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Correction to Dierdre’s last post – Bob Hughes was not the brother of Ted Hughes the poet. He was the son of the author Richard Hughes (A High Wind in Jamaica; The Fox in the Attic). Bob’s father had a holiday home, a remote Welsh farmhouse in Snowdonia, up a valley from Penrhyndeudraeth and at the foot of a mountain called Cnicht. A large party of St. Mary’s youth spent a great holiday there in the summer of 1963. David Still, myself , Michael Moore, and the Rev. Bob Hughes and his wife Sheila were the advance party, and one of our major tasks was to dig the latrines in a field. I have a few slides from that holiday.
I can add to some of the names in St. Mary’s Church (some have already been identified, so sorry for any repeats). (Numbers are reasonably accurate timing from the time line at the foot of the screen).
20.18 to 20.40 - In the choir procession – the first choirboy (nearest camera) is Colin Wills. I don’t know the next two rows of small boys but the older two in the 4th row are Alan Copsey (lhs of screen) and Bernie Portis (in glasses, rhs – the younger son of Mr. Portis the organist and choirmaster). The first two female choir singers (wearing caps) are (rhs) Linda Allen (later Curtice) next to my sister (lhs) Ann Davis (later Chalk) who was also the deputy church organist.
20.40 to 20.44 - The next sequence – the procession of the altar servers etc. – leading it carrying the cross is David Still; behind him, carrying the candles, are Richard Maynard (nearest camera) and Paul Cockerill.
Behind them carrying the bible is Will Efford, the verger; the two altar servers are Rod Leighton (lhs) and Bob Davis (rhs) (me). And behind, bringing up the rear is the Rev. Bob Hughes.
20.44 to 20.49 – In the congregation we see a group of three, on the lhs of the screen is Mr. Webb and his wife Mrs Webb is on the rhs; right behind Mrs. Webb is Margaret Cooper (née Maund) and her baby – she was married to Rev. Brian Cooper, and also taught at one time at Mulgrave School. Right behind her is the Rev. Jeremy Hurst and baby. In a pew on the left side are Bernie and Kath Widdowson with 2 small children.
20.49 to 21.00 – More clearer shots of the altar servers previously named.
21.00 to 21.23 - When the film cuts back to the choir procession, standing (not moving) in the aisle, I can make out a few more faces. Right at the rear are two of the team of clerics, the Revs. Richard Garrard (lhs) and Brian Cooper (bearded, rhs). In front of them are two taller young men, Dennis Dixon (rhs) and Derrick Hodgson (lhs). In front of them are Peter Beecroft (lhs) and Graham Portis (older son of Mr. Portis).
At the end of this sequence, a man comes in from the back and takes his place next to his wife. This is Mr. Jack Maynard, one of the church wardens .
21.37 Congregation leaving the church – Rev. Richard Garrard; also Jack Maynard at the back.
21.42 Small group inc. Dierdre Webb and Jeremy Hurst and baby.
21.45 Close up on Brian Cooper.
22.56 Close up on Mr Webb. Then follow much clearer images of various people, especially the servers and some choir members, e.g. 23.30 to about 24.34, including 23.56 to 24.04 where we see Derrick Hodgson, Peter Beecroft and John Webb and Richard Garrard as the cross is carried through the choir stalls, and down to where Brian Cooper reads the lesson (at about 24.54 and on to 25.12).
The communion sequence (at about 25.53) opens with a close up of three priests – lhs Brian Cooper, centre Bob Hughes, and rhs Richard Garrard. There’s a clear shot of Margaret Cooper (Maund) going up for communion with her baby.
The earlier commentary on the film says “We hear that Nick Stacey wears blue jeans under his cassock, but see, in close-up, that he has neatly pressed trousers”. In fact, on hot summer days he sometimes wore nothing but his underpants – I was there once with a few other witnesses when he flashed a leg from under his cassock to prove it.
When he died in May last year (2017) I had a letter published in The Guardian in response to its obituary of 15th May. A somewhat edited version appeared in The Guardian online on 21st May: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/21/the-rev-nicolas-stacey-obituary-letter?CMP=share_btn_link and then an even shorter version in the printed paper (27th May p40). Nick’s daughter Caroline, who I remember as an infant in the Rectory in Rectory Place, contacted me and encouraged me to attend the service at Canterbury Cathedral, saying she really wanted some Woolwich people to be there, but I couldn’t make it.
At about 30.15 - the sequence of a wedding party outside the registry Office in Market Street – the car leaves and turns into Calderwood Street, and you see the William Street Wesleyan Methodist Church and at the top a short section of John Wilson Street, the street in which we lived (at the Wellington Street end).
At about 31.52. Herbert Morrison; amongst many other key political posts, in Parliament and at the LCC in the inter-war years, he was Home Secretary during Churchill’s wartime coalition government, and after that Deputy Prime Minister to Attlee in the post-war Labour government of 1945-51. He was MP for Lewisham South from 1945 to 1959. For many years he lived in Archery Road, Eltham, where there’s a blue plaque on the house; after 1960 I think he lived over near Crown Woods School. At the time this film was made he was in the House of Lords, sitting as the Rt. Hon. Lord Morrison of Lambeth. As such he was the guest of honour at the Shooters Hill Grammar School Speech Day in July 1964. A photo of him presenting me with the Upper Sixth Geography prize appeared the following week in the Kentish Independent newspaper. He is Peter Mandelson’s grandfather.
Beginning of film. The Arsenal workers demonstration of 1906 and Will Crooks. I am certain that both my great-grandfather Thomas Harry Renville Snr. and my grandfather Thomas Harry Renville Jnr., would have been present. Both were long-serving boilermakers in the Arsenal, and the latter was an active trades unionist who, for a number of years, was President of the London No.2 Branch of the Boilermakers Society.
Seeing the youngsters scampering around reminds me of what freedom we had to get bruised, grazed, nettle-stung or whatever without adults fussing over us.
Saturday morning pictures at the Ritz or the Odeon was enjoyable and in teens for evening films. There was also a glimpse of the entrance porch to The Atheneum dance hall and of our lads' local, The Bird in Hand.”
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