Early Memories of Latebrook Baptist Chapel

David Wood talks about his memories of Latebrook Baptist Chapel and his story goes as follows.

Sometimes on Sunday evenings we went to Latebrook Baptist chapel instead of the Methodists in Dale Street.
My dad was a Baptist lay preacher so he liked to go when his friends were the visiting preachers there, his mother, father and brother also went there every week.
There was a baptism well there for baptising people into the church, I can remember a family friend having his baptism, by what they called full immersion, in the 1950s, to a young boy it was quite alarming to witness.
One of the visiting preachers was named Miss Fox and she wore a fox fur stole, it was a real fox fur but it had artificial eyes and it fascinated me.
In the back garden there was a hand operated water pump, the kind you used to see in the old films, the music was supplied by a harmonium organ which had to be pedalled to supply the air for the pipes; recently a family friend sent me a photo of her granddad playing it all those years ago.
Sometimes after the service was over the congregation used to ask my granddad to sing, he had a good voice and always sang the same song, Greensleeves.
This is a song dating back to Henry the Eighth who had it composed for his wife Anne Boleyn.
The old place is derelict now having been used as a farm store for a long time.

You will probably remember that I have talked about the Sunday School Charity walks in our brand new clothes previously.
A thought occurred to me, how did our mum pay for all this finery? The answer is of course, the Provident cheque.
If my memory serves me well the cheque was for £3, certain shops accepted these and then she paid off the balance over 21 weeks at three shillings a week.
The money was there every Friday waiting for the collector to call along with the club man’s insurance premiums.
Mum used to take me to Chawners shop in Hope Street, Hanley for my suits, short trousers of course.
I had the full rig out, suit, cap, socks, shoes, shirt and tie or a clip-on dicky bow.
How could I ever forget the stretch belt with a snake fastener and the braces with the cowboys and gun design printed on them.

Many thanks David for your great and interesting stories, for more of the same go to the local memories tab at the top of the page.

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