'Maintenance & Equipment News' recently contained an article giving advice about looking after churches: The best advice I can offer on spring cleaning is dont do any. A programme of reg ular cleaning and maintenance throughout the year is far better than a yearly onslaught which usually involves a lot of unnecessary work trying to correct conditions which should never have been all owed to develop; five minutes spent in keeping the dirt out of a building will save many hours removing it when it is in. A first step, especially in older buildings, is to get rid of accumulated junk. Be ruthless
These are words of wisdom but we MUST add distinguish between junk and items of historical importance. An old piece of paper may be of the very greatest importance to students. Three local examples will be of interest to readers.
Haselor Church had a framed porch card with the verses beginning A Sabbath well spent brings a week of content. It was thrown away by a certain churchwardens wife who had a spring-clean in the 1940's It is to be hoped that the similar one in the porch at Billesley Church is still there. Both would be worth their weight in gold in an antique shop today. It is probable that both were installed at the same time, when Haselor and Billesley shared the ministry of the Revd. J.H.Sykes.
A piece of black-edged paper was used to mark the place and then kept at the back of the lectern Bible at Kinwarton Church for more than 100 years. There are no prizes for guessing the event to which it refers. It is now at Warwick Record Office.
God save our gracious
|Our royal widow
God, guard the fatherless!
God save the Queen!
Her life-woe sanctify,
Her untold loss supply,
Thyself be ever nigh
To save our Queen
Thirdly, the letter from which the following is an extract,
together with several others, was rescued from a bonfire when a cottage at Kinwarton was
being demolished. All are now at the Record Office. We knew the writer in his old age; he
was 26 years old when he wrote:-
.....alright at present. We are having plenty of snow here this last fortnight. We are going in the trenches again in a day or two. Not so long a rest as we expected. I wonder what it would be like to be in a house again and to have a bed to lay on. When we are not in the trenches we have to sleep in old barns. It is nearly eleven months now since I got out here and havent had a few days leave yet. We had a sergeant go mad the other night. He said look out here, a couple of them nineteen inches coming over. He meant them big Jack Joneses shells, How much longer do you think it will last? The trenches are in a state. I received the plum pudding in the trenches. I was hungry. I can eat, I tell you.
(Edit: There are still people throwing away old papers, letters, magazines: are they so insensitive?)
Summer 1986 Index
© Alcester & District Local History Society 1986