This National event was celebrated in St Michael’s Church with an exhibition recording the Parish between 1914 – 1915.
A bank of 67 handmade poppies could be seen at the East end of the Church, one for every St Michael’s man who is named on the War Memorial. Others who, for reasons unknown, do not appear, are remembered in a book dedicated to all who did not return.
The vicar, Rev’d Charles Bicknell and his wife ran the parish, together it seems, with an enthusiastic group of ladies. Michaelmas 1914 was celebrated by Mr Henry Toulmin treating the choir, sidesmen, clergy and churchwardens to a Goose Supper at the Rose and Crown, served by the ladies of the parish! Among those who took part were two young men, both of whom would not celebrate another Michaelmas, being killed in action soon after the happy occasion, as was Mr Toulmin’s son.
Rises in food prices resulted in the better off in the town stockpiling food (not a popular move) and many helpful recipes were published to save the use of meat and flour. Anna Padley cooked potato cakes, which were received with much praise.
Original artefacts on show included, a war diary, medals, pottery, postcards and a 1914 RSPCA collecting box dedicated to the welfare of horses, so important to the war effort. Especial thanks to all who lent us such precious items.
History does seem to repeat itself. The church heating took a turn for the worse in 1915 and there were appeals for donations to renew it. Thanks to the generosity of the visitors who supported us in 2014 we raised £500 towards keeping our congregation warm.
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