All Saints Church – 1918 to date

This is the second section of All Saints Church and covers the period from 1918 to date.

 In February 1918, the Choir held their annual whist drive and dance in the church school. It was organized by the choirmaster, C.Wood, and there was a large gathering with 20 tables and £4 was sent to the Holmfirth Auxiliary hospital. For their annual outing that year the choir visited Wakefield and Leeds. They left Thongbridge station for Dewhurst  and took the train to Wakefield and after dinner travelled by car to Leeds and returned by train in the evening.

The annual vestry meeting in April , with the Rev. Hind presiding , was attended by only two parishioners, Mr. Turner and Mr. Mellor. Mr.Turner who had been the vicar’s warden for many years resigned his office. The Rev. Hind said he would have to call another meeting and hopefully get a better attendance.

A meeting of the Mothers’ Union, presided over by Mrs. Floyd, was held in September in the Church school. The Rev. Hind gave a short service followed by a powerful address on the troubled times given by Miss Norton. The meeting was followed by tea in aid of funds for the Red Cross Society. The accounts were presented and three guineas were sent to the Prisoners of War Fund.

 In January 1919 the Annual parochial tea and entertainment which, owing to the war, had been in abeyance for 2 years was held in the school with a large attendance. A superb tea was presided over by Mrs. Jackson, Mrs.Wilson, Mrs. Batley, Mrs. Hirst ,Mrs. Wimpenny and Mrs. Woodhead. Entertainment was provided by the choir and was followed by a speech by the Rev. Cavey, vicar of Huddersfield. The finale was an excellent performance of the humourous sketch, ” Ferrill’s Fix “.

The annual vestry meeting was held in April with only a dozen parishioners present. The vicar, Rev. Hind,  re-appointed Mr. H.Wilson as his warden and Mr.J.Woodhead was re-appointed people’s warden. T.Turner, C.S.Floyd, W.Batley, J.Harker, J.Mallinson, E.Butterworth, H.Roberts and A.Dixon were elected as sidesmen.

The following photograph was taken outside the church gates – circa 1920 and shows a group of young children watching a “pretend” wedding. The groom was Reginald Hirstel and alice and Mary Charlesworth are among the watchers.

Childrens’ Wedding
circa 1920

 The year 1920 saw many activities, the first of which was in April when the Church Sunday School presented a Grand Comic Operetta titled Cupid and the Ogre. There were two performances and the admission was 2/- and 1/6. In June the Church held its Annual Festival when the procession, headed by Holme Brass Band ,followed the still beautiful banner that had been in service for 25 years. They went up Town Gate, past the Church and down Outlane to the Deanhouse Institution where they sang hymns.  Tea for the children and the villagers was supplied in the school yard by a large band of helpers and the day finished with dancing and games.

 The first annual meeting of qualified electors of the Parochial Church Council was held in April in the National school with the Rev. H.Hind presiding. In addition to the vicar and the churchwardens, who were ex-officio members, the following were elected members of the Council for the ensuing year  Mr.S.Butterworth ( lay representative ), Mrs. J.Hirst, Mrs.A.Dixon ( secretary ) and Messrs. B.Gill, C.S.Floyd, W.Horncastle, T.Turner, J.Hirst and C.Wood.

In November a Movement was set up by the Rev. Hind and the church wardens, J.Woodhead JP and H.Wilson, to raise funds by various activities for the purpose of cleaning, painting and decoration of the Church both inside and outside and also to improve the state of the churchyard. The first event was a Christmas Party held in the schoolroom. It was an entertainment given by the children of the infant classes of the day school under the charge of Miss Fanny Wilson and was very successful. 

The first event in April 1923 was three performances of ” The Black Swan ” , a comic opera, which was held in the Church Sunday School to large audiences. The Express report enthused on the whole performance and listed the entire cast with Mr. T.Wood as the Black Squire. The other performers were Mr.C.Wood, Mr.H.Horncastle, Mr.W.Horncastle, Mr.Evelyn Barron, Mr.G.A.Wood, Mr.D.Hughes, Mr.B.Lockwood, Mr.E.Rusby, Mr.G.Charlesworth, Miss A. Mallinson, Miss E. Beaumont, MIss R.Dickinson and Miss M.Woodhead. They were supported by a tuneful chorus representing schoolgirls, schoolboys,sailors,smugglers etc. all gaily dressed. The orchestra comprised  Messrs. P.Dixon, L.Ramsden, J.Hobblethwaite, T.Carter and F.Walker and Misses Beatrice Buckley and S.A.Brook.

The second event was the vestry meeting  with the Rev.H.Hind presiding. Mr.J.Woodhead was elected as people’s warden & H.Wilson as the vicar’s warden. The elected sidesmen were W.Batley, C.S.Floyd, A.Dixon, S.Butterworth, J.Mallinson, G.Charlesworth, J.Goddard, H.Wimpenny, A.W.Wimpenny and G.Bailey, August was the time for the annual outing of the church choir who visited Beverley, conveyed in two charabancs supplied by Kilner & Brook.

The 44th. annual outing of the Church choir was in August 1924 and members visited Nottingham travelling in a 32 and 11 seater charabanc. For all of November the Sunday services had not been held owing to the church being closed due to cleaning, painting and redecoration of the sacred fabric and the overhauling and improvement of the organ by the addition of two new stops. During the closure the divine service had been conducted by the vicar in the Mission Room. It was re-opened early in December.

Mr.Arthur Pearson, Mus.Bac.( Oxon ) F.R.C.O., the Huddersfield Borough organist ,gave an organ recital in the Church in March 1925  to a large attendance. The following month the Sunday School teachers organised a concert in the National School with music  by many well-known artistes.

I’ve given below details of the changes, repairs and improvements in the church from 1924 right through to 2003 in one complete section rather than to spread them out through this chapter by date. 

In 1924, electric lights replaced the gas mantles on the standards and extensive alterations were made to the organ. In 1967 the church was designated as a building of special architectural and historic interest. The dry rot at the west end and in the gallery floor was eradicated in November 1970, and a side effect of the treatment was the creation of more light in the Baptistry alcove. The church was re-wired in March 1973. While the interior was being re-plastered in  October 1974, they shared the Zion Chapel. After the re-decoration in January 1975, the Bishop of Pontefract held a service of Thanksgiving and Re-dedication in March.  The original organ suffered from severe water damage and was replaced by a new free-standing organ designed by Mr.P.Wood . The pulpit was moved to the opposite side to preserve the symmetry of the interior. In December 1977 the choir pews were replaced by those from Castleford. In 1987 the original Georgian Font , which was installed with the building and replaced in the 1920’s , was found buried in the church yard : it was dug up and kept safe.

In March 2000, due to the demise of the choir and to create more space and light, the choir pews were removed and the chancel left as free space. The pulpit was  also disposed off. The original Georgian font was brought back into use at Christening Services and the 1920’s font put into the church grounds. A freestanding Nave Altar and Credence Table were purchased at a cost of £5,500 in October 2000.

 In January 2003 the church’s clock winding mechanism was electrified by the clock’s maker, “ Smiths of Derby“. On 7th. April 2003, a contract was signed to completely refurbish the West End by removing the west gallery and provide meeting rooms, storerooms, toilets and disabled facilities for the community. The cost of the alteration was in excess of £100,000. The church was re-dedicated on Sunday 27th. July 2003 by the Bishop of Wakefield, the Right Rev. Stephen Platten. 

The 1928 parochial tea and entertainment took place in the National school and after tea the entertainment took the form of the ‘latest craze’ – a gramophone recital arranged and directed by Rushworth’s Ltd., Huddersfield. You  will find reports of recitals and gramophone contests in a number of the chapters.

The following year the annual parochial tea and entertainment for the  Church and day school was held on February and those attending were treated to a capital ham tea served by the ladies of the congregation. The evening’s entertainment was given by the scholars of both the day and Sunday schools.

In common with the other two churches in the village, the switch over to electricity in the church was a major event,To inaugurate the installation of electric light in the Parish Church School, an ” at home ” was held in the classroom in September 1929 with Mr.& Mrs. Gledhill as hosts. The opening ceremony of switching on the lights was performed by Mrs. J.P.Floyd of Roseleigh. Games, songs, a concert and supper were followed by dancing to the strains of the latest dance hall successes played by the Revellers Dance Band.

At the annual vestry meeting in 1926 there was no change of wardens. Rev. Hind re-appointed H.Wilson as his warden and J.Woodhead was re-elected as the people’s warden – the two of them had held these positions since 1919 and would still be carrying out the jobs in 1931.

In July 1927 the Church Choir held their annual outing and visited Cleethorpes in a charabanc and taxi provided by William Haigh. Quoting directly from the Express ‘ Netherthong was reached at 11.45 and lo and behold the friends who saw them off ‘were there to see them back’

The annual vestry meeting and parochial church council was held in 1928 with the Rev.  Hind presiding. He re-appointed Mr.H.Wilson as his warden and the vestry re-appointed Mr.J.Woodhead J.P. as the people’ warden. The following sidesmen were appointed – Messrs. C.Floyd, W.Bailey, S.Butterworth, J.Mallinson, G.Charlesworths , H.Wimpenny, G.Bailey,J.Wilde, J.Woodhead and A.Moorhouse. The three ladies on the Church Council were Mrs.J.Hirst, Mrs.J.Jackson and Miss F.Wilson. In October, Mr.Harold Deaton was appointed verger in succession to Mr.T.Wood who was seriously ill. The Annual Sunday School party was held on New Year’s Eve when teachers, scholars and friends spent a pleasant time.

The Church Sunday School and in particular Miss Hallas were very busy in February/March 1930. First of all they organised a whist drive, supper and dance which attracted a large attendance. All the latest “hits ” were played by a band under the leadership of Miss Hallas. The next event was a carnival dance  and , note the wording in the newspaper report, ” an efficient orchestra under the conductorship of Miss Hallas provided the music .”

The All Saint’s Centenary was celebrated in November with a very special gathering to mark the event. A public tea was provided which was followed by lots of entertainment, the highlight being a concert given by the Church School Amateur Operatic Society and the Netherthong Male Voice Choir. Services continued over several days when the Lord Bishop of Wakefield, Dr.Seaton, was the preacher in the morning with the Rev.A.Sephton, the vicar of Holmfirth, doing the honours in the evening. Subscriptions and donations totalled £371.

The Centenary Fund was swelled by profits from a series of events in December 1930. They were organised by Mrs.J.P.Floyd and Miss H.Floyd of Roseleigh along with members of the Mothers’ Union and included a Bridge party and afternoon tea, and a whist drive with supper and dancing.

The Parish Church Operatic Society organised a whist drive, supper and dance in January 1931 in aid of funds and the following month promoted their annual dance in the school with music by Miss Hallas, piano, and Mr.Knapton, violin. At the annual vestry meeting in April , the Rev.Hind appointed H.H.Wilson as warden and the vestry appointed Mr.J. Woodhead as parishioners’ warden. The following sidesmen were appointed. C.S.Floyd, W.Batley, S.Butterworth, G.Charlesworth, H.Wimpenny, G.Bailey, J.Wilde, J.Woodhead, A.Moorhouse, L.Mallinson, W.Denton and R.Ricketts. The same year the annual choir outing was to Blackpool.

The photo below ,dated 1932,  shows a tableau of  the Sunday school children.

Parish Church tableau 1932.
Parish Church tableau 1932.

The Annual Parochial tea and entertainment was revived in March 1935 after a lapse of eight years. An excellent meat tea was provided and the evening’s entertainment consisted of songs and one-act plays.

A photograph of the Parish Church Choir posing in front of their bus before their trip to Southport on July 26 1937. Some of the members  were Doris Wood, Margaret Sykes, Marion Montgomery, Mary Dyson, Wilkie Horncastle and Harold Sykes

Church choir trip to Southport June 1937
Church choir trip to Southport June 1937

In October 1938 a presentation was made to Albert Wimpenny who had been a member of the Church Choir for 50 years having first joined when he was 20. The Spring Fair was held in April 1939 and the opening ceremony, presided over by Mrs.Bradley, was performed by Mrs.Vernon Gledhill. The concert involved the Netherthong Male Voice Choir, conducted by Mr.A.Sanderson, dancing by the pupils of Mrs.Hirst and harmonica duets by Inspector Cooper and Mr.Hughes. 

The annual Parochial Meeting was held in March 1940 with the Rev.S.Black in the chair. H.Wilson was re-elected as the Vicar’s Warden and Mr.C.Floyd was elected as people’s Warden. The following sidemen were elected. W.Batley,H.Wimpenny, G.Bailey, L.Mallinson, H.Wilson, H.McQue, F.Lockwood, J.Woodhead, B.Batley, H.Hoyle, R.Ricketts, J.Black, J.Scott and J.Rothery. Mr.Floyd was re-elected secretary of the Parochial Church Choir and J.Rothery confirmed as auditor. The elected members of the Church Council were W.Batley, H.Wimpenny, W.Horncastle, A.Wimpenny, B.Batley, H.Denton, H.McQue, G.Bailey, J.Wilde, A.Sanderson, J.Mallinson, W.Gledhill plus Mrs.Black, Mrs.Lockwood, Mrs. McQue, Mrs. Floyd, Mrs. Fallas and Misses S.Brook, S.Beaumont, H.Floyd, F.Wilson, M.Wimpenny and E.Dickinson.

The  photograph below is of the Church choir outing to Buxton and Castleton on July 19 1941.

Church choir outing to Buxton on July 1941
Church choir outing to Buxton on July 1941

Dated sometime in the 1940s the photograph of the Church choir with everybody in their ” Sunday best ” has the Rev. Black in the centre  and the conductor, Arthur Sanderson, tucked away in the top right hand corner.

Church choir with the Rev. Black . 1940s ?
Church choir with the Rev. Black . 1940s ?

The Annual Vestry and Parochial Church meeting was held in April 1947. Winston Wood and Brook Batley were elected churchwardens, Mr. C.S.Floyd , secretary, and B.Batley, treasurer, were re-elected.The following were elected to serve on the committee. Messrs. W.Batley,B.Batley,G.Bailey,A.Dyson,C.S.Floyd,W.Gledhill, W.Horncastle, B.Lockwood,J.Rothery, J.Wilde, A.Wimpenny, H.Wilson, J.Woodhead, Eric Wood and Winston Wood. Mrs.Black,Miss Brook, Miss Dickinson,Mrs. Floyd, Mrs. Fallas, Mrs. W.Gledhill, Mrs. Horncastle, Miss R.Lockwood, Mrs.F.Lockwood,Mrs. Torr, Miss M. Wimpenny, Miss Wilson and Mrs. Winston Wood.

At the end of the year a Winter Fayre was held in the church in aid of the re-decoration fund. A snowstorm was raging as the Fayre opened. The photo below shows the heavy snowfall outside the church.

Parish Church, 1947, in heavy snow

The Parochial tea and concert in February 1948 was of outstanding merit and among the artistes was the C.V.H. Quartet winners of the Blackpool Music Festival 1946-7.

In January 1949, the Festival of nine lessons and carols was held in the Church with the carols being sung by scholars of the Sunday school and Fred Lockwood as organist. The lessons were read by Rev.S.Black, Mr.J.Wilde, Masters William Wood and R.Brown and Misses M.Brierley, J.Walker and M.Hanwell. The collection in aid of St.Dunstan’s Hostel for the Blind raised £6.

A service was held in April for the declaration of the new Mothers’ Union banner with the service being taken by Rev.S.Black. He said that the Netherthong branch of the Mothers’ Union was founded on July 6 1912 by the late Mrs. J.Peel Floyd. 40 members were enrolled at the first meeting and six were still living – Mrs.Hoyle, Mrs.Taylor, Mrs.Albert Wimpenny, Mrs.Arthur Wimpenny, Mrs. Knutton and Mrs. Tom Wood. The first of the four ladies were still attached to the branch.

At the Annual party and prizegiving held in January 1950, there were three Sunday School teachers whose joint association with the school amounted to over 150 years – they were Mrs. Alice Fallas, Miss Mildred Wimpenny and Miss S.Brook. Miss Brook presented  prizes for regular attendance and good conduct to Jean Walker, Ann Watson, Pamela Watson, Netta Watson, Margaret Hanwell, Margaret Brierley, Judith Stephenson, Frank Hanwell and Stanley Hanwell. Infant prizes were given to Leslie Bailey, Joyce Bailey and Susan Jones. The Parish Church Social Committee promoted the Children’s Fancy Dress dance in the day School later  in the same month with music by The Music Makers Orchestra. The prizewinners were Margaret Hanwell, Anne Watson, Eileen James, Tony Littlewood, Peter Watson and Peter Mallinson.  In November Mr. & Mrs. Vernon Gledhill organised a Whist drive, supper and dance in aid of church funds  with music by Harry Beaver and his band. A fancy dress party in December took place in the Day School and the winners were Netta Watson, Joyce Bailey, Jean Shaw, Tony Littlewood, Alan Jones and Peter Preston. Incidentally 1950 was the first white Christmas for twelve years. 

Master Robert Clough was appointed organist at the Church and began his duties on April April 1951. Although he was only 14 years of age, he had been deputy organist at St.David’s Church in Holmbridge for the past year.

A Fancy-dress Party, connected with the Church, was held in the Day School and a large number of children attended in fancy dress. Prizes  for best costumes were given in various age categories.  Girls under 8 – Pat Kelly,Betty Power and Therese Napthine. Boys under 8 – Glynne Hoyle, Tony Rose and Christopher Wood. Girls over 8 – Jaqueline Hobson, Margot Swain, Pauline Littlewood and Mavis Addy. Boys over 8 – Bruce Dyson,Alan Jones and Tony Littlewood.

The last event of 1952 was a service of 9 lessons and carols held on December 28 and  given by the Sunday School scholars. The lessons were read by Misses Joyce Addy, Mary Brierley, Anne Watson, Judith Stephenson and Masters Peter Brown and Thomas Scholfield.

The Annual Parochial tea in February 1953 attracted a large attendance and ” The Netherthongsters” presented an entirely new show. There was another large audience in July when the Male Voice Choir and Arthur Sanderson gave a concert. A Fancy Dress Party for the Sunday School was held in December and prizes for the under-8s were won by George Preece, Avril Kaye, Christopher Wood, Joyce Bailey and David Eggleton. The winners in the over-8 group were Pamela Watson, Carol Pell and Leslie Bailey. Other prizes were presented to Richard Storey, Susan Hinchliffe and Michael Taylor.

60 parishioners sat down for tea in the Day School  in March 1954 to celebrate the Annual Parochial tea.In the evening the Sunday School Drama Group presented 3 one-act plays – ” Money makes a Difference “, ” I made you possible ” and ” A flat and a sharp “.They were presented by Mrs.C.Brown and the performers were Margaret Brierley, Maureen Ellis, Barbara Mallinson, Pat Preston, Judith Stephenson, Marie Turner, Anne Watson, Peter Brown, Peter Mallinson, Peter preston, Barry Lee, Thomas Scholfield and Peter Stangroom.

A few months later the church held its special Sunday School festival. Rev.S.Black was the preacher in the morning service and the Rev.P.Frost of New Mill preached at evensong. The organist for both services was Mr.R.Clough.

In July, before the start of the meeting of the Parochial Church Choir, a presentation was made to Mrs.H.Horncastle on behalf of the Church Council and parishioners. Rev.S.Black referred to the long service rendered to the church by Mrs. Horncastle as a member of the choir for over 44 years and he presented her with an inscribed onyx clock. The same month the choir went on their annual outing and visited Blackpool.

The Male Voice Choir paid their annual visit in November and rendered a much appreciated programme under the conductorship of Arthur Sanderson. The choir sang unaccompanied , with part songs and solos  by Ronald Daniels ( tenor ) and Erin Garner ( bass ) accompanied on the organ by Mrs.E.Mortimer.

In February 1955, for the first time since before the war, it was possible for the church to provide a knife and fork tea for the parochial gathering and the attendance was much larger than had been expected. There was a full house for the concert in the evening – songs were provided by the Male Voice Choir under Arthur Sanderson and Mrs. J.Howarth and Mrs.F.Mellor contributed songs and duets. Mr.Stanley Wood gave trombone solos.

November 1955 was the occasion of the 125th. Anniversary of Consecration and the event was attended by a large number of former parishioners. The preacher at the morning service was the lay reader of the parish, Mr.H.Middlemist , and the Bishop of Pontefract preached at the evening service.  Fred Lockwood was the organist. On the second day, the Lord Bishop of Wakefield  was the preacher and the Rev.S.Black conducted the evening service with Mr.H.Robinson as organist.

In connection with the anniversary a bazaar was held in the Day School and gross takings amounted to £447. Rev.S.Black took the chair at the opening ceremony and he said that part of any proceeds would go to meet the heavy charges for dilapidation. The stalls were run by the men ( general goods ), Mothers’ Union ( plain and fancy needlework ), the Choir ( bottles ), Sunday School (cakes ), Oakland ( sweets and stationery ), Miss Parkman ( lucky stall ) and Mr.Preece ( bran tub ). Tea was provided by Miss A.Wilde and Mrs.J.Wilde.

At a meeting of the Parish Church Mother’s Union In June 1956 the enrolling member, Miss H.T.Floyd, was presented with a standard lamp and fire screen to mark the occasion of her marriage to the vicar, Rev.S.Black. The ceremony was held in Ripon Cathedral.

The Sunday School anniversary services were held in the same month. A large congregation was present for the Daisy Day service and the children took a leading role. Songs were sung by Netta Watson, Joyce Bailey, Brenda Roebuck, Ruth Wibberley, Pamela Watson, Anne Watson, Barbara Mallinson, George Preece, Robert Haigh, Glyn Haigh, Stuart Haigh and Stuart Lawson. Poems were recited by Susan Hinchliffe, Stephanie Hoyle, Joan Robinson, Anne Clarke, Janet Watson, Patsy Robinson, Ian Hoyle and Derek Longley.

In December there was a service of nine lessons and carols given by the Sunday School scholars and the choir. The lessons were read by the Rev.S.Black, Mr.R.Middlemist ( lay preacher ), Messrs. S.Horncastle and C.Dulling, Misses Barbara Mallinson, Patsy Robinson, Pamela Watson and Ann Watson interspersed with carols. A duet was sung by Brenda Roebuck and Ruth Wibberley and a trio by Stanley Haigh, Lynn Hoyle and Stephanie Hoyle. The organist was Mrs.W.Wood.

At the Annual Parochial Church meeting in April 1957, the retiring churchwardens, Mr.Winston Wood and Mr.Brook Batley, were re-elected. All the members of the church council were also re-elected en bloc. Mr.B.Batley and W.Gledhill were re-elected as treasurer and secretary respectively. The vicar in his report praised everybody for the loyal service and said ” I have never been more hopeful for the life of the church here than I have recently felt.”

The 1958 annual vestry and parochial church meeting was held in April. Winston W.Wood was appointed vicar’s warden and Mr.Brook Batley as people’s warden.The Church Council was re-elected with the substitution of Mrs. A.Fallas for Mrs. Watson. Mr.V.Gledhill resigned as secretary due to ill health. Rev.S.Black gave his report on the year.

In August 1958 the Rev. Sydney Black announced that he was to retire on October 31st. He had been ordained in 1929, serving his title at St.Mary’s, Rushden, Northants, and was instituted Vicar on January 23 1937. He was also Chaplain to St.Mary’s Hospital and acted in a similar capacity at Oaklands Home for the Blind. In his retirement he  would continue to live in the parish and move to Mrs.Black’s former home at Roseleigh, Sands.

The Harvest & Thanksgiving services were held in October and the produce was distributed to the sick and aged patients at St.Mary’s Hospital and Oaklands Home for the Blind. December was the annual occasion of the nine lessons and carols service. There was a large congregation and the lessons were read by Miss Ann Swallow, Miss Pat Robinson, Mr.J.Preece, Mr.F.Ahl, Mr.M.Taylor, Mr.C.Dulling, Mr.W.Jones, Mr.W.Wood and Mr.H.Middlemist with Fred Lockwood as organist.

The Express reported in January 1959 that the Benefice of Netherthong which was made vacant by the resignation of the Rev.S.Black was to be filled by the Rev.Eric Lees Asquith, Curate of Hanging Heaton, Batley. He was 34 years old and married with a 16 month old daughter.  He presided over the Annual vestry and parochial church meetings in April and he nominated W.Wood as his warden and Brook Bailey was re-elected people’s warden. A few days later a welcome was given to him and his wife in the Day School. Mr.W.Wood presided and introduced him to those attending. Other speakers were R.Middlemist, the lay reader, and W.Horncastle, senior member of the choir. During the evening the Male Voice Choir gave a selection of songs and refreshments were served by the ladies of the church.

The Rev.L.Asquith presided at the annual parochial meeting in February 1960 . Mr.V.Lawton was nominated the vicar’s warden and Mr.B.Batley continued as the people’s warden. The following sidesmen were elected – Messrs. G.Bailey, A.Stangroom,P.Stangroom,A Taylor, M.Taylor, K.Lockwood, E.Lockwood, W.Gledhill and W.Lax.

The parochial tea in October was followed by a concert given by members of the Bible Class and Sunday School. The performers were : Joyce Bailey, Susan Hinchliffe, Judith Swallow, Stephanie Hoyle, Jennifer Charlesworth, Anne Clarke, Eileen Charlesworth, Lynn Mallinson, Sharon Simmons, Maria Buck, Lilian Buck, Angela Sykes, Dorcas Tinker, Carolyn Jepson, George Preece, Harold Preece, Michael Parker, Richard Parker, Michael Tinker, James Dulling, Peter Dulling and John Jenson. The compere was Mrs.A. Fallas and the pianist was Mrs.B. Dakin.

In 1962 there was a split between the vicar and his parishioners, which had originated in his refusal to join with the Zion Church in the Annual United Schools Festival held in June, and  which by September had shown no sign of being healed. Because Mr.Fred Lockwood, the voluntary organist, had not agreed to the vicar’s request to have nothing to do with the school festival he was suspended by the vicar who also suspended Mr.William Horncastle, a member of the choir for 50 years. Some time later Mr.Lockwood had been asked by the family of the late Mr. W. Batley to play the organ at the  funeral of Mr.Batley, a life-long friend with whom he had served for many years on the Holmfirth UDC. The vicar refused to allow him to play.

In the Parish Magazine for September, the vicar gave notice of the Harvest Festival to be held in October and said that gifts of fruit and vegetables but not flowers would be most welcome. He had imposed the same ban in 1961 but some parishioners had ignored it and had sent flowers to decorate the church. This year  he was determined to enforce the ban and this would mean that there would be no flowers to distribute to the sick and aged of the Parish, a custom that had been carried out for over a century.  Reports of these problems had appeared in the national newspapers. Instead of the usual large congregation at the Harvest Thanksgiving service, there was just a handful of people present and no music was played. No one sent flowers and only a few sent fruit and vegetables. When the vicar left the church after the Eucharist he locked the church door and, at the gate, passed a number of parishioners waiting to board the bus to Wilshaw to attend their church festival. Mr.Lockwood had also driven past taking  parishioners to Wilshaw. Perhaps not suprisingly the Zion Harvest festival attracted a much larger than normal congregation and their church was decorated with an abundance of flowers, fruit and vegetables.  Since Mr.Lockwood had been suspended in June there had been no music at any of the services and few  parishioners had attended. On one occasion there was only one other person than the vicar present. The Express gave no further reports on the church that year.

In the February 1963 issue of the Parish magazine, the Reverend Eric Asquith wrote ” I have some very serious words to say this month. I know fully well that there are people in this parish whose dearest wish is that I should cease to be its vicar. There is a real possibility that their wish will be granted and that I shall be unable to administer the parish for very much longer because of lack of support …… if I should be compelled to move, the parish will not be given another priest in my place. It is only being kept in existence by my continued presence and by the support of  a faithful few ….. if I leave Netherthong it will be to find a more rewarding sphere in which to exercise my priesthood ….  what can be done to save the life of this parish …. the first is increased attendance and the second is increased financial support …. now I have placed the challenge before you and I will only add that if you are going to respond you must do it quickly. ” For whatever reasons the Express did not report on any activities relating to the Church for the remainder of 1963.

It wasn’t until September 1964 that the first mention of the vicar’s name occured in the paper and it concerned a wedding in the Church of Miss Christine Parson, oldest daughter of Mr.& Mrs. Cecil Parsons of Leas Avenue. The Rev. Asquith officiated and Mr.Leo Grant was the organist. The only other report  for the year was  at the Service of Remembrance and Wreath Laying on November 8th. when he conducted the Memorial Service. As all the information from the Express for the whole of 1966 was not put onto microfilm, one has no way of knowing what developments relating to the Church occured during that year. 

In July 1968 the Church was full to capacity for the institution and induction of the new vicar, Rev. Frank Lord. He was a married man with one son and had been vicar of Holy Rood, Swinton, for the previous 18 years. Mrs.Lord was unable to be present as she had fallen in the vicarage earlier that day and had dislocated her shoulder. The congregation included about 100 parishioners from Swinton, neighbouring clergy and representatives from various organisations and local bodies as well as parishioners from many adjoining areas. The institution was by the Bishop of Wakefield, Rt. Rev.Eric Treacy and the induction was by the Archbishop of Halifax, the Ven.John Field Lister. The organist was Mr.Jarvis. During the serving of refreshments, after his induction, the new Vicar entered the schoolroom with a bucket and said ” There is not a hole in my bucket but there is a hole in my gallery ” recounting that dry rot was affecting the gallery of the church and which would cost £350 to eradicate. His appeal realised £15. He officiated at his first wedding the following month when Miss Pamela Mary Hirst of Leas Avenue was married to Mr.Robinson of Paddock.

In May 1969 the Parish Youth Club invited all the pensioners of the parish to tea in the day room and 50 sat down to a beef and ham tea served by members of the  Club. The evening entertainment was given by the Male Voice Choir,

The photograph below is from the 1970s and is of the opening of the Parish Church autumn fair. It shows from l to r : Bridget Taylor, Mrs. Marlene Capstick ( Vicar’s wife ), Mrs. Emily Sykes who opened the fair, Lucy Burns and Mr. John Wilson, warden.

Opening of the Parish Church autumn fair 1970s
Opening of the Parish Church autumn fair 1970s
At the church’s annual meeting in April 1972, the Rev. Capstick announced that the second stage of the church renovation was due to begin and that a £500 bequest from Miss M.Eastwood, a former inhabitant of the village, would be used to repair several windows. Mr.V.Lawton and Mr.K.Kettlewell were re-elected churchwardens. Mr. Kettlewell was also elected treasurer and Mr.J.Wilkinson secretary. Mrs. M.Ellis, Miss R.Lockwood and Mr.J.Wilson were re-elected to serve on the parochial church council and new members elected were Mrs. S.Gledhill, Mrs.S.Kettlewell and Mr.C.Bradbury. The vicar reported that there had been nine baptisms and 10 weddings at the church during 1971. The electoral roll was made up of 75 names.
The photograph below is dated 30  September 1972 and shows members of the re-formed choir wearing their new robes. This new choir  was reformed in March 1971 after a period of several years when there had been  no church choir in the village, and  numbered  20 members although the choirmaster Mr.C.Bradbury was continually on the look-out for more male choristers. The junior members wore scarlet cassocks with white surplices, the women wore black with white jabots and the men black cassocks with white surplices. Their musical accompaniment was supplied by Mr.E.Mosley, Mr.L.Robinson, Mrs.W.Greeves, Mrs.J.Hiles and Mrs. R.Shaw.
Choir dressed for the occasion 30-9-72
Choir dressed for the occasion 30-9-72

At the end of the year past and present members of the choir joined together at the evensong service to celebrate the church’s patronal festival. They sang the church’s own hymn ” For all the Saints.” Two children , Paul Anthony Senior and Sally Elizabeth Hobson were baptised. At the annual meeting  in 1971, Mr.V.Lawton and Mr. K.Kettlewell were re-elected Churchwardens. Mrs.E.Hinchliffe and Mrs.E.Lawton were re-elected to serve on the Parochial Church council along withMrs.M.Sykes, a new member. A key item from the Rev. J.Capsticks’s report was that dry rot had been eradicated from the gallery.

In January 1973 the Bishop of Wakefield, the Right Rev. Eric Treacy was the Celebrant and preacher at the Family Communion Service. Some 50 people heard him speak, and received communion. Sally Horne was  baptised at the Baptism service. The August Garden Party at the Vicarage attracted a large crowd and teas were served on the lawn. The fancy dress awards were won by Peter Kettlewell and Ann Capstick and £57 was raised for funds.

An augmented choir, conducted by R.Daniel, gave a sensitive rendering of Steiner’s ‘Crucifixion’ in the Church in April 1974. The soloists were Mr.B.Daniel, Mr.J.Daniel and Mr.L.Armitage and the organist was Mr.K.Jarvis. The previous month, the church treasurer had a bright idea for raising money which  was to buy an animal to replace one of the thousands that had died during the recent drought in North Africa. He discussed the idea with Mr.Derek Hudson, who was a reporter on the recent Christian Aid Relief Expedition to the Sahara region. The price of a camel was fixed at £20 and Christine Kettlewell drew the outline of a camel and pinned it up in the church. It was divided into 200 sections and people were invited to give 10p or more. For every 10p a section was shaded in until the camel was complete and the purchasing price was raised. The Express  reported that thanks to the publicity and enthusiastic support round the village the money was raised in under a month. 

The  Annual Christmas Social for 1975 was held in the Day school. There was whist for the older members, disco for the young folk , dancing for everyone and a pea and pie supper. The winners for the whist were Mrs. German, Miss Wimpenny, Mrs. Sykes, Mrs. Fallas, Mrs. Robson, Mrs. Gledhill, Mrs. Laycock and Gary Searby.

The installation of a new organ was a great moment for the church and in January 1976 the Express published  a detailed report and attached a photo of  the Rev.J.Capstick with the new organ in place  in the church. The old instrument was built by the Huddersfield firm of Peter Conacher and Co. in 1871 and for many years had been in bad repair. Right up to the end it was a pleasing organ to listen to but the cost of renovating its mechanism was too great. It was replaced by a small neo-classical organ, freestanding in the church’s nave. Although the whole of the electrical mechanisms were new, use was made of a variety of second-hand non-mechanical parts. The organ builder was a local man, Philip Wood and he scored high creating an organ of individuality.The new organ was actually played for the first time on December 27 1975. It was used in the evening service of nine lessons and carols and the service was recorded on tape for a hospital broadcast in the New Year. The soloists were Josephine Taylor, Andrew Gill, Mandy Wickham, Mandy Bower, Francis Wilson, Nigel Dearnley, Simon Anderson, Christopher Capstick and Peter Kettlewell. Miss Anne Wilson provided guitar accompaniment. The lessons were read by Andrew Gill, Mandy Wickham, Peter Kettlewell, Charles Bradbury ( choirmaster ), Mandy Tinker, Nigel Dearnley, Josephine Taylor, Christine Kettlewell and the vicar, the Rev. J.Capstick. The organist was Keith Jarvis.

Rev. J.Capstick and new organ 2-1-76
Rev. J.Capstick and new organ 2-1-76

A new youth group was formed in April 1976 and would be known as the Netherthong Parish Church Choir Youth Group. Mr.Charles Bradbury, choirmaster at the church, started the club and said that for the time being, until they get established, meetings would be held on the last Friday in every month.A young people’s committee was formed under the chairmanship of Mrs.M.Sykes and the members were – Miss J.Taylor ( treasurer ), Miss S.Whitaker ( secretary ), Miss S.Wilson, Master P.Kettlewell, Master N.Dearnley and Master A.Gail. At the first meeting they played badminton, table-tennis and other games.

New Youth Group formed April 1976
New Youth Group formed April 1976

The 1976 AGM was held on  April 16. Mr.V.Lawton and Mr.K.Kettlewell were re-elected as church wardens. Mrs. J. Rothwell and Mr.H.Laycock were re-elected to the Church Council and Mr. T.Beaumont was nominated to fill the position vacated by Mr.K.Jarvis who had asked to stand down. The Deanery Synod representatives were Mrs.E.Lawton and Mr.K.Kettlewell.The treasurer reported on a reasonably successful financial year with a balance of £300 to carry over but this would be absorbed by the higher Diocesan Quota. The Rev. J.Capstick mentioned the development of the Mothers’ Union, a new Server’s Group and the Church Youth Fellowship.

The amusing story below appeared in the parish magazine in 1976 and the two young girls referred to, Nicola and Rebecca, were members of the Church.

1976 Rebecca Helliwell & Nicola
item put in Parish Magazine


A musical evening was held in the Church in June, when a group of children sang a selection of songs. Peter Kettlewell sang a solo and Mr. Alf Boothroyd and his youthful ensemble of Helen Wood, Claire Charlesworth, Denise Edinbore and JonathanWhitaker played favourite hymn tunes. Nigel Dearnley and Nicola Stables played guitars, Helen Charlesworth and Sarah Whitaker played clarinet with Jean McRina on piano. The programme also included verse reading and Deborah Peebles, Susan Mullinger, Emma Blackburn and Denise Edinboro played recorders. Martin Hirst played on the new church organ and the programme was introduced by Mrs. Whitaker.

Later that year in November 1976, members and friends of Huddersfield Organists’ Association were entertained at the Church. Keith Jarvis, lecturer in organ at Huddersfield School of Music, had been a member of the church since he came to the Huddersfield area about ten years ago and was largely responsible for the ideas behind the new organ. The instrument built by Philip Wood was ably demonstrated  by Mr. Jarvis who chose to play extracts from a variety of pieces – rather than whole works – in order to show off the striking variety of such a small instrument. Afterwards members were invited to try the organ for themselves. The church held its annual flower service in July 1977 when the Flower Queen, Michelle Hutson,  was attended by Caroline Day and  Donna Heppenstall. Lessons were read by Michelle and choir members, Alan Sykes, Richard Bywater and Josephine Taylor. Four months later the school hall was full for the Parish Bazaar which was opened by Mrs. Lax and raised £374 . The raffle prizes were won by Mr.Blackburn, Matthew Day and Mr. Thewks and among the helpers were Mrs. Minnie Taylo, Mrs. Agnes Campbell, Mrs. Alice Fallas, Mrs. Alice Wilkenson and Mrs. Irene Jones. And for something different a face lift was given to the church grounds in April 1978 thank to three workers from the Job Creation Scheme who cleared the approach to the church  and tidied and cleaned the land to the side and back. A sunny day in June with clear blue skies helped to make the Vicarage garden party a great success. Many villagers turned out and the stalls and sideshows did a brisk  trade. The entertainment was given by pupils of Brockholes Junior School who performed a gymnastic display.The winners of the Fancy Dress competition were Stephen Wilkinson, Sally Hobson, Mark Shuttleworth,  Caroline Day, Richard Bywater and Anne Capstick with the raffle winners being Charlotte Mitchell and Mrs. J.Hellawell.

Singers from the church  entertained members of the Holmfirth Branch of OAP Federation in September 1978.  The group included Mrs. Kettlewell, Christine & Peter Kettlewell, Mrs. Wilson and Frances Wilson  and they were accompanied by three other church members playing guitar.

The Vicarage Party held in July 1979 was enjoyed by a large crowd and around £40 was raised. As usual, fancy dress featured and the winners were Helen Wilkinson, Michelle Hutson and Andrew Hutson and the Netherthong Junior school brass ensemble played selections of songs. Later  in November the Autumn Fayre  was a great success and about £330 was raised for Church funds.  One of the popular attractions  was the cake stall as Mrs. Kathleen Woffenden’s cakes were much sought after. She is in the centre of the photograph below, on her left is Caroline Verity, of Almondbury, who opened the Fayre  and on her right is Mrs. Edith Hincliffe.

1979 Autumn FayreCake stall ladies
1979 Autumn Fayre
Cake stall ladies
The programme of the time-table of events for the 150th. Anniversary Celebrations is shown below.Time-table of events for 150th. Anniversary Celebrations

The celebrations for the 150th. Anniversary were spread over September, October and November with many events planned. One feature was the production of souvenir plates – these plates were 8″ and gold-rimmed and depicted the church in the centre with the words” All Saints,Netherthong, 1830-1980 ” round the edge. The original order of 100 sold out very quickly and a second batch was ordered.  The photo below shows Mrs. Sheila Gledhill displaying one of the plates.

Mrs. Sheila Gledhill with the special commemorative plate
Mrs. Sheila Gledhill with the special commemorative plate

Mrs.Sheila Gledhill also appears in the following photograph with Mrs.Joyce Rothwell admiring one of the flower arrangements by Meltham Flower Club which was used to decorate the Parish Church over the weekend for the beginning of the celebrations.

Mrs.S.Gledhill and Mrs.Joyce Rothwell- September 1980.
Mrs.S.Gledhill and Mrs.Joyce Rothwell- September 1980.

The photo below shows Helen and Stephen Wilkinson looking at the flower arrangements for the celebrations.

Helen & Stephen Wilkinson 5-9-80
Helen & Stephen Wilkinson 5-9-80

A choirboy made his own special contribution to the celebrations when he wrote to the Queen. Twelve-year old Richard Bywater wrote telling Her Majesty about the church’s 150 year old celebrations and received a reply from Balmoral. A copy of the reply was put on display in the church.

Choirboy with letter from the Queen
Choirboy with letter from the Queen

Past and present members of All Saints Church Choir got together for a reunion as part of the anniversary celebrations – see photo below. Thanks to Juliet Hendrick for supplying me with the following information in April 2016. Her grandparents, Vernon and Elsie Lawton , are in the centre of the photo either side of the lady with the black jacket. Their daughter, Cynthia, is the mother of Juliet.

Past and present members of the choir
Past and present members of the choir

At the Netherthong mothers’ union 70th. birthday party in October 1983, the special guest of honour was Mrs. Emily Sykes, 92, who had been a member for 50 years, Celebrations began with a thanksgiving by the Rev.J.Capstick  and the organist was Mr.K.Jarvis. Afterwards a party was held in the Zion chapel when Mrs. Sykes was presented with a special cerificate and a pot plant by enrolling member Mrs. Joyce Rothwell. A birthday cake baked by Mrs.Kathleen Woffenden and iced by Hazel Hird was cut and distributed. The photo below shows Mrs.Sykes and other mothers’ union members.

Mrs. Emily Sykes at Mothers' Union party
Mrs. Emily Sykes at Mothers’ Union party

The possible creation for a parish room had been first discussed in the late 1970s and in September 1982 members of the parochial church council met the diocesan surveyor Mr.Gerald Wood to discuss options. It was hoped to provide a meeting room with toilets and a kitchen as in the past the church had held functions in the village school. The vicar, the Rev. John Capstick said that they had used the day school for so long but expenses were going up all the time and it would be nice to have their own little room.

In March 1983 the Agbrigg Area Development sub- committee ruled that a house in the village could be turned into a church meeting room even though it was in a Conservation Area. The councillors did specify some restrictions, one of which was that it could only be used up to 10p.m. and people using it must not be too noisy. The house selected was No.2 Outlane which had been owned by Mr.& Mrs.Pell and it was bought for £6,000. The church council launched a £10,000 appeal fund. Two memorial gifts help boost the funds and numerous organisations ran events and many people gave furniture and equipment to the cottage. The two photographs show the new parish centre before the conversion and a group of helpers at a bric-a-brac and book sale in September which raised £100.

New parish centre before conversion.


Ladies at bric-a-brac stall
Ladies at bric-a-brac stall


Work on the conversion was mainly carried out by voluntary labour and the photograph below shows Mr.& Mrs. Martin Woodhead with their two- month-old daughter, Susannah, the Rev. John Capstick and Mrs.D.Horncastle taking a break from work.

Welcome tea break
Welcome tea break

On October 1984 the conversion had been completed with the building consisting of a downstairs room suitable for small groups, a kitchen and a first floor room capable of seating at least 50. The Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt.Rev. Colin James with the Rev. J.Capstick dedicated the parish centre. The three photographs show them standing outside the centre surrounded by parishioners. The centre was in immediate use with a local playgroup meeting four  times a week and a mother and toddler group on one afternoon.The Senior Citizens Club, the Mother’s Union, the Sunday School were other regular users.


Dedication 7-10-84


Parish house dedication
Parish house dedication


A successful year was reported at the annual meeting in April 1983.The Rev. J.Capstick said there had been a slight increase in congregations and baptisms and paid a special tribute to Kenneth Kettlewell who had died during the year. Last year the church had met all its financial obligations but this year  expenses had increased dramatically. Elected were : V.Lawton and J.Wilson, wardens : J.Wilkinson, secretary :J.Taylor, treasurer :  F.Ainley, D.Green and N.Taylor, sidesmen and S.Kettlewell,T.Beaumont, D.Green and D.Horncastle, PCC members

Gillian Salter, senior choir girl, won the Bishop’s Chorister award in October 1985. She was 14, a pupil at Holmfirth High School and daughter of Mr. & Mrs. John Salter of Wells Green Gardens – see photo.

Gillian Salter with her award

The  Annual autumn fair, held in October 1986, was held in Holmfirth Methodist Church and was a great success. About £500 was raised. The photos below show bargain hunters and tea drinkers.

Annual Autumn Fair
October 1986.

In November the Bishop of Pontefract, the Right Reverend Richard Hare, helped to celebrate the Parish Church patronal festival. He dedicated two new altar candlesticks in memory of a former churchwarden, Vernon Lawton.

Bishop of Pontefract

In the same month a concert was held in the Church and over £70 was raised. In the photograph below were Sgt. Peter Tempest,  Catherine Sykes, Catherine Ellis, Anne Alderston and the Rev.John Capstick.

Concert in Parish Church
November 1986.


And now for something completely different. In June 1987 six couples competed in a Mr.& Mrs. Contest at the Junior School. Each couple was presented with a Royal Wedding commemorative dish. The Rev.and Mrs.J.Capstick were the winners and they were presented with Royal Wedding goblets. Mrs. Sandra Gledhill won a bottle of sherry in the raffle. In the photograph pictured from the left  were : scorer Mrs.Y.Hutson, hostess Mrs.R.Muff, quiz master Mr.David Hutson, Mr.& Mrs. Scholfield, Mr. & Mrs.Priestley, Mr.& Mrs. Lawton, Mr.& Mrs.Hird, the Rev. and Mrs. Capstick and Mr.& Mrs. Battye.

Mr. & Mrs. ContestJune 1987
Mr. & Mrs. Contest
June 1987

The photograph below shows the Rev.J.Capstick receiving a R.I.B.I. Community Service Award.

Rev. John Capstick receiving award circa 1990s

I have not got a date for the photograph below that shows members of the choir in the church. I’m guessing circa 1990s.

Church choir - date unknown
Church choir – date unknown

Another superb photograph from the 1990s? showing the Rev.John Capstick seated on the floor surrounded by some of his parishioners. Standing at the back from L to R. Bob Whitehead, Mr.Rostron, John Taylor, Jennifer Wilkinson, Margaret Rattigan.  Seated from L to R. Anon, Sheila Gledhill, Mrs.Lawton, Joyce Rothwell, Yvonne Hutson, Margaret Sykes.

Rev. John Capstick surrounded by parishioners.

 The Rev. John Capstick told me that the item he was holding was a “gift tray “. Surrounding him from L to R were Joyce Rothwell, anon, John Taylor, Bob Whitehead, Edith Lawton, anon, Christine Whitehead.

Rev. John Capstick and tray ?
Rev. John Capstick and tray ?


I’ve shown below the covers of three brochures issued by the Church. The first one is titled ” 150 years of History “. It has a green cover, the pages are typed and  it was written by John Capstick, the Vicar in 1979. The second one, celebrating 175 years, has been professionaly printed with a high gloss cover featuring the main door to the Church. It uses much of the information in the earlier issue and was organised by Geoff Banks , Vicar. The final item is in the form of a triptych and is called ” A Vision for the Future 2011/2012 ” by the Rev. Nick Heaton, Vicar.


150 years of History of All Saints.
150 years of History of All Saints.
175 years of History
175 years of History
A Vision for the Future 2011/2012
A Vision for the Future 2011/2012

Although church attendances continue to drop there will always be a number of committed churchgoers with strong attachment to the Parish Church. The following article appeared in 2016 in the free local community news and I quote it as printed : ” A group of Holme Valley residents are doing everything in their power to raise funds for their local church. The committee of All Saints Church has come together to provide a solution to paying for the church’s repairs. Committee member Roseanne Meakin said ‘ we’ve been trying to raise money for years, and had a special meeting earlier this year so we could think of ways to raise money, There’s lots of repairs that need doing, it was built in the 1830’s and it’s a really old church. There’s plaster that’s crumbling off the walls, the drains need doing, there’s so much.”

The group has decided on providing locals with an afternoon of cream teas, and is aiming to promote the place of worship, getting more people through the church doors. Roseanne said ” We are Christians and it would be nice if people felt that the church was the focal point of the village, people will make you welcome here. We even have a hall that’s available to hire for a very small fee.” The event will take place on Saturday , July 9 at 3pm., a raffle is on offer to guests with a chance to win an abundance of prizes from local businesses. Roseanne added ‘ We’re doing a raffle as well, and we’ve had some really nice prizes donated from businesses in Holmfirth . Bengal Spice has given us a gift voucher, people have really been generous, not one person has said no.”   The keyword in the Church is Community with efforts directed in creating a multi purpose space in the village – see brochure .


The first activity was to organise a Community Fete on Saturday, September 7th. 2019 – see Invitation.


The Fete was very successful and raised £1,452 which was put towards the upkeep of the church. See report and photographs.

Coun. Nigel Patrick , deputy mayor, and Judith Patrick, deputy mayoress, who opened the fete.

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