (of Tettenhall), to whom a presentation of flowers was made by Miss Barbara Hutchinson Smith. The Chair at the opening was occupied by Mrs. Warner, and a vote of thanks to Mrs. Pratt and the “Chair” was proposed and seconded by Mr. Sam Loveridge and Mrs. Shelton respectively.

Mrs. Pratt in her opening speech remark­ed that last year when she came to the Women’s Institute Exhibition and Sale of Work, she was very disappointed to find that goods were “For Exhibition Only”. This year she saw very many beautiful things to be sold, and she felt convinced that we should raise more money than needed merely to clear off the debt on the room.

And now for the financial result.

At the time of going to press the exact figure is in to hand, but our profit will be something like £80. We needed £55 to clear off the debt completely, so we are now in the comforting condition of having money hand. Very many thanks to buyers, givers and sellers.

Our friends will be glad to know that shall be able to face future necessary expenditure including drainage, etc., and feel sure that the room will now be se supporting.

One of the best features of our Sale Work, according to our visitors, was the cheerful and. friendly atmosphere of the whole affair. Eugene H. Lewis, Treasurer

  CODSALL CHURCH INSTITUTE AND PARISH ROOM

Income and Expenditure Account 1st January to 31st December 1928

    £   s   d £   s   d    £   s   d £   s   d
To Caretaker 18   4   0   By Receipts 21  2    0  
“  Rates and Taxes   2   7   8   “  Balance being Deficiency   7   1   5  
“  Tuning Piano   1   2   0        
“   Heating & Lighting   5 19   9        
“   Insurance Premium   1   0   0        
  ———– 28  3  5   ———– 28  3  5

 

1921 Piano bought for £54 1926 Codsall Boy Scouts’ inaugural meeting
1921 October – lecture on “Devastated France” 1938 W. I. Still holding annual “Rummage Sale
1925 1st recorded “Jumble Sale”    

 

February 1939

BROWNIES

Mrs. Weddell wishes publicly to thank the Sprites, the Gnomes, the Elves and the Imps who have written to her letters of thanks and appreciation for their party on January 4th. She feels that the gratitude shown by them more than repays her for any trouble she took.

ist codsall bRownies.

On January 4th the 1st  Codsall Brownies had a most marvellous party in the  Parish Boom,    This  was -given   by   Mr. and Mrs. Weddell, of “Crossways,” Oaken.    Mothers and many friends were invited.  In spite of the bad weather, 70 out of the 90 people expected were present.   The room was gaily decorated, and a very large Christmas Tree was simply full of lovely presents.   The lighting on the tree had been arranged by Mr. White and was most effective.   The tables, too, were good to look upon.   There were two tables, one  for mothers and friends, and the other for Brownies, Guides and little   people.  The Brownies’ table was decorated with a Christmas Tree in centre, and red and green streamers running the length of the table.   There were also heaps of crackers arranged all round and heaps of good things for tea.

1941 GFS collected £2/5/3 for “Parish Room Piano Fund” later 1941 224 Dutch troops invited to a dance!!
1941 4 Dutch troops invited to a dance    

 

January 1942

At the end of November we held another dance for the troops, which again was very enjoyable. We had several very welcome gifts towards the enjoyment of the evening, amongst the donors being Mrs. Barnet, Mrs. Crane, Miss Sherwood and Miss McGeoch.

On Saturday, December 13th, we held a Carol Service in the Parish Room, and we are pleased to announce that that the collection was so generous that, after paying the few expenses, we were able to hand £2 4s. 0d. to the Vicar to buy a much-needed clock for the Vestry.

On Sunday, December 21st, we are invited to repeat this Carol Service at one of the neighbouring camps.

We have concluded our weekly meetings for this session, and we resume them again on Wednesday, January 7th, at 7 o’clock, in the Parish Room.

Although many of our members are working hard and are often on duty on Sundays, I hope they will try and come to the Second Sunday Corporate Communions whenever possible.

The  Children’s  Sunday  school.

It is really a wonderful work to take part in, and those who contribute towards the happiness of a child are always sure that their support I will bring them tremendous profit. Because there are these sort of people in Codsall, we were able to give our children their usual Sunday School Party. Saturday afternoon of January 10th saw a large number of happy paces outside the Parish Room. Speculation was rife as to where the tea was to come from, and was it possible that there would be presents? Yes, it was possible, and despite the shortage of extra good things we had a very happy and, everybody said, a completely satisfactory tea.

It would not be fair to mention names, because so many did sacrifice a lot to make the occasion a success.   But whoever you are and wherever you live, the children want to thank you.

The happy time was made complete when the vicar commenced to give a cinema show. There were screams of laughter at the antics of Charlie Chaplin in “Easy Street.”   There was interest in the films of years ago.

Each child was given a memento to remind them that hard work is always rewarded.

The Superintendent and teachers want to thank everybody who worked so hard to make almost impossible possible.

August 1942

It is with great regret the Committee have received the resignation of Mrs. W. Jones from the post of Caretaker. She will be greatly missed not only by them, but by all who have used the Room.

The post of caretaker becomes vacant on September 29th. Full details can be obtained from Miss Loveridge, The Cottage, Church Road, to whom applica­tion should be made as soon as possible.

March 1944

CODSALL AND DISTRICT RABBIT AND POULTRY CLUB

A show of Rabbits and Eggs in aid of Red Cross funds   will be held in the Parish Room on April 8th at 3.0 pm. Judging at 3.30 pm.  Judge:  Mr. Jackson, M.B.R.C.

Side Shows, Competitions, Refreshments, Jumble Stall. Gifts of all kinds welcome. Entire proceeds for Red Cross Fun Gifts should be sent to Mr. E. Wilson  Alexandra Road, Bilbrook, or Mr. Reed, Sandy Lane, Codsall.

Join the Codsall and District Rabbit and Poultry Club. Next meeting, April 14th, 7.45 p.m., Parish Hall. Speaker Mr. Henson, D.P.K.C. Assistant Area Organiser. Questions invited. Do your best to attend. Get in touch with Mr Wilson (Poultry Secretary), 37 Alexandra Road, Bilbrook, or Mr. J. Reed (Rabbits) Sandy Lane, Codsall.

April 1944

 S.P.G. CINEMA FILMS IN LENT

During the five weeks the proportion allocated from Codsall Wood Collections amounted to £2 lls. 1d. from audiences totalling 1191.  Parish Room Collections from audiences totalling 475 amounted to £4 3s. 6d., and books to the value of £3 16s. 9d: were sold. .Weather, both bad and too good, affected attendances, but there seemed signs of rapidly growing interest, thus :—

  Attendances Codsall Parish
Date Subject Weather   Wood Room
Feb 27th Arctica Snow & Sleet 25 30
Mar 5th Canada Snow 19 90
Mar 12th China Fine 26 127
Mar 19th India Fine 27 130
Mar 26th Africa Too Fine 22 98

Note.—Seating capacity of the Parish Room is about 100

The films, of good average quality, were loaned free by the S.P.G., but were worth a commercial rental of £3 10s. Od. Books were commercially worth the £3 17s 1d. Our true charitable surplus was therefore £2 17s. 6d. I could have contributed this sum to the S.P.G. myself more readily than I gave the necessary 30 to 40 hours to projection and preparation for the films, but I think that all the work we did had a value that could not be assessed-in terms of money. Some members of the audiences may have come to be amused but, apart from toddlers, I doubt if anyone left after seeing the last; three subjects without recognising something, of the need for Mission work and without recognising, perhaps for the first time, something of what is meant by “The Church Militant.”

Though my brother is a C.M.S. Mission­ary recently home from India, I am a new­comer to any Mission interest. I learnt a lot from the films that I projected merely “to give the Vicar a hand.” I feel that had a greater percentage of our population or congregation seen the series our collec­tions would have been higher as they also recognised the needs of Mission work. Two facts quoted by my brother are of interest when compared with the above-quoted “charitable surplus of £2 16s. 4d.” – under present conditions it costs a Missionary Society £1,000 a year to maintain a single Missionary in China—at the settlement in South India where my. brother works, the population of 400 gave £15 for the 1943 Harvest Festival -the population is mainly coolie and the average coolie’s wage is 3s. 0d. per week.

I am sure that if any parishioners were prevented from seeing the films owing to age, disability, weariness, or just dis­inclination or lack of opportunity and should now regret having missed them and the opportunity to help, any contribution they cared to send to Mrs. Cumberland, the Vicar, or myself, would be gladly ; acknowledged and remitted to the proper quarter.  H. C. Lane.

P.S.—-We were fortunate in having Mr Lane’s brother, who is a Missionary in India, on the evening that the “India” film was, shown.    Mr. Lane gave a most interesting commentary on places and people, some of which he knew personally.

September 1945

Church road victory party.

The organisers of the Victory Party given to children on the 24th August in the Parish Room, wish to thank the parents and friends who gave gifts of food and money, which made this party such an outstanding success.

A very enjoyable evening was .experi­enced by all. Tea was followed by musical games, then a magician and a ventriloquist entertained the children who afterwards -went home, tired but very happy. Thank you all very much.

mrs .dennes,  mrs. haycox.  mrs. barnes.

June 1946

AN APPEAL

To all who have found the Parish Room a help in the past – particularly during the War. In these latter years this room was the only one left to the village for all kinds of social purposes, and it was used by numbers (including evacuees from London) in a way which stretched its limited accommodation to the utmost. The Trustees of the Room consider that the time has come to put in proper W.C’s and to enlarge the kitchen, removing the latter from the room itself. It will depend en the support given how much of this work can be done. Some of the Associations who have used it (including the British Legion, Home Guard and Women’s Institute) have come forward with generous donations. The Trustees feel that the Room will be need for the social welfare of Codsall until such time as the Village Hall is completed, a will afterwards be of great use for small gatherings. They therefore appeal with confidence to those who have used it and who look forward to happy times in it the future to come forward and help NOW.  It is hoped that the alterations and the decoration will be done in August so the Room will be closed after the first week in that month.

Will those who are willing to help send or bring their donations to the Hon. Treasurer, Miss Loveridge, The Cottage, Church Road, Codsall, during this month of July, and so that the Trustees may know how much can be spent. Donations, large or small, will be most gratefully accepted and acknowledged.

February 1947

The inaugural meeting of Codsall Cricket Club is to be held in the Parish Rooms on 11th February.

June 1951

Notice

A public meeting will be held in the Parish Room at 8 o’clock on Wednesday the I7th January, 1951, for the purpose of considering and taking decisions on the following matters:

Village Hall Playing – Fields Festival of Britain – Old People’s Welfare

A special notice is being sent to the Secre­taries of Organisations but all rate-payers may attend and vote.

The Parish Council hope that there will be a good attendance as the subjects to be discussed concern all residents.  J. parkes  Chairman Parish Council

June 1957

Nicholas Youth Club

Some 60 young folk were present at the last meetings of the club which meets on Tuesday nights at the Parish Room.

The usual ‘teething troubles’ always expected in the early days of any club life, are being faced up to, and prospects for the future are quite promising.

(The Youth Club moved out in 1958 to larger premises.)

June 1960

CHRISTIAN STEWARDSHIP

On Monday, July llth in the Parish Room at 8 p.m., there will be a meeting to which all members on the Electoral Roll are invited.

The meeting will be addressed by Mr. G. Sowerbutts. Mr. Sowerbutts is a director of the firm employed by the Diocesan B6ard of Finance for the purpose of bringing the parishes into the Stewardship Campaign.  After Mr. Sowerbutt’s address, questions are invited.    G.S.

December 1960

CHRISTIAN EDUCATION

As a result of the Christian Stewardship Campaign, several parishioners have expressed themselves willing to help in this field of church work.

It is planned therefore to divide the Codsall today School – the younger children (under 9 yrs) would then meet in the Parish Room on Sunday mornings at 11 a.m. whilst their parents would attend Matins. The older children would continue to meet in the afternoon.

On one Sunday in each month there will be a family Service at .11 a.m. in the Church, which it hoped all age groups will attend with their Parents.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 22nd is the date for the first FAMILY SERVICE. If you have children of Sunday School age, do come to church on that morning and hear of our future plans.

Enquiries are also being made regarding running a branch of the Anglican Young People’s Association in the parish. A small group of young people is being invited to meet and discuss this with the Diocesan Representative for A.Y.P.A.

March 1988

One of the important matters which will be explained at the Annual Church Meeting on Monday 14th March is the scheme for the improvement of the Parish Room in Church ,Road and the arrangements for meeting the cost.

The Codsall Committee has asked our Architect to prepare a modified scheme for modernising the kitchen and toilet facilities, but excluding the extension originally contemplated. This would make a significant improvement in the accommodation available for our church activities as well as adding to the community facilities.  The acceptance of a modified scheme coupled with our “existing use” means that we are on firmer ground when we ask for planning permission .in regard to car parking.  The Codsall Committee expects to be able to report to the Annual meeting on the ways and means of financing the project. We are hope­ful that our approaches to the South Stafford­shire District Council and to the Codsall Parish Council for financial assistance towards the community use may be accepted. We are already assured of a loan from the Diocesan Board of Finance. Another possible source is the use of some of the accumulated money in our Legacies Fund.  The fulfilment of this project should do much to enrich our church life.    A.E.W.

April 1988

 ST.NICHOLAS SUNDAY SCHOOL

On Good Friday, 1st April, we shall be attend a short service in Church at 10.30am. Afterwards there will be a morning of activity in the Parish Room. The children will be able to take part in many craft activities and their work will be display in the church on Easter Sunday. The activity session will run until 12.30pm. Refreshments will be available.      Sue Mansell

 ST.NICHOLAS’ CRECHE

Regrettably we have decided to discontinue the Sunday morning crèche in the Parish Room for the time being. This is simply because of lack of support over the period of three years we have seldom had more than two children! The Baby Sitting Group organised by Mrs. Margaret Sanderson will be happy to cover for the 10am service for any family with children under 4 years of age.    Tricia Hughes

August 1988

At its meeting on July 4th, the Codsall Committee accepted a tender for £54,000 to refurbish the Parish Room. The work is due to begin in September and, we hope, to be com­pleted by February. During this time, the Social Service Department has very kindly given per­mission for us to use the Old School, and so all groups which normally meet in the Parish Room will transfer. Leaders of groups should contact the Vicar regarding access.

The cost of the project will be funded by: Lichfield Board of Finance – loan of £12,000 at 5% over 7 years; South Staffs District Council – a grant of £18,000 and a loan of £10,000, interest free, over 10 years; and Codsall Parish Council -yet to be disclosed. The balance will be met by the use of some of our legacy fund, by gifts and by new money which we raise between now and July 1989. At the same time we will need to repay the two loans — South Staffs District Council £1,000 p.a. for 10years; Lichfield D.B.F.£2,315 p.a. for 7 years. This is a formidable task, but we have every confidence that we will attain it.

So far as the raising of new money is concerned, the Codsall Committee has agreed to limit this to a relatively short period, eleven months in fact, and to concentrate on the following:

(a)   Sponsored Cycle Ride, September 10th     (b)   Autumn Fayre, Saturday, October 22nd

(c)   Jumble Sale, early 1989                             (d)   Flower Festival, July 29th/July 2nd, 1989

These events are now being planned but, of course, they will only succeed if every one of us gives them our full support. People have said that such events have been sadly missed in the past. Let us see!

A Parish Room Account is now open and we invite any who may wish to do so, to contribute directly to the Fund. Already one person has anonymously offered a gift of £500 under covenant as a thanks offering, for which we are most grateful. Any such gifts, however large or small should be sent directly to the Treasurer, Mr. A. Sanderson, Chapel Lane. The refurbishment of the Parish Room is long over due. It is the focus of much of our work and once it has been improved will enrich our church and community activities. Please support us.  A. E. Williams, Vicar;   G. P. Reeves  &  D.V. Walls   Churchwardens

THE STORY OF THE PARISH ROOM A HISTORY AS WRITTEN IN THE PARISH MAGAZINE

“I want to put up an Iron Room, about 40 feet long by 23 feet wide; this will be large enough for parochial meetings and for occasional entertainments as well as for the purposes of the Institute.” So wrote the Vicar of Codsall (Rev. Charles G. Barr) in November 1906. The site in Church Road was leased to the Vicar and Churchwardens by Mr. John Shaw (a church­warden). When the freehold was later acquired it was, and still is, vested in the Lichfield Diocesan Trust.

The scheme which incorporated a miniature rifle range cost about £250 and was complete in November 1907 and one of the first events was a rummage sale. A billiard table was bought and a gamecost ½d a member. The rifle range was one of the main attractions with both Ladies and Mens teams; indeed in 1908 the men had a narrow victory over the Ladies (225 to 219 points).

The Parish Room or Institute was a focal point in the life of the parish. The Vicar who was the President and a member of the shooting team gave this list of organisations using the Parish Room – Men’s Institute and Rifle Club; Men’s Bible Class; the Mothers’ meetings; Girls’ Friendly Society; Cooking, Laundry and Dress­ making classes (under the County Council); Territorial Army; Gardening Society; the Cricket and the Football Clubs. The running expenses of about £38 were met by the Men’s’ Institute and Rifle Club and by some donations; other organi­sations had free use of the Room.

Whist Drives were held weekly and the Men’s’ Institute was open every evening. A Smoking Concert in 1911 attracted 60 people. Debates were arranged, the first being “Whether strikes should be allowed.” During the 1914-18 War, the members of the Land Army billeted in Codsall were accorded free membership of the Institute.

The “Iron Room” was actually built as a brick structure. A corrugated iron extension was added in the 1930’s to provide storage space, toilets and a very small kitchen. Before 1907 the Institute was in the adjoining building to the North. The population of Codsall in 1911 was 1,634.

March 1989

 We will soon be using our extended modernised accommodation and I am sure we will find it to be an enormous improvement As well as providing better facilities for our own organisations, we will encourage other sect of the community to use them too. However because of the close proximity of private houses we will not allow parties nor amplified music.  On Saturdays 11th & 18th March there will be open mornings when we invite all of you to view the building. Details will be published in the News Sheet.

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                      Memories

MEMORIES OF VILLAGE SCHOOLDAYS
When I was a little girl I went to Codsall School from my home in Codsall Wood. I started there in March 1918. The Great War was still on then and for our midday meal we had to go down to the Parish Institute Room where the ladies of the village served us with a hot dinner. When I first started school, food rationing was still in force, although it wasn’t as well organised as it was during the 2nd World War. The ladies managed as well as they could. I remember it always seemed to be haricot beans and vegetable stew, or if it wasn’t that it was lentil cutlets. This went on until 1919, but certainly not later.  We also went down to the Parish Room on Tuesdays after the war, because on this day, if you had your threepence, you could go and eat the food prepared in the morning by the girls doing cooking. On other days I used to take a lunch and we would sit around the fire at school. When the Parish Rooms were being renovated we still had our threepences off our mothers and we went down to the shop and bought a pennyworth of broken biscuits and a pennyworth of crisps, (without telling them at home of course.)

Recollections of Childhood in Codsall Wood and Codsall
by Mrs Hilda Porteous and compiled by Mrs Judy Davies

Extract ref:-   Codsall & Bilbrook History Society

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 Memories from Mary Meredith

I used to attend the Girls’ Friendly Society in the Parish Rooms. I remember one occasion early in the second  world war when Miss Loveridge, one of the leaders, invited some servicemen from the Dutch East Indies who were stationed in Wrottesley Park. They were invited to a dance in the Parish Rooms. It was not a great success, as the men, 4 of them I remember, stayed at one end of the room, and the girls the other !  It was the first time any of us had seen any Afro-Caribbean people in Codsalll.

Later, when my daughter was small, she came to Miss Proverb’s infant class in the Parish Rooms.

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Childhood Memories of the Parish Room 

Mima Walls nee Mima Stewart

Sunday School 

During the 1940s my brother Angus and I belonged to St Nicholas’ Church Sunday School. Mr (Fred) Childs as the Superintendent, and we met at 3 pm in the children’s corner of the church. I particularly remember the very pretty small altar. Happy times !

Our Sunday School parties were held in the Parish Rooms, which at the time seemed a very large room indeed.

The Reverend Montague Spinney, Vicar of Codsall very kindly entertained us by showing silent black and white movies on his cinematograph, a rare commodity in those days.

My favourite memory was Lorna Doone, particularly when John Ridd kissed Lorna ! I well remember we girls sighed with pleasure and Rev Spinney would ask ‘Would you like to see that part again?’ Of course we all said ‘Yes please’ then he would stop the film and repeat the kiss scene and then resume the showing of the complete film – Bliss !

Dentist

A less enjoyable time was when the school dentist held surgery in the Parish Room. I attended Codsall C of E Primary school in the building behind St Nicholas’ Church. The classes in those days were very large so we were walked down the hill a group at a time to wait at the side of the building. There was door at the side – it is now bricked up – but the step can still be seen, we waited there until it was your turn ! I found this rather disconcerting as some children sniffed and cried while waiting. However the experience was not so daunting as ones teeth were only examined and I was not given a note to say I needed treatment.

Dancing classes

The most joyous times I experienced in the Parish Room was at the dancing classes organized by Miss Eunice Speake.

When I was eleven years old I saw a notice on the front door of the Parish Room indicating that a dancing school was to open there the following week. I badgered my mother to allow me to attend. I think possibly because she loved dancing, she finally acquiesced. Consequently I joined my friends to learn the intricacies of tap, ballet and acrobatics, all to the vibrant music played on the piano by Miss Speke’s mother.

The floor I remember was rather rough and I sometimes had small splinters in my hands when trying to perfect acrobatics.

Ballet of course was rather gentle with less wear and tear on the floor.

In later years I often marvel that the ancient wooden floor with some protruding nails in places which sometimes caused sparks with the friction from our tap shoes, sturdily withstood the crashing of these shoes worn by girls of all shapes and sizes and weights.

Nonetheless I just remember

VERY HAPPY TIMES !

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Memories of the Parish Rooms 1935 – 1945 

Don Walls  

The Dentist

At the age of 5 years, I started school at Codsall Church of England School, situated on the north side of St Nicholas Church, and remained there until 1941.

During the years, we had regular dental treatment and medical checks at school, but if any dental work was required, this was carried out in the Parish Rooms. The procedure was straight forward. You would be sent home with a note for your parents requesting their signature for permission to receive the treatment. Assuming your parents consented then several weeks later, the dentist would arrive, set up his primitive surgery in the Parish Rooms, and class by class he would go through the whole school. I recall the worst part about the whole business was knowing that you were having a tooth extracted but having to wait several weeks – it was an unsettling time.

Eventually the dentist would return, set up his primitive surgery in the Parish Rooms, and work slowly through the school. We would be called out, several at a time, to walk down to the Parish Rooms. On the way down, we would meet others returning having had their treatment. Some would be crying, all would be holding a handkerchief to their mouths, and at this stage you felt like turning back.

On entering the Parish Rooms, there would be more crying and an all pervading smell of alcohol based gum freezing agent. The Dentist was a short, thick set man, balding, rimless glasses, short white coat buttoned across the front and the short sleeves exposing strong, muscular hairy arms. He had a Nurse, dressed in pristine white uniform, and neither ever smiled.

When called, you sat in a very ancient dentist chair, a numbing agent was rubbed on your gums, and the tooth was extracted. You then joined the others making their way back, and were all expected to act as though nothing had happened.

Ministry of Information

 During the War years, at fairly regular intervals, The Ministry of Information would show propaganda films in the Parish Rooms. There would be war films showing the Royal Navy sinking German, Italian, or Japanese ships, the Royal Air force either bombing enemy cities or shooting down enemy aircraft, or the Army advancing in some battle zone. As young children we loved these and we left feeling that it was impossible for Britain to lose the war.

Entry to these events was free but at the end there would be a silver collection. Just before the lights went up and while the sound track of bombs exploding or other battle noise was at a crescendo, we slipped quietly out of the side door !

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MEMORIES FROM RITA HARDY 

I remember, not long after Arthur Williams became vicar of St Nicholas Church, a lot of changes took place, one of which was a decision to make more use of the Parish Rooms.

So, on days when there was a wedding or funeral, the decision was made, to open up the Parish Rooms for the duration before and during the services. People who had come from a distance and needed or wanted to change or freshen up would be able to.  Also the drivers of wedding cars and funeral cars had somewhere to go, especially on wet or cold days. This was very much appreciated.

It was called Toilet Duty. We had a rotor of volunteers and I was the first to do the honours.

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Memories from June Pratten

I was married on Easter Saturday April 16th 1949 to Eric. We were married at St. Nicholas Church and held our wedding reception in the Parish Room. My mother did all the catering, and brought all the food from our home in Oaken to the Parish Room on her bicycle.

I remember Cobbler Jones (Mr Jones, the cobbler) who had a small hut at the back of the Parish Rooms down the path at the side. As children, we used to creep down the path at the side to see if we could see him.

I also remember going to the dentist there, walking down the road from school. On one occasion, my sister had a tooth out, and had to rinse her mouth out in the old  brown sink in the kitchen, and she hit her head on the sink, and nearly knocked herself out !

I also went down to the Parish Room for Cookery classes.

The Parish rooms were where most social events were held – I remember in the 30s going to lantern slide shows, and going to dances.

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THE ORIGINS OF CODSALL VILLAGE HALL

Before the Second World War a village hall had been talked about but there was little money in the kitty. There was £90 given by Captain Warner (a Captain in the First World War), £100 from the Women’s Institute and a few other bits and pieces ….

…An entry in the Minute Book records a new initiative on Tuesday, December 9th 1958 when a new committee was elected ….

….At this time there were three places which were used as meeting places by the village.  There were the Parish Rooms, run by the Church. There was a Conservative Hut by the railway station and there was Blanton’s Tea Rooms which by this time belonged to the Old People’s Welfare….

…..six months later we had a tremendous meeting in the Parish Room. About 120 people attended, which meant that it was completely full and was very hot. The atmosphere got a bit warm as well….

by Mr Pat Hughes and compiled by Mrs Judy Davies

Extract ref:-   Codsall & Bilbrook History Society

History as compiled by Mrs J Golling & Mr R Marsh