May 1902.On Thursday, April 3 the annual Easter Vestry took place. At this meeting some notable alterations took place in the staff of Church officers. The post of People’s Warden was already vacant and Mr. Pryor had tendered his resignation as Vicar’s Warden; this he had done not because he was unwilling to serve the Church in that capacity but because he deemed that it would facilitate some new plans in contemplation for the welfare of the Parish. The Curate-in-Charge (acting as the Vicar’s deputy) then nominated as Vicar’s Warden, Mrs. Matthey ofOffley Holes and Mr. Pryor was unanimously elected by all present to represent the people. It will at once be seen how suitable an arrangement this is. Mr. Pryor, living quite on the spot and being nearly always at home, kindly undertakes the accounts and such duties as require being on the spot, while Mrs. Matthey who is frequently obliged to be away from home gives her counsel and valuable help as Vicar’s Warden. May 1904.On Tuesday, April 5, the Annual Easter Vestry took place in the Clubroom, at 7p.m. As usual it was not well attended. The Vicar nominated Mrs. Barrington-White to the office of Vicar’s Warden and Mr. Wm. Sharp was elected to the office of People’s Warden. In seconding the nomination of Mr. Sharp, Mr. Ashton expressed to Mr. Pryor the general regret that he could not see his way to continue to hold the office and thanked him very earnestly for all that he had done for the Church and people of Preston. The Accounts were then passed. June 1908.The Annual Vestry Meeting was held in the Clubroom on Monday, May 11th, at 8 p.m., the Vicar presiding. The Accounts of the Church and Club, and the various small accounts, e.g., Band of Hope, Mothers’ Meeting, &c., were presented and passed. The following were elected officers for the ensuing year:- Chapel-wardens, Messrs. W. Webb and F. Shechy; Sidesmen, Mrssrs, H. Ayto, J. Bates, S. Bland, C. Cawcutt, Chapman, Keith, W. Odell, G. Pywell, A. Thomspon, J. Thompson, L. Wells, H. West. The Vicar then thanked all those, both men and women, who had worked so indefatigably for the Church during the past year. The meeting closed with a vote of thanks to the Vicar for presiding. May 1913.The Annual vestry Meeting was held in the Schools on Wednesday, April 2. The Rev. E. F. Tallents in the chair. There was a small attendance. The church accounts were presented by Mr. Sharpe and showed a deficit of £4 17s. 10d. The full statement will be published in the forthcoming Parochial Accounts. The expenses connected with the Church are but small; and the collections every Sunday, except on two occasions in the year, are given to the Church Expenses Fund, so that it is a matter for regret that sufficient to pay for these is not forthcoming from the weekly offerings of the congregation. The cost of trap hire, &c., and the stipend of the clergy is contributed from the parish church. There are those of the congregation who do give according to their means regularly and freely; and we trust that all our church people will see the need of paying our way in this matter. Mrs. Fenwick and Mr. Sharpe become Chapelwardens for another year. A vote of sincere regret and sympathy was passed on the resignation of Canon Jones as our Vicar. Mr. Tallents reported on the General Purposes Fund; and stated that, as the calls upon this had not been so large as usual, he proposed to pay off the deficit on the Church Expenses from this fund this year. May 1915.The Easter Vestry was disappointing numerically and financially. The collections showed a decided decrease during the past twelve months. I hope you will all give liberally. Do not give pennies when you might give more. It is hoped that next Easter we shall show £5 in hand instead of to the bad. Mr. Nicholson has kindly consented to act as Churchwarden at Langley. The Morning Service has been discontinued for the present, except on the second Sunday in the month and the chief Festivals, when I shall visit you to administer the Holy Communion. I hope also to take the Evening Service at Langley every third Sunday in the month. I am hoping to come and see you all during the next few weeks. Your sincere friend and Priest, HORACE E. JONES. April 1921.The Vestry Meeting at Preston will be at 6.00 p.m. on Monday, April 11, in the Clubroom. We hope that there will be a better attendance than there has been in past years. March 1922.The Vestry Meeting was held on Wednesday February 8, at 7.30 p.m. The Vicar re-nominated the Hon. Douglas Vickers as Vicar’s Warden for 1922, and Mr. W. Sharpe was elected People’s Warden. The Church Accounts showed a deficit of £2 11s. 10d. which had been paid off by the Churchwardens of Hitchin. Mr. John Flint was nominated R.D. Representative for Preston, and Mr. Ashton and Mr. Sharpe was very heartily thanked for his faithful and efficient services during the past year. April 1929.The Annual Church Meeting was held in the School on Thursday, January 31. and about a dozen parishioners attended. Mr. W. C. Peters was elected People’s Warden in place of Mr. W. Sharpe, who died last autumn and he also undertook the duties of Verger. The most important business was the election of an unofficial Church Council of eight to deal with Preston Church affairs. This Council ought to be able to do a great deal for the Church’s work here. March 1934.The Annual Vestry Meeting was held in the School on Tuesday, Feb. 13, with the Vicar in the Chair, supported by Mrs. Seebohm, who has kindly consented to be Vicar’s Warden, Mr. W. Peters, People’s Warden, submitted the accounts for the past year, which were considered very satisfactory, the only deficit being one of £6 6s. 6d. on the Repair Fund of the Church, which it is hoped will be wiped off during the next few months. Satisfaction was expressed at the wonderful response from this part of the Parish to the Church Membership Fund - 47 members. R.W. I was most sincerely glad to be able to report to the Preston Annual Meeting that Mrs. Seebohm has consented to be my Warden there. I know the congregation will also be most grateful to her, for the interest in the affairs of the Church will mean a lot to them. R.F.R.R. March 1935.The Annual meeting was not largely attended, but it was a happy occasion. The accounts which Mr. Peters presented showed a credit balance of £1 12s., against a debit of £10 12s. which we brought forward from 1933. The same wardens were re-appointed and Mrs. Seebohm was elected to the Parochial Church Council.
Preston men’s Bible class
November 1912.The Men’s Bible Class has commenced to meet every Tuesday at 7.30 p.m. in Church. At present attendance averages at 20 members, but it is hoped that others may join. The Vicar is taking as his subject “the Life of Elijah,” and Mr. Tallents “Life in God’s Family.” December 1912.We have been glad to see that the number attending the Men’s Bible Class has increased. We shall be glad to welcome still more members. April 1913.The Men’s Bible Class will be discontinued as usual for the Summer months, but we hope that members will pay in their contributions for the Summer Outing to Mr. H. Peters, the hon. Secretary. By the death of Joseph Peters a gap is made in one of our respected Church families in the village.
Preston Mother’s Union
The Preston part of our Branch has lost its first Secretary. Mrs. Rolfe, having left Preston, was obliged to resign her work. The Preston members, and the Enrolling Member, are all very grateful for what she did to make that part of the Branch living and interested. We shall all miss her, and our good wishes follow her to her new home. The new Secretary for Preston is its Churchwarden’s wife, Mrs. W. Peters. We could not wish for a better one, and are all very pleased that she has a taken on Mrs. Rolfe’s work.
January 1901.On Boxing Day an entertainment was given to the children through the kindness of Mrs. Macmillan. A wonderful conjuror came from London and impressed the little ones with his marvellous tricks. The number of extraordinary things he managed to extract from Mr. Macmillan’s hat excited great wonder and amusement. Professor Hooper’s talking doll also caused much merriment. His ideas about the shape of the world were very funny. On being asked the question, he said it was triangular. His questioner then gave him a hint by asking him what the shape of his tobacco box was. The reply was “square.” “Yes, yes,” said Mr. Hooper, “but I mean the one I use on Sundays.” “Oh, that’s round,” said the doll. “Now,” said his examiner, “tell us the shape of the world!” The audience then received great enlightenment by hearing the statement that the world was square on week days and round on Sundays. After the entertainment Mrs. Macmillan completed the pleasure of the afternoon by giving the children oranges and pretty little boxes and ornaments full of sweets.February 1902.Through the kindness of Mr. and Mrs. Barrington White and their son, the children of Preston Schools enjoyed an unexpected treat on Wednesday, January 22. It consisted of an exhibition of some very fine photographic slides of Scenes in the Boer War, by means of an acetylene lantern which was worked by Mr. White. There were also some very striking coloured views of London by Night, together with some comic slides which caused great amusement. The teachers and children desire to express their appreciation of the thoughtfulness which provided for them such a pleasant evening and also to thank Mr. Pryor who assisted with his usual readiness in anything which tends to the happiness of the children of Preston. Miss Horsfield took the opportunity of inviting the fullest co-operation of the parents in the work of the School, without which complete success is impossible. After tea music and recitations provided entertainment and amusement for the guests who expressed their thanks to all concerned, present or absent, by acclamation. July 1910.At the end of May an Annual Prize-giving took place in the school which had been decorated with flowers for the occasion. Specimens of the pupil’s writing and drawing were hung on the walls. The Vicar presided, the managers and other friends of the School were present, and Mrs. Priestly made the presentations with a word of encouragement and congratulation to every one of the numerous recipients. County Council Silver Watches for five years’ unfailing attendance, were won by Delphie Heathorn and Annie, Walter and Henry Peters. Prizes for three years’ attendance went to Fred Trussell, Frank Peters and Arthur Crawley; for two years’ to William Chalkley, Jack Wray, Rex Heathorn and Fred Sharpe; and for one year’s to William and Herbert Sharpe. Besides these over forty other prizes were distributed for the various subjects included in the School course, the standard of proficiency being almost uniformly high. Special prizes were given by Mrs. Fenwick, Mrs. Priestley and by Mr. and Mrs. Seeholm. Then followed a display of singing, recitation and dancing under the direction of Miss Horsfield, who, with her assistants, Misses Bertha Peters, Carter and Stoten, is to be congratulated on the alertness of the children both in mind and body and on their evident enjoyment in what was once upon a time regarded as the drudgery of learning. Cheers all round brought this part of the proceedings to a close and introduced a feast of cakes, buns, and sweets kindly provided by Mrs. Priestly and Mr. and Mrs. Horsfield. A week or so later the mothers of the pupils to the number of thirty or more were entertained to tea by Miss Horsfield. Mrs. Horsfield, Mrs. Willmot, Sir Frederick Macmillan and Messrs. William and Arthur Ransom had contributed either in money or kind to the tea, which was under the management of Mr. Ashton and his efficient staff. Beside the mothers there were present Mesdames Priestley, Horsfield, Willmot, Brown and Saunders, and the Misses Evans, Peters and Stoten. Miss Horsfield took the opportunity of inviting the fullest co-operation of the parents in the work of the School, without which complete success is impossible. After tea music and recitations provided entertainment and amusement for the guests who expressed their thanks to all concerned, present or absent, by acclamation. March 1913.On Thursday, February 6th, the parents of the children attending school were entertained to tea by the Headmistress. Many kind friends had sent gifts in kind and money, and the tables presented a very tempting appearance being decorated with spring flowers. Each father received tobacco, and each mother a little present. At the close the Headmistress congratulated the parents on the success of the old scholars. The girls, she said, were all in good situations in Hitchin and London, and were giving every satisfaction to their respective mistresses. The boys were doing equally well. One Preston boy was in the Greenwich Naval College, and she had heard from the Chief Porter that there would be vacancies for other boys from the village. The Headmistress concluded by saying they had reason to be proud of Preston. The evening closed with an enjoyable concert, to which many of the village came.January 1914.On Thursday, the 18, the School Children to the number of about seventy sat down to tea. Mr.and Mrs Dawson were present, and Miss Corbett, the Head Mistress; Miss B. Peters, Miss Wise and other friends helped to mini ster to the children’s needs. After tea came crackers and games, and then Father Christmas appeared with a heavy sack of gifts. In spite of an excellent disguise a distinct resemblance to the voice of Mr. Flint was observed in the accents of the venerable visitor. Mr. Tallents led a chorus of children’s cheers for Mrs Fenwick, for the Mistresses of the School and Mr. and Mrs. Dawson and others; and Mr. Dawson in turn led three cheers for Mr. and Mrs. Tallents.May 1917.The following is the Report of the Diocesan Inspector on the Religious teaching in Preston School:- Owing to the necessity of reducing the staff all the children in the Senior school have had to be grouped together under one teacher, which has naturally, militated against the excellent results of late years, but considering the difficulties that have had to be contended with, the children showed a pleasing knowledge of their work, and there was ample evidence of careful teaching. In the Bible narrative the text was accurately known and some very good answering was given by the elder children, while the knowledge shown of the Catechism pointed to full and definite explanation. Practical teaching had also been given in the Prayer Book subject and the text was well known, while the elder scholars found their places in a ready manner. The repetition was accurately said and showed an improvement on last year, and I was pleased with the singing. The written work was well done, but the children should always use capital letters when using pronouns relating to God e.g. His, Thy. THE INFANTS, - Excellent work has been done in this department with most pleasing results. Throughout all the subjects in which I examined the children the knowledge was accurate and the answering bright and general, the outcome of careful teaching. I was glad to see that the moral and practical lessons had been brought out, and that clear and definite explanation had been given of the Creed. The repetition was very well said. Throughout the School a reverent tone prevailed and the discipline was easy and natural. November 1917.Mrs. Harrison of King’s Walden Bury, has kindly consented to become a Manager of the Preston Day School, in the place of the last Major Richardson, of Offley Holes. January 1919.The Day Schools have been repaired and renovated (which they sadly needed) by the kindness of Mr. Douglas Vickers at a cost of £23. The School now looks bright and clean, and the dampness in the walls has been got rid of. We should like to express our grateful thanks to Mr. Vickers for his kindness in this matter. We are sorry to have to announce the resignation of Miss Wise, our Infant Mistress. Miss Wise’s health has not been good for some time past, and she has been forced to abandon her duties at Preston School under medical orders. We shall be very sorry to lose her, and hope that she will very rapidly be restored to full health and strength. The Roll of Honour contains the names of former scholars of Preston School who have served in the great War has been framed and hung up in the School. It contains 47 names, and of these 47 lads, five have made the great sacrifice, viz., William Ewington, William Jenkins, Ernest Wray, Jack Powell and Sidney Sharp. We hear a rumour that prizes which have ceased during the War age going to be given again this year. Mr. R. de V. Pryor has very kindly promised to take charge of the gardening operations at Preston School. These school gardens have been wonderfully successful during the War and, apart from increasing the food supply of the country very considerably, they have been the means of giving many boys and girls a real practical knowledge of gardening. Everywhere the children have shown great keenness. The school children were invited on New Year’s Eve to a party and entertainment, given by Mr. and Mrs. Vickers, and enjoyed themselves very much. April 1919.An excellent scheme has been inaugurated by the kindness of Mrs. Vickers in the form of School Dinners, sold at a purely nominal cost, and very liberal fare is provided. This is a very great benefit to the school children, and a very good measure, especially as we fear the part played by public houses, however well conducted, is too large in the upbringing of the future generation, and we hope that the example will not be lost on our less advanced villages. August 1919.On Thursday afternoon the successful scholars at the School were presented with their hard won prizes by the Hon. Mrs. Vickers. A prize was given for the best boy (voted for by his school fellows), also for the best girl. Winnie Darton was successful in winning the girls’ prize. There were prizes for reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, handy-work and sewing. After the prize-giving (at which each successful candidate was heartily cheered by the others) Mrs. Vickers invited all the children to tea and gooseberries in Temple Dinsley Gardens. This was followed by sports and races of every description – egg and spoon race, potato, runningraces for every age down to two future scholars of three years old – this race was won by Leslie Cullum – and consolation races. The prizes, which seemed much appreciated, were bright sixpences. Mrs. Corbett spoke a few words to the children, followed by Mrs. Vickers, and hearty cheers (at which the Preston children excel) were given for Mrs. Vickers, Mrs. Corbett and Mr. Dawson, who had borne the hard work of arranging the sports. The children then went home. December 1920.Mr. Vickers has considerably enlarged the school playground for us by allowing us to take an additional strip of land, for the use of which the Managers are going to pay him a merely nominal rent. March 1921.Miss Ivy Smart has successfully passed part 1 of the Government Preliminary Examination for Certificate. July 1921.Our Pupil Teacher Ivy Smart, has been successful in passing Part II of the Preliminary Certificate Examination. She will enter Hockerill Training College in September. We offer her our heartiest congratulations and wish her every success in her college career. Mr. Corbett has been ordered away by her doctor for two months complete rest and change. We are glad to hear that she is improving in health.December 1921.We are all very sorry indeed to hear of the illness of our Head Mistress who has gone to St Bartholemew’s Hospital for treatment as a result of heavy strain and over-pressure, but we are hoping to hear very soon of her complete recovery and restoration to health. August 1922.We have at last had to realise with a great deal of regret that Mrs. Corbett’s health gives no hope of her being able to resume her duties as head mistress of Preston School, and therefore the managers, acting under the instructions of the County Council, have had to appoint a new head mistress. We have every reason to believe that we have secured a most excellent head teacher in the person of Miss Deed, who comes to us with the most excellent testimonials from Colney Heath School, and we wish her much blessing and happiness in her work at Preston. She will take up her duties there in September. We should like to express our grateful thanksto Mrs. Poole for her good work at the school during Mrs. Corbett’s illness, and to say once more how truly sorry we are that ill health has deprived us of the services of so capable and faithful a head-mistress as Mrs. Corbett.May she soon be restored to complete health again. October 1922.Miss Deed has settled down to work at the Day School and we wish her every happiness and blessing in her work there. February 1923.The children at Preston School hope to give a little entertainment in school on Thursday and Friday, February 21 and 22, at 3 p.m., when all friends interested will be welcome. Tickets 1/- and 6d. Proceeds for the School Fund. March 1924.A most successful entertainment was given on February 21 and 22 by the School children under the direction of Miss Deed. The performers did their parts most excellently and with great self-possession, and we must congratulate the Headmistress very much n the whole programme provided, which everyone enjoyed. The substantial sum of £5 5s. was made for the School funds, which are very badly in need of help. We have recently had repairs and improvements at the School which have cost £20 10s., and we are £5 10s.in debt at the present moment. September 1924.Through the kind generosity of the Hon. Mrs. Douglas Vickers who defrayed all expenses, the twenty-five elder children attending Preston School, accompanied by the Headmistress and Assistant, spent an enjoyable day at the British Empire Exhibition on Monday, July 21. The elements were not kind, and the outward journey was taken in a very heavy downpour of rain, but Mrs. Vickers - for whom three cheers were given - braved it and saw the party off about 9.30 in one of Messrs. Bailey Hawkins’ comfortable, covered-in ‘buses, and the ride to Wembley (and back in the evening, when the rain had stopped) was one of the most enjoyable features of the outing. Wembley was reached at 11.25, and soon afterwards lunch (which each child took from home, in specially made calico bags) was partaken in the shelter of the Colonade. This business disposed of, visits were paid to the Palaces of Industry and Engineering, and thence to Canada, which charmed everybody by the variety and tastefulness, displayed in its exhibits and arrangement. The Prince of Wales and his horse on his Canadian Ranch - in butter - evoked great admiration, as did the display of fruit close by in this section. Leaving Canada for Australia, most of the party sampled the famous iced drinks to be had there. Tea (kindly provided by Mrs. Vickers) was a welcome halting and resting time, and was served in theColonade Tea Rooms at 3.30 and was much appreciated by all. Feeling like “giants refreshed” after this repast and rest, a move was made to Burma, Old London Bridge, and the Canadian Pacific Railway, and the last hour was given to the Amusements Park, where all visited the Aquarium, and were vastly interested in a “Diving Stunt.” The return journey was begun at 7.30, and Preston Green was reached on the stroke of 9.0 p.m.,by a very tired, but very grateful little company.