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Article by Phil Mason, transcribed by Margaret Craddock

The Mission Room
The Saturday Night Hop

During the post-war period of the late nineteen forties and early nineteen fifties, the Mission Room Committee organised a variety of social activities.  Not only to raise much needed cash to refurbish the church and schoolrooms, but also to try and bring new people into the fellowship.  The regular Saturday evening Socials often attracted a hundred young people, and Whist Drives held at the same time would have between forty and fifty players.

The Socials would start at 7.30 pm and keep on until 11 pm.  Admission was a shilling (five new pence) and refreshments were available during the interval.  Mr Cecil Hickman played the piano all night for the princely sum of ten shillings (50p) and Mr Edgar Watson acted as MC.

Admission to the Whist Drive was one and six pence (seven and a half pence) and this included admission to the Social after the Whist Drive had finished which was usually around nine o’clock.  This was the time that refreshments were on sale, and you can imagine the crowd of people, young and old, queuing for sandwiches and cakes.  The Whist Drives were organised by Mr Fred York and Mr Oliver Tailby.

As well as Socials and Whist Drives, regular concerts were held comprising local artistes.  Our local barber, Jack Benford, gave monologues – a great favourite being ‘Stockwell Pump’.  Mrs Annie Rowe and Miss Kathleen Dent usually complemented the evening with their solos and duets and Coun Ernest (Tut) Clipson would render some of the older songs such as ‘Trumpeter what are you sounding now?’  Mrs Kingsley (wife of the doctor) also had a fine singing voice and would sometimes take part.  The young people had a small drama group.  Sometimes we had ‘The Three Cheery Chappies’ from Kettering but usually it was Burton people who took part and in those far off days, when very few people had cars or televisions, we entertained ourselves and in doing so raised money to keep the church going.

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