Wem Tower and Bells Appeal 1964 -
The First Year of the Appeal
At Evensong in early October 1964 the Rector, Preb Basil Morson, launched an appeal for £5,500 to restore the 14th century church tower (which had survived the Fire of Wem of 1677) and re-
The first fund-
January 1965 saw a rummage sale at the Grammar School which raised over £28 (the pupils being praised for their efforts by Mrs Slynn, the headmaster’s wife), and a coffee evening held at Fernlea, Mill Street, the home of Mr and Mrs Pegler, which raised about £27. During February that year a further £72 was raised from a coffee evening and bring-
During March the Whitchurch Male Voice Choir, conducted by Mr Harry Preston, gave a concert in the church which raised £50. The arrangements were by a chorister, Mr E Smith. The principal solo artiste was BBC soprano, Miss Gwen Davies, and other soloists were Mr Ivor Pugh (bass) and Mr Frank Higgins (tenor). The accompanist was Miss Marion Groom. A whist drive organised by the Women’s Institute, attended by about 120 players, raised over £35 and in April a coffee evening at the home of Mr and Mrs E Wilkinson, Wemsbrook Road, raised over £21.
The Rectory Garden Fete held on the 2nd June raised a wonderful £545 17s 1d for the appeal fund. My father, a Churchwarden, was chairman of the fete sub-
and Mesdames H V Edwards, M Strong and K Billingham. The fete was opened by Mrs Violet Cholmondeley of Ellesmere who was the daughter of the former Rector, Preb Archibald Parker. Five-
By the end of July, the appeal fund stood at £2,536 following a coffee evening held at Rose Cottage, Wemsbrook Road, organised by Mr and Mrs H Gregory and Mr and Mrs C Hutchinson, and which raised £34. This was followed in August by a wine and cheese party held at Aston Grange by invitation of Brigadier and Mrs R S Streatfield, raising over £39. In September a coffee evening was held at The Chestnuts, Aston Road, the home of Mr and Mrs G F Brisbourne, adding another £37 to the fund.
The total of the appeal fund at the end of the first year was £2,691 12s 9d.
The Second Year of the Appeal
“Halfway There”: Less than twelve months after the first money-
A bonfire, barbecue and fireworks held by Tilley parishioners on Guy Fawkes night that year took place on a field belonging to Mr W D Rutter. Attendance at its peak was in the region of one thousand. There were stalls and competitions and the bonfire was lit by children of the parish, Tommy and Bobby Morris, Michael and Christopher France, Sandy Heath, Philip and Tim Rutter and Pam and Victoria Ward. The event raised £183 8s. 8d.
On the 8th December nearly 140 people attended a whist drive in the Market Hall. Arrangements were by Mr and Mrs W C Edwards. Mr W Jones was the M C and Mrs M Strong presented the prizes. The sum of £56 was raised.
In January 1966 Preb and Mrs Morson held an evening party at The Rectory. About a hundred guests contributed £81 to the Tower and Bells Appeal.
A further £90 8s. 0d. was raised for the appeal during February when the Churchwomen’s Guild and the Mothers’ Union held another joint coffee evening and bring-
On the 2nd June, Mr J E Johnson, Chairman of the Directors of Wem Motor Company, presented an 18-
The 1966 Rectory Garden Fete took place on the 8th June and was opened by Mrs Parker Leighton of Oswestry, the wife of a former Member of Parliament. After the opening she was presented with a bouquet by five-
A coffee evening held at Aston Lodge, the home of Mr and Mrs R L Heath, in July raised £30 for the appeal and another coffee evening at the home of Mr and Mrs Pegler, Fernlea, Mill Street, raised £17 10s in September. I see also that the sum of £36 was raised by Messrs W T Smith and G Beaumont in respect of a tombola.
By the end of the second year, the total of the appeal fund had reached £4,391 11s. 6d.
The Third Year of the Appeal
A third dinner dance held at the Hawkstone Park Hotel raised over £81 for the appeal -
In view of steeply rising building costs, the sum needed for the repairs and the re-
On the 3rd May a cocktail party at The Oaklands by invitation of Mrs D Pitt-
Two other events in aid of the appeal were held on the 31st May. They were a clay pigeon shoot and a road safety car handling exercise. The former was organised by Mr W D Rutter and Mr M C Pate, and the prizes were presented by Miss Dorothy Ward. The car tests were organised by Mr R G O Farmer assisted by Messrs P Smith, C Hill, H Tyler, Clive Jones, W Jones, Ian Edge, J Edwards and N Pegler. The prizes were presented by Mrs J Lane, daughter of Mr J E Johnson, donor of the cup awarded annually by the church for a competitive event. A barbecue arranged by ladies of the church brought the event to a close and the sum of £19 10s 0d was raised.
The 1967 Rectory Garden Fete, held on the 7th June, was opened by Lady Bridgeman, wife of the Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire. After the opening a bouquet was presented to Lady Bridgeman by Linda Pate. The fete raised the sum of £400.
In September over three hundred people attended a fashion show in Wem Town Hall given by Jayne’s of Wem. The show, which was organised by my father (Chairman of the Appeal Committee) together with my mother and Mrs M Strong, Miss Dorothy Ward, Mr W D Rutter and Mrs K Billingham, raised £73 15s. 6d. for the appeal. Over one hundred garments were paraded by Miss Cynthia Reader, Mrs Carol Wainwright, Mrs Helen Hutchings, Mrs Teddie Hill, Mrs Linda Smith and Mrs Connie Davies. Mr J S Hoyle was the compere. My father and I produced the catwalk.
The Fourth Year of the Appeal
The fourth year of the appeal began with a Harvest Supper Dance which raised over £47.
Tilley Village held another event in aid of the appeal in November 1967. It was to have been a bonfire, fireworks, barbecue and dancing in conjunction with a village fayre on farmland and premises of one of the organisers, Mr A G Ward of Tilley Manor, but it had to be drastically cut because of foot and mouth restrictions. The events that could be salvaged were transferred to Wem Church Hall but there was still an excellent response from the public and over £143 was raised.
Christmas 1967 saw a draw and whist drive being held in the Church Hall which raised the sum of £41 5s. 6d.
In February 1968 another joint coffee evening and bring-
In March, Mr Alec Turner and I organised a gift sale by auction in Wem Market Hall -
The following month an evening party arranged by The Rector and Mrs Morson raised the sum of £72 13s. 0d.
It was hoped by the organisers that the Rectory Garden Fete, held on the 29th May, would be the final fund-
Just four years after it was launched the appeal was closed after the target, which had risen to £7,500, had been reached
.A wonderful achievement!