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One of my Favourite Things

2 January 2023

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 One of my favourite things….


is sharing stories of friends and acquaintances from the past. 

Last October I wrote about Dorothy Lawrence, and her insistence that we turned all the cup handles the same direction in the Church Institute.    

Dorothy also ran the Sunday School in 1971.  There were nearly 80 children in the Sunday School, which was held in the very cooooold church.  There were about six classes, divided by ages.  Three days after moving to Gt. Barton, we came to church with June Marsom, who, with husband Paul, had the Post Office, and were our landlords.

Two or three Sundays later, Dorothy announced that the Sunday School was short a couple of teachers, and that she would like volunteers to fill those vacancies.  As three of the children were ours, I told her that I would be glad to be a “supply teacher”, to fill-in when a teacher was ill or away.

Dorothy was delighted and asked me to come the next Sunday.  I turned up and was assigned the 8–10-year old’s class.  There were no lesson plans, no materials of any kind at all, and definitely no part-time teachers!  

When the PCC decided that Sunday School should be at the same time as the main service to encourage parents to come to church, Sunday School, now smaller, was held in the Children’s Corner, and up the North Isle.  But that was very disturbing for the congregation.  Then we moved into the tower bell-ringing chamber.  The children loved it, but Health and Safety shut that down.  Then we were in the porch for years.  (Very drafty.)  At different periods we were in the Institute, or the school, or the Vestry.  Now we are back in the school with Together Café Church.

Dorothy was a strong character, and certainly had a great effect on my life in Gt. Barton, as I continued to teach Sunday School until Covid stopped all church activities.

This week I had a lovely letter from Jill Cooper telling me some of her memories of Dorothy, and many other people from our past. She said in part, “…. many times, I have recalled the cups in the cupboard, handles facing forwards. I think we all suffered the Sergeant Major’s wrath!  However, I also remember her as a good friend, when Jim and I spent many a happy evening with Dorothy in her home.”

Jill mentioned Mary Curtis, Frank Aldous, Irene and Cyril Wade, John Baker, Derek and Janet Hill – each name bringing back my own memories. Jill concluded, “I feel very honoured not only to have known these people but to remember they have been part of my life.”

It has occurred to me since getting Jill’s letter, that we could continue this sharing of memories quite easily.

I propose, with our editor’s agreement, to start a “Do You Remember When…...?” page in the Messenger.  If you have a memory or story about someone, email or mail your story to me, and we will see if it brings more stories to share.

How about if we start with Frank Aldous – a particular favourite of mine.  Do you remember when…...?

With love, Linda


or: 5 The Stables, Edwards Place

Stowlangtoft Hall, Stowlangtoft

Bury St Edmunds.  IP31 3JY