St Mary’s Church Rooms – reminiscences
aka – Church Hall, Church House, Church Institute. The Architects were John Howitt & Son who also designed the Old Library.
[JH] “It was built in 1913 by Earl Manvers in the garden of Manor Farm. The police house was built on the tennis court, and the garage in the orchard, there used to be a lane going from Mansfield road to the paddock between the orchard and the school playground. There was a holly hedge in front the church room to the lane next to the playground.”
[SM] “I can remember as a child going to the Church Rooms for the dentist during the 1940s. It is engraved on my mind, the first time that I saw the Dentist. You sat to the left going in the door, the dentist was down where the counter is now behind a cloth screen with an assistant, you could hear every word and scream…. I was petrified. Then I saw the dentist he was tall and thin, with black hair and a black tash. Can’t remember much after that, put me off going to the dentist for years…”
[MW] “In early 1940’s I attended Sunday School run by Miss Wardale and we were given these bookmarks.”
[JH] “I can remember going to Sunday school in the Church Room, Miss Wardale and Jean Gatward in charge also some parties, wedding receptions and the school dentist who used a drill driven by his foot. There was a sliding partition in the large room, it was always cold in there people complained but nothing was done.”
[UC] “In the 1950’s Reverend Pickles started a Youth Club after Sunday Evensong when the young folk sat in the back pew. We did square dancing, which I loved, led by a young chap called Michael. There was also table tennis, but I wasn’t into that!”
Sunday School Party 1952 Sunday School Party 1953 or 54
“Not sure what this event was but it’s in the school room. I recognise some faces front row Carol Hutchinson and her mum. I was a bridesmaid at Carols wedding. The girl with the white collar is Joan ? Ratcliffe. She was luckily enough to pass her 11 plus and went to Queen Elizabeth’s grammar school. I can see my gran who came to live with us after grandad died. I’m standing at the back with my arms folded white bit on my cardigan. I can also spot Mrs Dixon & Mr & Mrs Robinson.
Rev Milne was quite a character he used ride around on a scooter. He named our new ginger kitten one day deciding he ought to called Nicodemus and so he was. He lived until he was 19. The cat not the Rev.
My dad had a cine camera and it became quite a talking point following a church garden party held at our home. We had recently been to Chester Zoo. Dad spliced the film up and as folk walked around the garden looking for clues for the treasure hunt he’d added penguins following them. He showed the film at the guild and a couple of the ladies stopped speaking to him for quite a few weeks. Most couldn’t stop laughing. “
In the 1960’s, the Church Rooms were used regularly for Sunday School and Youth Groups; Provident Club; Registrar of Births and Deaths; WI; Mothers Union; Clinic; British Legion; Junior Dance; Old Tyme Dance; Playgroup; Conservatives and School Dinners. Rent of 10 shillings was paid to Thoresby Estate. Electricity was provided by Thoresby Colliery and boiler coke (expensive) was delivered by L.E. Jackson.
Church Rooms – John Firth extreme left c1960s
[SM]” It was also used for the Baby Clinic, Nurse Rathby was the baby nurse. I went with Kevin and Robert in the 1960’s. It was also used for the Sunday School for many years. Mothers Union, Sisterhood, W.I., Church Youth Club, It was very much in demand there were a lot of village organisations then. Always used for the Election. Wedding Receptions, people did their own catering.”
Harvest Supper Church Rooms 1960s
Helen Finney with David & Rachel Jackson 1980
Whilst Reverend John Ford was Vicar in the mid-1990’s architect Ian Basely remodelled the Church Rooms installing a false ceiling. Members of St Mary’s Church helped with the redecoration.
Church Rooms Palm Sunday 20th March 2016
During Lockdown 2020 the interior was totally redecorated and a new kitchen (with an electronic serving hatch) was fitted. It is the venue for our Edwinstowe Historical Society meetings.