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    Cradley Links

    Cradley Parish Magazine (1940)

    Transcript of the Cradley parish Magazine from 1940

    It is April, 1940, and England is once again at war with Germany.

    The nation is preparing for an imminent invasion, but soon the Battle of Britain will be fought and won over the skies of England.

    Meanwhile, in Cradley, the Vicar of St. Peter's (the Rev. Robert W. Yaxley) is gravely concerned. The Parochial Tea and Entertainment has shown a profit of £17 2s., and the congregation at the Good Friday devotion between two and three o‘clock was as large as usual, but he has been "... drawn to the inevitable conclusion that it would have been to hear some pleasant singing, and not for any real desire to worship."

    Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! Psalm 46, verse 10

    Cradley Parish Magazine


    SUNDAYS: Holy Communion : Every Sunday at 8 a.m.

    Matins and Sermon: (except fourth Sunday).

    Evensong and Sermon: 6 p.m.

    WEEKDAYS: Matins: 8 15 a.m. except Wednesdays. (...) Eucharist at 10 45 a.m.

    Fellowship: 2.45 p.m.

    Sunday School: 10 15 a.m. and 2 30 p.m.

    Holy Communion: Wednesdays and Saints‘ Days 9 30 a.m.


    Sung Eucharist: First and third Sunday 9 a.m.

    Evensong: Every Sunday 6 p.m.

    Sunday School: 10 a.m. and 2.30 p.m. GOOD SHEPHERD:

    Holy Communion: Second Sunday 9 a.m.

    Evensong: Every Sunday 6 p.m.

    Sunday School: 10 a.m. and 2.30 p.m.

    Clergy : THE REVEREND ROBERT W. YAXLEY1, B. Sc., The Vicarage, Colley Gate.

    Churchwardens: Mr. A. H. MEREDITH, Mr. J. H. BLOOMER.

    Mission Wardens: (St Katharine‘s): Mr. GARNET HARRIS. (Good Shepherd) Mr. S. J. BATE.


    Organists (Parish Church): Mr. FRANK STEVENS L.R.A.M, A.R.C.O.

    (St Katharine‘s): Mr. VERNON CLIFTON.

    (Good Shepherd): Mr. A. HOMER.

    Deputy Organist: Mr. WILFRED JONES.

    Verger and Sexton: Mr. A. GREGORY, 29 Ladysmith Road. All Notices of Banns, Weddings and Funerals to be given to Mr. Gregory.

    Day Schools: Headmaster: Mr. G. N. RAYBOULD. Headmistress: MISS B. M. BUCKLEY.

    Schools (Parish Church) Superintendents: Mr. Wesley Millward, Miss Harris, Miss Thomas.

    (St Katharine‘s): Mr. G. N. Cox.

    (Good shepherd): Mr. Geo. Edwards and Mr. B Millward.

    General Secretary : Mr. W. H. Collins.

    Sidesmen: Messrs S. Abbiss, P. Adams, G. Attwood, J. Attwood, W. Barnsley, Alf. Bate, F. Bate, J. Bate, N. Bate, S. J. Bate, W. Beasley, Chris Bloomer, H. Bloomer, L. Boxley, J. Bridgewater, W. H. Chapman, C. Coley, W. H. Collins, R. Cook, W. A. Cook, G. N. Cox, T. Cox, H. Butler, C. F. Dakin, J. Dentith, J. Dunlop, W. Dunn, I. Fletcher, G. Forrest, H. Greaves, R. Green, J. Gregory, S. Griffiths, A. Grove, W. Haden, A. Hall, Geo. Hall, Ll. Hall, G. Harbach, C. Head, S. F. Head, F. Hipkiss, E. Hodgetts, A. Holloway, Bert Homer, W. Homer, D. Hughes, J. Jaquiss, R. Jones, W. Jones, F. Kirton, Geo. Littlewood, Jack Littlewood, James Littlewood, James Littlewood, Junr, G. Mapp, E. Meredith, Rex Meredith, B. Millward, C. Millward, Wes. Millward, A. Parkes, B. Parry, H. Parry, J. Parsons, T. Parsons, H. Pittaway, R. Priest, G. N. Raybould, F. Russ, J. Shaw, H. Shuck, J. Slater, Les Southall, Reg. Southall, W. Southall, M. Spencer, T. Taylor, H. Tibbetts, H. Tilley, V. R. Westcott, S. White, B. Willetts, S. Willetts, C. Worton, A. Wyre, H. Wyre, C. Yates, Chas. Yates.

    Servers: K. Abbiss, A. Downing, A. Hall, Ll. Hall, G. Harris, E. Homer, W. Homer, W. Jones, C. Millward, Wes. Millward, D. Roberts, F. Rose, P. Rose, R. Southall, H Tibbetts, A. Treviss, S. White.


    Representatives to Diocesan Conference: Mr.J. Jaquis, Mr. C. N. Raybould.

    Representatives to Ruri-decanal Conference: Mr. S. J. Bate, Mr. W. Dunn, Mr. J. Jaquiss (ex officio), Mr. N. Raybould.

    Council: The Vicar, Churchwardens and above representatives ex officio, Mrs. Green, Mrs. Clement Jones, Mrs. H. Meredith, Mrs. Parry, Mrs. J. Rock, Mrs. Tate, Miss Bissell, Miss Cook, Miss Wright, Messrs Bate, E. Bloomer, W. H. Chapman, W. H. Collins, R. Cook, G. N. Cox, H. Cutler, J. Dentith, J. Dunlop, Geo. Edwards, R. Green, J. Gregory, S. Griffiths, G. Harris, S. F. Head, F. Hipkiss, E. Hodgetts, Wilf. ]ones, Geo. Littlewood, E Meredith, R Meredith, B. Millward, C. Millward, Wes. Millward, B. Parry, T. Parsons, H. Priest, H. J. Shuck, J. Slater, W. Southall, F. Stevens, H. Tibbetts, H. Tilley, G. Tranter, V. R. Westcott, Williams, A. Wyre.


    Wednesday, 1st May - Women‘s Home Mission, Meeting at the Vicarage at 3 p m. Speaker, Mrs. Toulouse.

    Sunday, 19th May - Trinity Sunday Ordination at Cradley.

    Sunday, 2nd June - Combined Sunday School Anniversary Services.

    Sunday, 9th June - Good Shepherd Sunday School Anniversary.

    Sunday, 16th June - St. Katharine's Sunday School Anniversary.

    Sunday, 23rd June - Good Shepherd Choir Festival.

    SATURDAY, 29th JUNE, ST. PETER‘S DAY GIFT DAY. £300 needed.

    Sunday, 30th June - Patronal Festival.

    Sunday, 7th July - Parish Church Choir Sunday.

    Sunday, 14th July - St Katharine‘s Choir Sunday.


    Please note MATTINS at 10.45 a.m. EVENSONG at 6.30 p.m.

    Thursday, 4th April - Working Party Tea given by Mrs. Ezra Homer, at 5 p.m.

    Sunday, 7th April - 8 a.m., Corporate Communion for Sunday School Teachers and Young People.

    Wednesday, 10th April - Working Party Tea given by Mrs. Dakin Senr. at 5 p.m. in the Schools.

    Sunday, 14th April - 8 a.m., Corporate Communion for members of Guild of St. Peter.

    Wednesday. 17th April - S P G Deanery Service at St Edmund‘s, Dudley, at 11 a.m.

    5 p.m., Working Party Tea.

    Sunday, 21st April - 8 a.m. Corporate Communion for Women‘s Guild and Mother‘s Union members (transferred from 28th April). Choral Eucharist at 10.45 a.m.

    Wednesday, 24th April - 5 p.m ., Working Party Tea.

    Sunday, 28th April - Day School Anniversary. Holy Communion 8 a.m. Preacher at Mattins: The Right Reverend C.R. Duppuy, Assistant Bishop of the Diocese. Services also at 3 p.m. and 6.30 p.m. Collections throughout the day for Day School Fund.

    Thursday, 2nd May - Ascension Day Holy Communion at 6.30 a.m. and 9.30 a. m. Child Service at 9 a.m. Evensong at 7.30 p.m.

    Saturday and Monday, 4th and 6th May - Dramatic Society‘s performances.


    The last six commandments tell us our duty towards others. Let us take the fifth and sixth this month.

    Fifth Commandment.

    Have I been helpful in the home, putting duty and kindness to others before pleasure?

    Have I honoured my parents and those set over me?

    Sixth Commandment.

    Have I been kind, and hurt nobody by word nor deed?

    What has my temper been like?

    Have I taught evil to another, or been mean?

    Am I too pleased with myself, or selfish?


    My dear Friends,

    Holy Week in Cradley was alternately inspiring and most disappointing. The choir excelled itself in its performance of Stainers‘ “Crucifixion” on Palm Sunday evening, and the stirring music and words could not fail to move those in the big congregation, one would think to some realization of the great sacrifice Our Lord made on the Cross nineteen centuries ago. And yet when Good Friday came round again this year, how many were there to spend a few moments in recollection of Calvary? It is true the congregation at the one hour‘s devotion between two and three o‘clock was as large as usual, but I think of the hundreds who let it all go by, and often times for no better reason than they had never been before, or that it would have been a rush after dinner, or something equally futile. And how many of those who didn‘t come in the afternoon came in the evening? We had hoped at one time to arrange Stainers‘ “Crucifixion” for Good Friday instead of Palm Sunday, but black-out restrictions made that impossible. I have no doubt but that there would have been as good a congregation as there was on the Sunday evening, and one is drawn to the inevitable conclusion that it would have been to hear some pleasant singing, and not for any real desire to worship. No! our religion is not deep enough. We don‘t let it cost us anything, and I would with all my heart ask you to read what I am constrained to write with sympathy. I am really concerned. We are very good at raising money in Cradley, and I have said over and over again what a privilege I deem it to be the Vicar of Cradley. But do support me in the spiritual as well as the material side of my ministry. Here is an instance of what I mean. We have been forced to alter the time of evening service owing to the black-out. The congregations even at 6 o‘clock have not been what they were before. We are told that it is too close upon tea. So that when tea and worship interfere, tea wins ! ! My answer is that on special occasions such as the British Legion Service, and the Palm Sunday rendering of the Crucifixion, it matters not whether the service is in the afternoon or at 6 o‘clock, your congregation is there. And, there are far too many fair weather Christians about as well.

    I said that Holy Week was alternately inspiring and disappointing. One of the inspirations was the Holy Communion service on Maundy Thursday evening. A number of those present have spoken to me of the atmosphere, and I know it must have meant a great deal to them as it did to me. I think that as time goes on many more will learn to find real inspiration and help in this service.

    The Church was beautifully decorated for the Easter Day services and we are very grateful to those who gave time on Saturday to help with the decoration and to those who gave flowers. It was en­couraging also to find that in spite of much illness and the fact that several of our young fellows are away serving in the forces, the number of com­municants remained at the level attained in the last two years. Easter services can be a real joy, and a real help, and they were certainly so to me. It was good to see our recently confirmed members making their communion for the first time on that day. On Easter Monday I had the opportunity and the privilege of taking communion to some, who through illness were unable to get to Church. I would like the more active co-operation of the congregation, in the matter of informing me of those who would care to have communion in their homes. I was not given a single name by any member of the congregation in response to my appeal.

    To avoid congestion, we are arranging the Day School Anniversary Services rather earlier this year, and 28th April has been fixed. The children are practising hard and despite the fact that all our bigger boys and girls have been removed to the new Senior School at Homer Hill, we look forward to a very happy day We know that a number of old scholars and friends make a practise of attending that day and we shall be very glad to welcome them again this year. I hope you will do your utmost to make the services well known.

    The bishop has done us the honour of suggesting that the Ordination service be held at Cradley on Trinity Sunday, 19th May. Normally of course, ordinations are held in The Cathedral. This year there are only a few candidates, I think two Deacons and one Priest, and in the absence of the Bishop of the Diocese who is unwell, the Ordination will be taken by Bishop Duppuy. It will be an inspiring service, and I know that Mr. Davey, our new curate, is greatly pleased that the Ordination should be in the Church where he is to serve his first curacy. I hope you are continuing to remember him in your prayers daily and that you will give him a real welcome into our midst.

    With all good wishes,

    I am your Friend and Vicar,



     Pray that they may remain Christ‘s faithful soldiers and servants throughout their lives .


     Appended the balance sheet for this annual effort.

     We are most grateful to those who made this splendid result possible. The profit was about £3 more than ever before.


    Cr. £ s. d.

    Donations, trays, half-trays 13 14 6

    Concerts, sale of food etc 11 8

    Sale of tickets 4 17 0

    £19 3 2

    By Dentith, cakes etc. 1 4 8

    Milk 1 0

    Caretaker 3 0

    Concert Party 12 6

    Net Profit 17 2 0

    £19 3 2


    By now you should have received a circular telling you about out proposed Gift Day on St Peter's Day, Saturday, 28th June, when I am going to sit in Church throughout the day to receive your offerings.

    I want to clear up one point on which I am told there is some misunderstanding. We want to raise the sum of £300. I hope this is not by any means all to be spent on the decoration of the Church. What I wish to make plain is that this year, owing to war conditions we are unable to contemplate the usual Sale of Work. We have in the past raised about £300 at this effort, and as our normal Church collections do not nearly meet all our necessary expenses, the Churchwardens have relied on this Sale of Work to enable them to meet their charges. They will need this year a sum very near to that which they have always required. Anything left over and above the Churchwardens‘ requirements will go towards the very necessary interior decora­ tions of the Church about which the appeal letter speaks.

    We want everybody on the electoral roll - and others interested in our work to start saving now so that there may be hundreds of gifts - large and small - to be presented on 29th June. Will you think what you can do, and pray about our effort and make it as widely known as possible! If you would like a collecting box to help you just let me know and I will see that you are supplied. If every body does a little, there need be no doubt as to the ultimate issue of the appeal.

    CONGRATULATIONS. Our congratulations are offered to Mr. and Mrs. Edmund Meredith on the birth of a daughter.

    We offer our very best wishes to Wesley Millward and Florence Wood on the occasion of their marriage. They are both very well known in the Church and both have the welfare of the Church very much at heart. A big congregation gathered to give the happy couple their good wishes on Saturday, 23rd March, and at the ceremony the organist played appropriate music and the choir was in attendance. We trust that it will be some little time before Wesley has to join up, though he has already registered. His departure will mean, amongst other things, finding a new Superintendent for the Parish Church morning and afternoon Sunday Schools, and a new Server. Both he and his bride are in the choir, and are absent from Church only on the very rarest occasions. May God bless them and their home.

    Two other very regular members of our congregation, Jack Lawton and Mary White were married at Cradley a few days before Easter. We extend to them too our sincere congratulations and best wishes and rejoice to know that they are still to reside in the parish.

    Our best wishes too are given to John Cyril Harris and Edna Gertrude Russ who were married at Cradley on Easter Day.

    SYMPATHY. The Church has lost a very faithful member in the passing of Emma Davies at the age of 77 years. She was one who had a real love for her Church and from whom many could well take an example. We rejoice that she is now reaping the reward of a life well spent for her Master, and that she is reunited with those who had passed on many years before.

    We convey our sympathy to Mrs. Whittle of High Street in the loss of her son, aged 17 years, under tragic circumstances.

    Also to Mrs. Clifton of Two Gates Lane, whose husband passed away at Wordsley Hospital at Eastertide. He had for some little time been attending St Katharine‘s.

    St Katharine‘s has lost one of its oldest and most devoted members in the death of James Dunlop. Mr. Dunlop attended the Mission Church before the present building was erected in Beecher Street and it was the last place to which he went before his long illness. He had sung in the choir for thirty years or more and his heart and soul was in St Katharine‘s. It was appropriate that, ­after short prayers at the house, the major part of the burial service should be held at St. Katharine‘s and fellow choir members sang some of the hymns he loved so well. Before interment, the body was taken into the Parish Church. We extend our sincere sympathy to Mrs. Dunlop and to the family in their loss. They have happy memories of one who served God and Church well, and who inspired his family to do likewise.

    Much sympathy has been expressed with Mrs. and Miss Woodall of Windmill Hill in the loss of Mr. Woodall. Although he had been ailing for some time, his end was most unexpected and he had been in hospital for a couple of days only when news came that he could not live. Mr. Woodall, formerly in the teaching profession, was much respected in the neighbourhood. His wife has suffered very bad health for a long time and we pray that both she and her daughter will be given all strength, all the peace and all the comfort they need in this time of their loss.

    With tragic suddenness Hannah Maria Hipkiss of the Woodlands Colley Gate was called from this life on Sunday 10th March, and was laid to rest at Cradley the following Thursday. Mrs. Hipkiss was very well known in Lye and Colley Gate, and was a member of the Parish Church. Although she had been unable to attend much of late years she was always ready to respond to any appeal made to her, and she had taken her part in the recent effort to wipe off the debt on the Renovation Loan.

    A choral service preceded the interment. We extend our very sincere sympathy to Mr. Frank Hipkiss in his great loss and pray that God will sustain him through it.


    The Good Shepherd Mission Church was beautifully decorated for the Church‘s Queen of Seasons. Willing hands had laboured lovingly to make the Church typical of hope, faith and joy, Holy things which have no meaning if Christ has not risen. But Christ has risen and our labour is not in vain in the Lord. G.E.

    LENT BOXES. Will those who took S.P.C.K. Lenten Savings Boxes2 kindly return them to the Vicar as soon as possible, please?


    Apr 7 - Mr. Geo Edwards.

    14 - Mr. Geo Edwards.

    21 - Mr. Caleb Cooper.

    28 - Day School Festival.

    May 5 - Mr G. Nelson Cox.

    12 - Mr. Geo Edwards.

    19 - Mr. Geo Edwards.

    26 - Mr. G. Nelson Cox.


    Apr. 7 - Mr. Howard S. Walker.

    14 - Mr. G. Nelson Cox.

    21 - Mr. E. H. Mander (Headmaster of Halesowen Grammar School)

    28 - Day School Festival.

    May 5 - Mr. T. Morton.

    12 - Mr. Caleb Cooper.

    19 - Mr. Howard S. Walker.

    26 - The Vicar.



    Apr. 7 - Mrs. J. Dunlop.

    14- Mrs. Ezra Homer.

    21 - Mrs. Coley.

    28 - Mrs. G. N. Raybould.


    Apr. 7 - Dorothy and Esme Sidaway.

    14 - Mrs. Jones and Mrs. Adlam.

    21 - Mrs. Hodgetts and Mrs. Taylor.

    28 - Mrs. G. N. Raybould.

    Selected advertisements from the Cradley Parish Magazine, 1940

    Parish Magazine (1940)

    "For WASHING MACHINES and MANGLES of all descriptions, go to Harold Raybould 22, High Street, Cradley [...] your old mangle taken in Part Exchange" - advertisement in the Cradley Parish Magazine, 1940

    "While waiting for the BUS to go up to the MARKET look in HICKMAN\'S (Colley Gate) WINDOWS [...] there\'s something there to interest YOU" - advertisement in the Cradley Parish Magazine, 1940

    "Eric Holloway (Chemists) LTD - YOUR CHEMISTS... All Medicinal - Surgical - Toilet - Photographic Requirements. WINDMILL HOUSE, COLLEY GATE." - advertisement in the Cradley Parish Magazine, 1940


    1 Robert William Yaxley

    From our transcription of the Cradley entry in Kelly's 1940 directory:

    "The church of St. Peter [...] the living is a vicarage, net yearly value £500, in the gift of the Rector of Halesowen, and held since 1939 by the Rev. Robert William Yaxley B.Sc. of Birmingham University and Ripon Hall, Oxford."

    Cradley Links wishes to thank Pamela Cottle and Elaine Leigh, who generously provided from their records many interesting details about the branch of the Yaxley family to which Rev. Yaxley belonged.

    Robert William Yaxley was born in 1905, somewhere in the Aston registration district. His father, William John Thomas Yaxley, was born in Saltley in 1877, and died in Barnstaple in 1973. This William Yaxley was the eldest of the twelve children born to William Robert Yaxley and his wife Eliza.

    It seems that Rev. Yaxley went on from Cradley to become Canon of St. Anne's Parish in Birmingham.

    Pamela and Elaine supplied many other details regarding the Yaxley family. Cradley Links will be pleased to forward contact information to interested parties.

    2 "... will those who took S.P.C.K. Lenten Savings Boxes [...]"

    The S.P.C.K. is "The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge" : see their website at http://www.spck.org.uk.


    Cradley Links thanks Jill Guest for kindly providing photocopies of the Cradley Parish Magazine of January 1897, December 1925, April 1940, May 1957 and February 2004.

    We would also like to thank the current (2004) Vicar of Cradley, the Rev. Tony Coote, and Church Warden John Clifton for permission to reproduce the Cradley Parish Magazine on Cradley Links.

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