On behalf of the parishioners at Preston, we desire to return our very sincere thanks
to Mr. And Mrs. Macmillan, for their kindly interest in every household. None were
forgotten this Christmas, and presents of a very substantial character, were given
away on December 23. The Charity Bread (18 loaves) was distributed on Christmas Day.
This Charity was founded by Joseph Kinge, whose will bears the date 14 November
1693; in later years it was added to by others, “for the Poor of Hitchin Parish.”
Application for the Nurse should be made to the secretary. In case of sudden emergency,
when there is not time to obtain leave from the Secretary, the Nurse may be applied
to direct, but notice must be given to the Secretary immediately. If the Nurse is
required for a confinement case, at least two months’ notice must be given to the
Secretary.. The Nurse may receive no gratuity, nor beer, nor spirits. On visiting
a house, the Nurse will be expected to make the patient and family as comfortable
as possible, doing any light work.
Subscriptions are as follows:- Cottagers are 2/6 per annum, to include mother and
father and children up to 14 years of age. Children over 14 years of age, 1/3 per
annum, until the age of 21. Young men and women at home earning wages, over 21 years
of age to pay the annual subscription of 2/6. Farmers not less than 5/- per annum.
Non-subscribers can have the attendance of the Nurse for 3d. per visit, but in the
case of the Nurse being required for two persons at once the annual subscriber has
the first turn. Confinement cases are 2/6d extra to annual subscribers of 2/6. If
the Nurse is required to live in the cottage, 2/6d for the first ten days and 1/3d
per week afterwards for a month from the day of confinement will be charged. The
Nurse must be withdrawn at the end of the month. Any patient wishing to give a donation
to the Nurse must do so through the Secretary. N. Dawson, Hon. Secretary, Temple
We all welcome Nurse Phillips to Preston and trust that she will be happy in her
work amongst us. Several cases of illness have quickly shown how useful it is to
have a resident Nurse in the village. The generous terms of securing this help should
induce all to become subscribers.
By the kindness of Mrs. Fenwick, two teas have been given to villagers during December.
Wednesday, December 17, the women who take advantage of the Nursing Fund, both at
Preston and Langley, met at the Club, and after a delightful tea enjoyed a pleasant
social evening. Parents had an opportunity of seeing the Country Dances, which the
School Mistresses have so carefully taught the children; and also of watching the
Boy Scouts go through their drill and exercises in ambulance work. Mr. Tallents called
for hearty cheers for Mrs. Fenwick, and then for Mr. and Mrs. Dawson and their helpers
who had worked to make everyone happy.
Several instances of the valuable work done by the Parish Nurse in Preston and Langley
have recently come to our notice; and we take this opportunity of expressing appreciation
of the fact. We are glad to know that so many of our parishioners are subscribers.
It sometimes happens that times of sickness come to those who have not joined, and
so have no right to the service of the nurse. Surely when a very small yearly payment
is asked for, it is not too much to hope that everyone should see to it that they
become members and can call in the devoted attention of Nurse Phillips in the hour
Mrs. Dawson, the Hon. Secretary of the Nursing Association, is at all times anxious
to promote its good work, and glad to receive subscriptions for its continuance.
The two hamlets of Preston and Langley are very sorry to lose Nurse Phillips, who
is leaving the district about the middle of this month. When the Nurse came, people
asked “What is there for her to do? Now she is going, the question is “What are
we going to do without her?” Nurse Phillips has unfailingly done her best. She
was at the beck and call of all, and night or day she rose to that call. We wish
her every good wish, and long will she remain in our memory.
Nurse Phillips has asked us to publish the subjoined letter of thanks:-
“To the Parishioners of Preston and Langley. I take this opportunity of thanking
you all for the very handsome gifts given to me, and for the many kindnesses shown
to me while I have been here. I will carry away with me not only your lovely gifts,
but also memories of four very happy years. I hope you will make the path of my
successor as smooth as you have made mine. Wherever my work may take me my thoughts
will still go back to the grateful patients and kind friends of Preston and Langley
“Again thanking you all, and wishing you all good-bye. Yours faithfully, E. PHILLIPS.”
With regard to the Nurse for Preston and Langley, Mrs. Dawson asks us to announce
that an arrangement has been made for the present for Nurse Cummins, who has just
taken up her residence at the Kings’ Walden Nurses’ House, to undertake duty also
in Preston. Mrs. Dawson will be pleased to give all particulars and to arrange for
Nurse Cummins to attend any cases. The District Nurse at Codicote will look after
Langley for the present.
A Church parade of Scouts in St. Martin’s on the first Sunday after Trinity will,
we hope, become an annual fixture. This year not only our own Patrols – “Peewits”
and “Otters” – but also Patrols from Whitwell, “Hounds,” “Cobras,” and “Panthers”;
from Gosmore, “Cuckoos”; and from St. Ippolyts, “Owls”; paraded to the total number
of forty-two and filled the North side of the Church. The singing of the hymns by
the strong-lunged, clear-throated boys was a thing to be remembered and heard again.
On 8th June the “Peewits” and “Otters” had the honour of being inspected, with other
Scouts of the
neighbourhood by Major General Sir Robert Baden Powell, in the Grounds of Ickleford
House. On Hospital Sunday they joined in the Demonstration and were present in St.
Mary’s at the Service at which the Lord Bishop of the Diocese preached.
We were glad to welcome some of the St. Andrew’s Scouts to Church when they were
camping out at
Poynder’s End. Congratulations to the Preston Scouts who surrounded their tent whilst
they were neither watching nor sleeping.
The Scouts have had a pleasant summer session, a camp in a born at King’s Walden,
and two or three
Church Parades. Every lad and boy ought to join and learn while young to be useful
to his Country. Many Scouts in England have proved worthy of their noble founder
and Chief Scout, Sir Robert Baden-Powell. It is hoped that (now the dark nights
are coming on) all available lads will join us and learn something useful.
We are very sorry indeed to have lost Miss Partington, captain of the 1 Preston Company,
out of this District. Although she was only in the Guides for six months or so, Miss
Partington did very good work in the time, and gave the 1 Preston Company - whose
existence is very largely, if not entirely, due to her energy and enterprise, an
extremely good start in life. We are most grateful to her for all she did, and we
wish her good-bye and the best of luck in her next venture in the Guide World wherever
it may be.
1st. Preston is to be temporarily captained by Miss M. Long who is being very kindly
lent to this District for the purpose by the County Commissioner, Mrs. Wolverley
Fordham. It is very kind of Miss Long to undertake this extra work as she already
has a Company of her own in Ashwell. QUENEBOROUGH WRIGHT, District Commissioner for
the Girl Guides in Hitchin and District.
There will be a Church Parade for the 1 Preston Company of Girl Guides with the dedication
of their Colours at Evensong (6.30 p.m.) on Sunday, March 7.
What a splendid entertainment the Guides and Brownies gave us on December 17 and
18! Admirable materials served up to us in the most delightful way, with that attention
to every detail which makes such a difference to the success of such performances.
Preston fathers and mothers must be very proud of the talent their children show,
and very grateful to those who run their troop.
The Vicar and Mrs. Routh want to say how very grateful they are to Lady Priestley
and Mrs. Dawson for asking them to the Guides’ and Brownies’ Tea Party pm December
19, and so giving them such a splendid opportunity of meeting the children and their
mothers. Both enjoyed every minute of their stay, and only wish they could have
remained till the end.
The damage to the Church was found to lie not in the foundations but in the roof,
which was causing the walls to be thrust out. To remedy this, two tie rods have
been inserted, which should effectively prevent any further damage. The cracks have
all been filled up, and the outside rough-casting made good.
St Martin’s Church is beginning to show signs of falling into a certain amount of
disrepair. Slates have come off the roof, and the water is getting into the walls
in many places. Sir Frederick Macmillan has very kindly send £2 towards the cost
of the materials needed for these repairs, and Mrs. Fenwick has made the very kind
offer of allowing her men from the Temple Dinsley estate to carry out the work. We
should like to express our grateful thanks for both these kindnesses, and also to
Mr. F. Newton who was preparing to take the work in hand, but most kindly waived
his claim to the work when Mrs. Fenwick made her kind offer.
Three Valor Perfection Oil Stoves are being provided for the Church with the object
of keeping us warm this winter. Our heating apparatus was always rather useless
and is now entirely worn out.
It was satisfactory to hear at the last Parochial Church Council that the external
work at the Church is on the way to being satisfactorily completed. Under Mr. S.
B. Russell’s oversight Mr. Currell has laid new drain pipes to carry away the storm
water, and laid ballast and gravel all around the Church. When Mr. Fidler has fixed
the new troughing and stackpipes, as he has been commissioned to do, we shall have
removed the cause of the damp that has for so long been spoiling the walls, and
shall be able to feel that another considerable step has been taken in the restoration
and improvement of our Church.
At Preston doors are being made to put up in place of the curtains that now cover
the entrance from the porch to the Church. Mrs. Hooper has kindly made this possible
by a generous gift from the money gathered by her entertainments in the winter.
After holding office for some years Mrs. Thrussell has resigned the caretakership
of St. Martin’s Church. The position will soon be vacant and the Churchwardens will
be glad to entrust it to some regular church attendant. It is not in any sense a
menial post; on the contrary, it is an honour and a privilege. Those who feel the
beauty and truth of the 84 Psalm will not need to be told this. To be “a doorkeeper
in the house of my God” is to be an honoured officer of God and the Church. The
Church Fabric is the property of the people, and therefore there should be a general
readiness on their part to see that it is properly cared for, and it should never
be a mere matter of pounds, shillings and pence. In some parishes the entire cleaning
of the church
is voluntarily undertaken by the parishioners. It is good to hear of such parishes
and may Preston soon be added to their number.
Since writing the above, the Churchwardens have appointed Mrs. B. Peters to the post
of St. Martin’s, Preston.
On Monday, July 22 the choir of St. Martin’s had a day outing at Yarmouth. The weather
was all that could be desired and everything went off very well. A comfortable saloon
carriage, together with refreshments, made the long journey seem quite short, in
fact many felt that it was by no means the least enjoyable part of the day’s pleasure.
Arriving at Yarmouth a rendezvous was appointed and all were at liberty to follow
their own inclinations. The children were soon happy on the sands, with spades and
pails, while the elders went off, some for a trip to Lowestoft, others to see the
old Church and all the varied sights of Yarmouth.
At 4.30 all met for a very substantial tea in one of the handsome cool rooms of the
Aquarium. After tea, there were two or three hours to spare before starting for
home, and so, after arranging time for assembling, all went their ways to enjoy themselves
afresh. Trips on the Backwater, purchasing of souvenirs, collecting seaweed, &c.,
soon passed away the time, and at 8.15 the start was made for home.
The G.N.E.R. was very kind and came along at a good pace, making very few stoppages;
consequently Hitchin was reached a little earlier than was generally expected. However,
1a.m. was quite late enough to start a drive to Preston, in fact the conveyances
had not arrived at that hour owing to some misunderstanding as to the return of the
train; but at last all got home safely home after a most successful and enjoyable
A start has been made in running the Choir and has so far met with a most energetic
We have received the estimate for the repair of the Organ. It is more than we expected
- £37 10s. 0d. - but Messrs. Walker say that all the items in their specification
are really necessary to “make a job of things,” and we have decided to put the work
in hand as soon as possible.
At last I have the pleasure of announcing that our organ is in action again. One
can hardly realise that it is the same instrument, the builders have made such a
thorough job of it. I feel sure everyone will be thankful and enjoy the services
much better. Good music makes such a difference, and I hope all our parishioners
will support us with their presence and so make the services brighter with more singing.
All who have been connected with the Church at Preston will wish to express their
appreciation of the work done by Mr. Ashton for so many years. For some time Mr.
Ashton has expressed his intention of resigning his work as organist and his final
decision was therefore not a great surprise. It is difficult to realise what such
a long term of regular service means and to thank him sufficiently for it, but we
do our best in the hope that he will understand what we cannot adequately express.
Mr. A. J. Lane has kindly undertaken to play the organ and it is hoped that all will
give him support and encouragement in his work.
On Saturday, Dec 29th, the first burial took place in St. Martin’s Churchyard. It
has fallen to the lot of a little innocent child to emphasize the sacredness of God’s
acre in our midst. Charles Robert Sanders, age 11 months, who died after a short
painful illness was laid to rest on this bright sunny afternoon. His little lonely
grave should speak to us all of peace, innocence and rest in God. It should also
bring home to us the sacredness of the spot where rest the holy dead.
All who take pride in the little Churchyard will appreciate the useful work done
under the direction and at the expense of Mrs. Matthey, the new Chapelwarden at St.
Martins. The untidy plot round the Church has been put in thorough order and fresh
grass sown, while the many ragged spots in other places have been dealt with and
made neat and tidy. The Churchyard bids fair to be a very pretty little place.
All will be glad to hear that the entrance to St. Martin’s Churchyard has been very
much beautified by the erection of a Lych-gate. It is of simple design and in complete
accordance with the harmonious style of the Church. The material is stout British
oak and the work was executed by Mr. Day of Ickleford. It is good to see it standing
in its place and to know that its erection is a willing and unsolicited act of devotion
on the part of the worshippers in the Church. The people’s warden led the way and
the people followed. It may be interesting to some to know that the word Lych comes
from the Anglo-Saxon Lic. ‘a body,’ ‘corpse’. The bodies of persons brought for
burial are set down under the shelter of the Lych-gate while the opening words of
the service are read.
A new plan has just been made of Preston’s Church-yard, and it is a regrettable thing
that many graves cannot be identified, especially the children’s graves. If anyone
can help us to complete the list of names of all those who sleep in God’s Acre, we
shall be glad of that help.
The hedges round the Churchyard have been cut and trimmed and the improvement effected
is very great. The little Churchyard has been looking particularly beautiful just
lately with the red may and wild cherry in full bloom. It is a sweet spot which
we are very fortunate to possess.
A complete new drainage system has been installed, under the guidance of M. S. B.
Russell, which will remedy the cause of damp inside the building. It will take some
time to dry out so we must still put up with the ugly discoloration for the present.
An effort is also being made to keep the Churchyard tidy. Will those who have friends
there kindly assist us as much as possible by taking the dead flowers to the North-East
corner for burning. A wonderful collection of wreath wires and broken jars was unearthed
in the ditch.
On Monday, June 30, the children had their Coronation Tea. This was provided for
them at the expense of Mrs. White. They met in the Temple Meadow at 3 o’clock for
games, and at 4.45 marched down to the Schools to do justice to the ample spread
awaiting them. Mrs. Matthey had very kindly and thoughtfully sent a present of a
handsome Coronation Mug for each child; they were by no means small yet it was wonderful
how frequently they came back to be replenished. After tea, the happy party adjourned
to the field to find a table groaning under the weight of numerous prizes to be given
to the winners of the various races. These were superintended and organised by Mr.
Pryor with his usual zeal and vivacity and every child succeeded in winning one of
Mrs. White’s kind gifts. Then when all was over, after three hearty cheers for Mrs.
White and her friends, and the singing of the National Anthem, came a liberal distribution
of sweets (including tempting little packets given by Mr. Pryor) and the gift to
each boy and girl of a very pretty coronation badge provided by Miss Orr who was
unfortunately unable to be present.
Thus was spent one of the happiest days that the children of Preston have experienced
for some time. Their happiness was so complete and exuberant, that although their
elders could not but feel the one thing lacking (i.e. the Coronation itself) yet
being cheered by the good news of the King’s progress they were all agreed that it
would have been a pity to have disappointed the little ones of their treat.
The Coronation has naturally occupied our thoughts lately. We were rather disappointed
not to have our own rejoicings in the village, but we were so well entertained in
Hitchin that all regret has passed away. It was a long day for the children to come
down in the morning to see the big procession and then to take part in the children’s
programme, but all seemed to enjoy themselves and to be quite content. Certainly
the children were well represented in the afternoon as over 60 were present at tea.
The Coronation mugs will be distributed in due time.