My father was sent to St Paul’s School but was rather a lonely boy, taking long walks on his own. When he was in his teens he walked along the river to Petersham meadows and sat in a field, reading his Bible. He was spotted by the local farmer, from Secrett’s farm, and after some conversation was asked if he would like to come to the small church in Lock Road (then known as Ham Evangelical Free Church) and help in the Sunday School. The church had recently been set up by various local people and representatives from local churches. […]
I went to school at the age of five at St Andrew’s Primary School, which is now St Thomas’ Catholic Church, a very nice school it was too. I can’t remember anything else about that. I passed my 11 plus from there. Oh Mr Page, now he was nice, he was my teacher at Ham School and he became headmaster before he retired, he always spoke as he was walking by, or if I was around, yes he was nice, Mr Page. I think he lived in Teddington because he was always walking past here to go to the school […]
St Elizabeth’s in Richmond and if you weren’t wise enough to get in the playground before you went into school that day the teacher would ask you what sermon was given and what they did they used to sometimes change the sermon, the priest, and deliver another one, so if you hadn’t been at the church you wouldn’t know and if you didn’t get in the playground earlier enough to ask what was the sermon and they knew which one to ask. So again you got the cane for not going to church. Sounds silly now doesn’t it? I was […]
All Saints in Petersham for the same religion so we used to be in there all the time, a lovely church [All Saints]. We used to be in there and we used to play outings in there and of course it echoed all over the place when you were in there we would get up by the organ that was up there, playing. We used to get in the church down in Petersham which is not a church, because there was only one organ, how silly is that? Up there because it’s the only reason I know it, the bell […]
How many vicars have I known there? Quite a few. The Reverend Mills, who did the stories, had just gone and Archdeacon Robb was the first vicar that we knew very well. He was there for quite a long time and then there was the Reverend Brownrigg, he was the next one I think. Archdeacon Robb, he was allowed to have a curate. We had one or two curates there. After Archdeacon Robb, there was Richard Bentley, I think was the next one and he was succeeded by Tim Marwood, our present one.
Cos my parents were quite religious, being born on Easter Sunday, I had no chance and I was an altar boy and, you know, at St Richards Church and all that sort of thing, until I was about 15, 16 whatever and they used to let my friends and I, cos we formed a band, and were trying to write our own stuff and we made a helluva din. I always remember the committee getting together and saying “well I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing” and I think my father swayed them into, cos […]
I’ve been at St Richards – first started worshipping at St Richards, not on a regular basis because the family were younger and it wasn’t quite as easy but whilst it was being built there was a hut built and we used to use the hut for worship and the workmen’s hut was used for Sunday school – that’s how I came to go to St Richards. My son was going to Sunday school at what is now St Thomas Aquinas which was the old St Andrews school, and that was run from the sisters from the convent so I […]
The vicar then was still Ernest Beard who was a Canon by then, Canon Ernest Beard. The church hall hadn’t been built then but what served as a church hall was Trefoil House in Petersham Rd and we had the reception there.
I had to go to church, my mother and father, I don’t think they ever went to church except for my wedding, and my sister, of course, went to church. We had dear Mr Beard, he was a wonderful man you know, he was great. He thought for the children and got activities for the boys going, he was quite a modern man and we had our – after you were confirmed we had this sort of youth fellowship, the St Andrew’s Guild it was called, and we used to go hiking on bank holidays and things. I can remember […]
So you had some association with St. Andrew’s Church. Were you involved in the church yourself as a child? Oh, I think I might have gone to Sunday School, but other than that, no. Never appealed.