Chapters Appendices

ALBERT  HALL, PART 7:   1950 to 1959

After the war, the ministry and outreach of the Hall continued unabated: evening congregations again exceeded two thousand, the mid-week clubs and fellowships were numerous, but the social role of the Hall was modified in the climate of the new Welfare State. The Sunday School was awarded first prize in a national competition for its efficiency and organisation.

On Saturday 29 April 1950 the Grand Opening Social of the Nottingham Methodist Mission Circuit Youth Week was held in the Albert Hall Institute. On Sunday there was an Open Day for the parents and friends. On Monday Brightness was presented at Bestwood Hall by members of the Mission. Tuesday evening was devoted to Table Tennis tournaments etc., and a display by uniformed organisations at Aspley Hall. On Wednesday the young people of the Mission conducted a "Witness" evening and Dedication Service at King's Hall. Thursday 4 May 1950 was devoted to sports at Highfields with Inter-Church Football Matches, tennis tournaments, etc.

During the last three Sundays of August 1950 evening worship was shared with friends of Wesley Chapel, Broad Street, whilst the Albert Hall was being re-decorated. Morning Services were held in the Lecture Hall.

During the years when the young people were away on war service and until mid-1950, the work of manning the Used Clothes Store was carried on by the Mission Staff. From then the Wesley Guild once more took over the store and it was open on Wednesday evenings again.

From September 1950 the Women's Fellowship changed its name to the Women's Bright Hour.

The Junior Girl's League met every Monday evening at 6.30 pm.  It was open to girls of nine to fifteen years of age.  It was a happy fellowship that had grown rapidly since it was begun in June 1948 and was, possibly, the largest Junior Branch of Girls' League throughout this country. It was essentially missionary in character and encouraged learning about the Church Overseas and the needs of the people there. The evenings were bright and varied and, although the girls were so young, they were encouraged to lead the meetings themselves which prepared them for leadership in the Church later on.

Under the leadership of  Miss K. Embleton, a Life Boy Team was re-started at the Albert Hall. The Team was for boys aged nine, ten and eleven years and was run on Monday evenings from 6.15 to 7.30 in Room B1 in the basement of the Institute.

In October 1950 Mrs. K.L. Waights became Vice-President of the Used Clothes Store and Mr. A.H. Jackson the Organising and Corresponding Secretary. The times of opening were re-adjusted and cases were then dealt with on Tuesday evenings, 6.30 to 7.30 pm and on Wednesday mornings from 9.30 to 10.30 am instead of once a week.  The "Headquarters" were moved from high up in the building to the rear basement of the Albert Hall.

There was still a shortage of food. Therefore, the Canteen was open every Monday night from 7 to 7.30 pm for supplying the allocation of tea, sugar, etc., to those organisations that required it.

Irene Johnson recalls the joys of the school Speech Days at the Albert Hall, from 1951 to 1956.

My memories concern the Speech Days which were held annually at the Albert Hall when I was a pupil at the Manning Grammar School.  We had a strong tradition of music and singing. We had a very good Madrigal group of which my elder sister was a member.  The whole school would be assembled sitting opposite the "congregation" of proud parents and honourable guests.  Our programme was the result of weeks of practice and dedication by our very talented Music Teacher, Miss Woodbridge.

There were piano recitals on the grand piano, superb solo singing, and the whole hall would ring with our School Anthem Non Nobis Domine.  We never looked so clean and tidy.  School tunics pressed, clean, crisp blouses, shoes shining and most of all, peculiar to our school a white and red "tie" whose colours had not "run" into each other! Some of us, for some of the school year, would look a bit like a St. Trinian, but on Speech Day we would stand as one, sit as one with not a fidget to be seen.  I think a lot of it was due to the atmosphere of the Albert Hall which seemed to expect everyone to do their best.

Finally, as we poured out of the Albert Hall in our hundreds, all looking for familiar faces, I can now appreciate that it was my first experience of a real big "do" as we passed by the fur coats, evening dress and limousines!

Everybody had to traipse down to the Embankment by the memorial to catch the coach because he dare not upset too many people at church that we were leaving for the holiday on Sunday.  What a difference from today.

[General conversation] It was in Ken Waights' time that was to us the highlight.  We were in the youthful age when he influenced us.  There was a very wide age group that went to church.  It wasn't only the young ones he attracted, but the old  ones as well.

[Jean] We were saying at our Easter Lent meeting that, without a doubt  -  it was virtually unanimous  -   what kept us in the church was not, in the beginning, as a young person wanting the message, it was the people.  It was personalities that appealed to you.  The message as to whether you believed and recognised the faith came later, really.

[Pat] I have to confess that, in my youth, I did not understand half of what Ken Waights said.  It was not what he said that was not good.  We were not ready for it.

[Barbara] It all goes to show that you have to be very careful who your leaders are, because they influence people so much, although they and you may not realise it at the time.

[Pat] My mother was in the choir for a while.  I helped to run an Inters Club (11 to 14s) for a long time with Wilf Mabbott and Winifred Stokes [she was a police woman and they later married one another].  There was no youth club then.  I was a little younger than Jean and Margaret.  The Inters certainly opened my eyes a lot because we had quite a rough element in it at one time, but I don't think it helped to form my life, necessarily.  I think the ordinary Youth Club where I was a member did that more.  In the Inters Club, I remember one young lad taking his leather belt off with metal studs on it and slinging it around my head.  I had not experienced that kind of behaviour before.  We met in the old gym downstairs.  Not many of them came to the church.

[Margaret, about her memories of the office:] I worked there five years during the time of several ministers: Ken Waights, Jack Pope and George Sails. They were three very different people.  I worked office hours: 9am to 5pm but dependent upon what was needed.  If they needed me later in the evening I would go in.  I did secretarial work including arranging hire of the Hall and Institute, the preparation of  the invoices and sending them out.  I banked the collections.  We had a weekly meeting with the official Treasurer (George Palmer and later Herbert Walters).  Herbert Walters was an Estate Agent but he was quite an important person in those days.

We had a set amount which we charged for rooms.  Of course we had a lot of  regular bookings when I was there.  We had a lot of exams held there.  Rene Dove and Phyllis Hefford used to invigilate.

Blanche Wise was in the office before me.  Frank Drayton came after me. Rose Taylor, who had been in the office earlier, came in when I was expecting.

 When the Hallè Orchestra came they used to give me a red carnation.  We did not meet many of the concert people because I usually only worked office hours and the concerts were always in the evening.  It was really the caretaker who had the involvement there.

We did not use hymn books in the services.  We had hymn sheets printed by professional printers.  A different  hymn sheet had to be printed each week.   I then had to proof-read it and did all the notices on the front, which had to be collated.  It was quite a tight time-scale.  It would be difficult with some of today's preachers who let you know at the last minute what the hymn numbers are.

But, of course, we never had a visiting preacher.  It wasn't until I went to Grangewood that I really knew what a Local Preacher was.  It was an "event" if you got a Local Preacher on L.P.M.A. Sunday.  George Fieldhouse used to complain that we never got one.  It was he who really got it off the ground. 

[Barbara] He was one of the few who did preach at the Albert Hall.  People used to go into the City centre to hear someone like Kenneth Waights and they would have been very discouraged if they got to the Albert Hall and found it was a Local Preacher or someone different from the Minister.  Perhaps they wouldn't have come any more.

[Jean] At the time of Ken Waights people went to hear him because he was an orator, let's be honest, and he was a big debater.  People would go to listen to him in church only to walk down to the square and chew it over with him there.  But there was a nucleus of people who were members.

We used to go to Bestwood Hall on a Sunday afternoon to take the Sunday School.  We took the bus from Trinity Square and walked all the way from the island along Arnold Road.  I can't remember how many of us ran it.  There was Frank Stephenson, Sister Pamela Pratley, Rene Dove and a friend of hers with whom she lived then.

The Sunday School went in at the start of  the service but came out before the sermon.  There was always a children's address.  I can remember vividly hearing Osborne Gregory.  My image of Christ was Osborne Gregory, the gentle, saintly look.  You don't think in terms of years or logic and spiritual things when your are five, six, seven or eight.  Anyone of thirty is old.

[Margaret] In my time, Rose Taylor was always in charge of flowers.  She persuaded ladies to give donations to buy a specific week's flowers and she had a rota for the whole year.  She got most people to give in memory of somebody, or a special occasion like an anniversary.  She maintained the whole list and three people would donate money or flowers.  Sometimes they would give money and she would do the flowers.  Other times people would say: "I would like to do the flowers myself" and they would do either the whole lot or they would do certain vases and provide someone to do the others on the altar or the communion table. No money was taken out of the Poor Fund in those days to buy flowers.  It was self-financing.  There certainly was no question of getting money in to buy flowers.  If there was a concert the City Council would provide flowers.  We never provided flowers for outside occasions.  Money was received for a specific day.  We used brass vases.  If you look back, they were really quite unsuitable for arranging flowers.  They were just put in a vase.  They were not arranged in the same way as they are now.  I can still visualise those brass vases.

[Pat] In George Sails's time we had troughs with greenery in them for a long time.

[Margaret] That was to cut down the cost when it was difficult to get people to give money for the flowers.  Greenery and plants in troughs  didn't cost so much and you could still get a nice show.

[Pat] I was on the Leaders' Meeting from the age of seventeen.  That was in Jack Pope's time.  I think I was the youngest person, except for one or two towards the end, right up until the closure of the Hall, when it had become the Church Council.  When I was on the Trustees' Meeting I remember being overawed by the number of men on the committee.  I didn't find them autocratic.  You looked up to them as personalities; powerful men in the City.  They were eminent people both in the City and in the Church.  You weren't taken off until you died so you had a long list of names of which three or four would be active.

One of the big occasions in the Albert Hall was the Nottingham University graduation ceremonies at the very beginning of July.

[Margaret] I remember the chrysanthemum show.  The bottom seats had to be taken out.  It was a mad rush on Saturday night when we used to dismantle all the chrysanthemum show and get all the seats back for Sunday morning worship.  The caretaker used to get all sorts of men to come and help him.  We used to have to do the wages for those because they all wanted cash in their pockets.  We had to pay them on the way out.

We used to bank then at the National Westminster, 1 Thurland Street.

In my day the stewards always used to count the collection on Sunday night and I used to re-check it on Monday before it could be banked.  I used to carry it right up to Thurland Street.  It was a long way.  You could never do it now, although I always used to go at different times.  It was a great big heavy bag, as you can imagine, with the amount of change we used to get; all the coins in those days.  When my daughter, Sally, was at Barclays Bank in Chapel Bar the caretaker used to take it.  He didn't count it or sort it and when she was chief cashier at Chapel Bar he used to say: "I know you won't worry but I have just brought it as it is" and she had to sort it out.  I don't know if we had the account there but we certainly took the money there.

Mr. Tom Cullingworth recalls his time at the Albert Hall and of the choir from 1959 to 1972.

The choir averaged thirty at evening services and fifteen in the morning.  As a tenor, I was welcomed with open arms as there were no more than four at night and only one or two in the morning.  We sang a light anthem at every morning service and a heavier one at night, with special music at Christmas and Easter.

The Organist and Choirmaster, Fred Garnett, was an accomplished musician whose only occupation was music.  He taught organ, piano and singing, and his pupils included some who became famous soloists: Constance Shacklock springs to mind.

The choir, suitably augmented, performed an oratorio each year  -  Messiah, Creation, Elijah, St. Paul, etc. and Fred Garnett was a skilful and energetic conductor with William Jago at the magnificent organ.  Fred needed to wear a toupee (he favoured auburn) and his best toupee was always in evidence on Oratorio Evening.

As the only lay preacher in the Choir, I usually took the opening prayer at Choir Practice.  I preached in all the Halls you mention [Aspley, Bestwood, Bridgeway, and King's] except the Albert Hall which was strictly for ministers and deaconesses only.

Evidence of the good work being done in the Sunday School was seen in the fact that the School had the distinction of winning the Methodist Recorder Challenge Shield for 1959.

Albert Hall, Wesley Guild drama group

Albert Hall Youth Club Pantomime, Cinderella, 1957

Back row: Brenda MacIntosh, Edwin Astill, Keith Beedall, Tim Preston,
Marjorie Curtis, Pat Jarratt, Anne Atkin, ?, Barbara Denton, Hazel Meats,
Geoff Pole, Jayne Radford, Rev. Kenneth Waights, John Upton, ?
[in front of Gordon Myall], Gordon Myall, Mary Wyer
[in front of Mary Keward], Mary Keward.
Front row: ?, Jean ?, ?, Sheila King, ?, ?, Judith Fearnley, ?

Albert Hall Cricket Club: Mr. Tim Preston and Rev. K.L. Waights

Mrs. Pat Preston, Mrs. Barbara Oxley and Mr. Walter Hayes, 1998

The Methodist Conference of 1951 met in the Albert Hall when the Rev. Dr. Harold Roberts was the President. The city welcomed the Conference with a Lord Mayor's Reception at the Council House. On Sunday, 14 July 1951 the official Conference Service was held in the Albert Hall and in the afternoon a service at St. Mary's Church by invitation of the vicar. At both services the preacher was the President of the Conference.

In September 1951 it was recorded that Miss Blanche M. Wise, who had been Secretary to the Superintendents of the Mission for sixteen years and a member of the Church for a longer period, was leaving to live in Kent with her sister. To many, not only in the Church, but also in the city, she was remembered not just as a Secretary but as a friend who was always ready to help in every possible way within her capacity. She regarded her work as part of her service for God, and transformed it, therefore, into something sacramental. For a number of years she was an active member of Girls' League and many girls remember her leadership with gratitude. Miss Lily Draycott was appointed in her place.

In November 1951 the Mission Staff consisted of: Rev. Kenneth L. Waights (Superintendent), Rev. R.C. Palmer-Barnes; the Supernumeraries, Rev. Ezra Sellers, Rev. J. Wesley Thornley and Rev. Sam Rowley; the Wesley Deaconesses, Sister Annie Newsome, Sister Jean Baillie and Sister Grace Simpson.

Mr. Gordon Myall recalls his cricketing experiences:

For me personally, the Albert Hall provided a spiritual growth within my own life, with those early days of the nineteen-fifties under the ministry of Rev. Kenneth Waights, which established a robust Christian foundation for my life.

I was originally drawn to the Albert Hall because of my interest in cricket. Having undergone coaching lessons at "Trent Bridge" as a medium-fast bowler, I enjoyed many happy Saturday afternoons playing for the Albert Hall cricket team.

Our home ground was on University Park at "Highfields" with our star player being Rev. Ken. Waights (always referred to as "KL").  He was a very charismatic character and an excellent batsman whom we all endeared.  Our team captain was Barrie Heafford, who later joined the Methodist ministry.

Cricket took up the majority of my spare time during summer months with matches every Saturday afternoon and practice evenings each Wednesday.  My claim to fame on one occasion was taking 8 wickets for 28 runs and getting a mention in the sporting column of the Nottingham Evening Post.  I expect we all had secret aspirations for publicity! Tim Preston was our opening batsman whose slow, dogged determination impressed everyone, including the opposing side.  John Jackson and later Rodney Kempster were our opening fast bowlers who often wreaked havoc with the opposition.

Peter Keward, John Appleby and F. Barrie Heafford went into the Methodist Ministry from the Albert Hall.

In 1954 Miss Lois Gardiner, Miss June Clark and Miss Mary Stokes entered into the Ministry of the Wesley Deaconess Order.

Ken Waights (1971-72) and John Russell Pope (1974-75) were two of the Albert Hall superintendent ministers who became Presidents of the Methodist Conference.

Local Preachers progress through a series of tests in their knowledge and faith from being "On Note", "On Trial", through to being appointed as "Local Preachers". Once they are a Local Preacher they always are one but the individual has the option of ceasing to take an active part.

Associate Professor Alun C. Jackson, PhD., Head of School, School of Social Work, The University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, recalls that the last service which he attended before leaving for Australia was on Sunday 23 March 1952. Mr. Robert O. Dunstone preached in the morning and Rev. R.C. Palmer-Barnes in the evening. There was a Boy's Bible Class at 10.45 am, a Sunday School at 2.45 pm, Order of Christian Witness at 8 pm, Social Hour also at 8 pm, and the Youth Group in Room B1 at 8.30 pm.

Sister Annie Newsome wrote in the Messenger that:

In my room at the Hall there is an interesting book.  It goes back twenty-three years and is a record of all who have had gifts of flowers during that period.  Each Sunday we add to it.  They are all part of our fellowship, some still in the Church Militant, others in the Church Triumphant.  Each week the flowers are taken as a gift from the Church to those belonging to it who are ill or in special need.  First and foremost come those who have been bereaved or those who are very near the end of life's journey.  The flowers cheer by their sheer beauty but they are also a reminder that we do not forget those who need us most.

During the Jubilee Celebrations in May 1952, the following were items in the programme:

Sunday 18 May, Civic Service at 10.45 am.

Thursday 22 May, Anniversary Day: lunch at 1.30 pm, service at 4.0 pm conducted  by Rev. Donald O. Soper, M.A., Ph.D.,  tea at 5.15 pm, community singing at 6.15 pm followed by the Jubilee Meeting at 7.0 pm.

     Friday 23 May, Mendelssohn's Elijah was performed by the Albert Hall Choir in conjunction with the Nottingham District Methodist Musical Society. The soloists were Lilian Brown, Soprano, Margaret Skipworth, Contralto, William Taylor, Tenor, and Reginald Baker, Bass. The Conductor was Mr. L. Gordon Thorp, with Mr. A.E. Jago at the piano.

The Good Companions turned the room above the corner shop in Great Hall Street into a small chapel which was open for private devotion or any small devotional group. With its altar, carpet, and blue curtains there was a very helpful atmosphere for prayer.

The official farewell to Sister Annie Newsome was on Wednesday 30 July 1952. During the month of August, Sister Elizabeth Willey, a student from the Deaconess College, joined the Mission Staff. 

1953 was the Silver Jubilee of the Albert Hall Methodist Cricket Club.  Founded by the Rev. Harold G. Fiddick in 1928 it carried on continuously, apart from a number of years during the War.  The Club had always endeavoured to be the centre of a fellowship on Saturday afternoons when all the members of the Mission and congregation were welcome to attend the matches.  The home ground pitch was No. 10 at Highfields.  Details of matches used to be printed on the hymn sheet each week.

The Albert Hall Trustees' Bank Account was transferred from National Provincial Bank, High St., Nottingham, to Midland Bank Ltd., Victoria Street, Nottingham, on 28 August 1953.

At the June Quarterly Meeting a very detailed and excellent report was made by a committee which had been authorised to go into the cost, production and lay-out of the Messenger. Many excellent suggestions were made by that committee and one of the main recommendations made to the meeting was that, because of the expense of the Messenger, a voluntary system of subscription should be undertaken.  It was suggested that a collection plate be placed at each of the doors on the Sunday when the Messenger is distributed and that those who could would have the opportunity of giving towards its expenses. The Quarterly Meeting was quite sure that there should be no enforced payment. They felt that its work and influence was such that anything that would impair its circulation should be avoided.

In September 1953 the Mission Staff consisted of the Superintendent Minister, Rev. Kenneth L. Waights; Assistant Ministers, Rev. R.C. Palmer-Barnes and Rev. Alan M. Hale; Supernumerary Ministers, Rev. Sam Rowley, Rev. Ezra Sellers, Rev. J. Wesley Thornley, and Rev. W.L. Waights; Wesley Deaconesses, Sister Jean Baillie, Sister Margaret Stanworth and Sister Pamela Pratley.

The Senior Club existed to serve girls and women who wished to find friendship, a fire, a cup of tea and an opportunity to chat. There was also an opportunity to play badminton. It met on Saturday evenings from 6.30 pm in Room 9.

At the Annual General Meeting of the Good Companions, in October 1953, Margaret Davies and Barrie Heafford were elected as the two new leaders.

The following November 1953 items are an example of the Wesley Guild winter programme:

2 November      Literary.  "Lighten our Darkness".
                           Speaker:  Mr. Kenneth Howarth.
                           Chairman: Mr. Barrie Heafford.
                           Film by Royal Institute for the Blind.

9 November      Social.  "It's Your Choice".
                           M.C.s:  Geoffrey Pole and Joyce Holmes.

16 November   Christian Service. Operation Helping Hand, with the  film The Chance of their Lives.
                          Speaker:  Miss M.L. Beazley.
                          Chairman:  Miss M. Champkins.

Most people realise that the Confirmation Service in the Church of England is the service of induction into the life and membership of the Anglican Church. What does Methodism have and what does Methodism do to encourage and receive new members? On the back of the December 1953 class ticket is the following statement about Church membership:

1.  All persons are welcomed into membership of The Methodist Church who sincerely desire to be saved from their sins through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and evidence the same in life and conduct and who seek to have fellowship with Christ Himself and His people by taking up the duties and privileges of The Methodist Church.

2.  It is the privilege and duty of Members of  The Methodist Church to avail themselves of the two sacraments, namely Baptism and the Lord's Supper.   As membership of the Methodist Church also involves fellowship, it is the duty of all Members of  The Methodist Church to seek to cultivate this in every possible way.  The Weekly Class Meeting has from the beginning proved to be the most effective means of maintaining among Methodists true fellowship in Christian experience. All Members of  The Methodist Church shall have their names entered on a Class Book, shall be placed under  the pastoral care of a Class Leader, and shall receive a quarterly ticket of membership.

At the Annual Society Meeting held on  19 January 1954 it was reported that fifty-nine new members had been made members of the Church at the Albert Hall during the past year.

The Wesley Deaconess Convocation was held at the Albert Hall from 14 to 20 May 1954. The Ordination Service was conducted by the President of the Methodist Conference, Dr. Donald O. Soper, M.A.

Sheila Maggs provided some of her memories of the Albert Hall:

My first recollections of the Albert Hall and its fine interior go back to the mid-fifties when I attended a Billy Graham Rally relayed from Earls Court in London.  It was here that I made my decision for Christ, so the Hall holds very special memories for me.

My next encounter, other than attending concerts, music festivals, etc. would be the 1960s when I belonged to the Nottingham Harmonic Choir and sampled the tasty beans-on-toast in the coffee bar, having arrived there straight from work in town and filling in an hour before our rehearsal time.   My grandmother did indeed present to the Coffee Bar her fine, unwanted, highly-polished table which she had looked after with great care, even covering each leg with an old-fashioned stocking and garter so as not to attract scuff marks! Those delightful beans-on-toast served by such pleasing, helpful, ladies prepared me for the strenuous couple of hours ahead at our rehearsals in the Institute.

We now go to getting on for the mid-seventies when my friend, Mrs. Margaret Easom, was working at the Hall as Secretary.  I was working as a temporary secretary at the time and found my way, through invitation, to the Albert Hall's Office, where I assisted Rev. John Horner in work of a charismatic nature.  This I enjoyed for getting on for a year, before going to work for the National Children's Home in a secretarial capacity.

For me, it was never the same again, from a singer's point of view, when our Harmonic concerts went to the Royal Concert Hall.   This certainly is a fine building, but nothing, I feel, compared with that of the Albert Hall.  The warmth of that building radiated out to all who entered its doorstep, and it was with great sadness that I attended its final service, but at the same time, thankfulness that I had found such joy, pleasure, and delight on the premises.

The Mission Staff in January 1956 consisted of the Superintendent Minister, Rev. J. Russell Pope; Assistant Ministers, Rev. Bernard Franklin and Rev. John A. Earl; Supernumerary Ministers, Rev. Sam Rowley and Rev. J. Wesley Thornley; Wesley Deaconeses, Sister Nora Fowler, Sister Margaret Stanworth and Sister Mary Howard.

The Good Companions presented Jack and the Beanstalk on 30 and 31 January and 1 February 1958 in the Albert Hall Institute.

In September 1958 there were proposals for the Nottingham Corporation to purchase the Albert Hall and nos. 13 to 25a Derby Road (namely, Hall and Outbuildings together with a block of Shops and Offices: 2,510 sq. yds.). The property was leasehold, being held on a lease for 999 years from 25 December 1908 at a rental of £180 0s 0d per annum. The purchase price offered by the Corporation was £70,000, subject to the existing leases of Nos. 13-25a Derby Road. The Corporation's terms were:

(a)  The Corporation to grant the Trustees a rent-free tenancy of the Albert Hall for religious worship on Sundays for a period of 50 years.

(b)  The Trustees to have the right to hire the Hall from the Corporation on any day other than Sunday, but on a hiring charge which the Corporation would determine.

(c)  If the Corporation require the use of the Hall on any part of a Sunday, such use to be arranged so as not to interfere with the religious services.

 (d)  The Trustees to bear the cost of any heating or other services provided at any time by the Corporation in connection with their occupation.

(e)  The Corporation to assume responsibility for all repairs and maintenance of fixtures and fittings.

(f)  All cleaning and lighting on Sundays to be borne by the Mission, but on any other occasions, when hired, these items to be dealt with as services included in the hiring charge referred to under heading (b).

(g)  The Trustees undertake to give the Corporation the first refusal if at any time it is decided to sell the Albert Hall Institute building.

(h)  The Organ and all seating and fixtures are included in the sale.

Early in 1959, at the Trustees' Annual Meeting, it was decided that the Trustees were "of the opinion that the amount of the proposed offer is inadequate, which they would not be justified in accepting".

Pat Preston (née Jarratt), Jean Appleby (née Champkins), Margaret Tongue (née Champkins) and Barbara Grant (née Bates) offered their reminiscences of the Albert Hall:

[Jean] My very first memory was of Sunday School, which at that time was not in the Institute because it was let to the American Army.  We went into the Minister's office, at the top of the stairs.  I was five at the time.  His roll-top desk fascinated me.  I would come back to Sunday School just to see the roll-top desk.   It rolled down and it rolled back again and then it disappeared.  It was just like a piece of magic to me.

[Margaret] We were talking the other day at our Friendship Club about the change in the Sabbath.  Can you remember when we went to Switzerland on the coach and we left on the Sunday evening after church and Kenneth Waights dare not leave from church?

Rev. Russell Pope and Mrs. Pope

Rev. George W Sails

Mr George Jarratt, Rev George Sails and Mr Chris Mottram

Albert Hall choir [Image missing]

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