Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Sunday School Outings & Choir Holidays in the 1890s

Anglican children in the village in the 1890s

Hutton Rudby churchgoers in the 1890s could subscribe to a magazine called The Church Monthly.  It was 'An Illustrated Magazine for Home Reading', with serialised stories, articles, poems, practical advice, quizzes and recipes, and  was published in London.

Inserted into each month's copy was All Saints' own parish magazine, sometimes only two or three pages long, priced initially at One Penny (1d), rising in 1894 to 'Three Halfpence' (1½d).  Several bound volumes of the magazine have survived.

Children's activities are covered in the magazines - confirmations, and outings by rail from Potto Station.  The names listed may be of interest to family historians. 

Each year a confirmation was held somewhere in the area, attended by candidates from the surrounding parishes.  In the February 1892 magazine it was announced:
"A Confirmation will be held at Yarm on March 7th.  It is requested that the names of those desirous to be confirmed may be sent in at once to the Vicar." 
The vicar was then the Revd John Johnson, who served the parish for 38 years from 1878 to 1916.  He must have had a good response, because the April magazine gives a list of 15 candidates who were confirmed at Yarm by the Bishop of Beverley.

No confirmation classes were necessary because, presumably, they had all been going to the Sunday School run by William Chapman in the School House every Sunday at 9.45 am and 2.30 pm.  It must have been well-attended - nearly fifty children went on the Sunday School Treat on August 13th:
"It was spent as usual at Redcar.  Rain was the order of the morning, but after midday the sun shone and there was great enjoyment for the nearly fifty children who had gathered up.  They amused themselves with tricycles on the sands, plodging in the sea.  Some went on the switchback railway.  The donkeys this year were at a discount.  During the rain a 10 o'clock meal was partaken of in the Temperance Hall.  At the end of the day another good meal before starting homewards.  Several parents joined the party to look after the welfare and amusement of the young ones.  Happily none were missing on their arrival at Potto Station."
There must also have been a lot of children - in those days, all boys - in the Choir, because the same magazine records their eventful trip to Middlesbrough:
"The Hutton Rudby Choir Trip of 1892 were fortunate in having a fine day for their Annual Holiday.  They started by first train in the morning, August 4th, for Middlesbro', the scene of the Great Yorkshire Agricultural Show.  Not being provided with a sufficient number of third class carriages, some of the boys were put into first class seats.  At Trenholm Bar they were taken out, left on the platform, coming on in the next train, but they were put out at a different station from the first detachment, causing fatigue and trouble to those who felt bound to meet them.  At last, all together, they saw the place decided on for final meeting and tea, then adjourned to the Show, where they viewed the animals, implements, etc., and wandered about according to their various tastes and fancies.  They met as arranged, returned by the last train.  Though tired, all agreed that they had spent a pleasant day."
The December 1892 magazine gave advance warning of the next confirmation, which was to be held at Hutton Rudby by the Archbishop of York himself, William Dalrymple Maclagan.  At last the date was fixed for June and in April notice was given that the "intending candidates are requested kindly to send in their names soon to the Vicar".

The August magazine reported on the day:
"At six o'clock in the afternoon of Tuesday, June 27th, the Archbishop of York administered the Rite of "Laying on of hands" in our Church of All Saints.

The service from beginning to end was most solemn and impressive.  The Archbishop called upon each candidate by name to confirm his or her baptismal vow by answering "I do", separately - a plan which must tend to impress upon each candidate the great reality of his or her individual responsibility.

Many among us, while deeply grateful for God's mercy in sparing one of our Sunday School Scholars to take her place among the Candidates after a serious illness, were grieved at the empty place of our little Choir boy, Humphrey Pickin. [Humphrey had died in May, aged 13].  Only a few short weeks ago we had hoped that he would have been among the Candidates.  May they, one and all, keep their voices pure and sweet to join his by-and-by in the Choir of Heaven.

The following is a list of the Candidates -

Benjamin Ainsley, John George Austin, John Chamberlain, Robert Braithwaite, Robert Harrison, James William King, Thomas Robert King, Robert Ormesby, William Robert Passman, Frances Anne Adamson, Elizabeth Ayscough, Amelia Jane Charlton, Aline Mary Foggin, Mary Fortune, Helena Garbutt, Sarah Margaret Hardcastle, Minnie Harrison, Emily Honeyman, Mary Ellen Johnson, Henrietta King, Emma Plaice, Isabella Rowell, Ethel Anne Smith, Eleanor Thorman, Mary Wilson."
Twenty five candidates!  Perhaps the prospect of the Archbishop of York encouraged them - or perhaps they were a particularly keen group, as some of their names still appear in the list of children given prizes for regular attendance at Sunday School the following February.

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