Bits and Pieces

Guests and officials gather on Saturday, 22 October 1949 in the Lightcliffe CE School playground prior to the opening of the second day of the church bazaar. Pictured from the left are Colin R. W. Johnson, the school treasurer and a member of the school managers.  Mr. Johnson, a resident of Leyburn Avenue, who died in 1984, was also appointed churchwarden that year and served the parish faithfully for a further 30 years. On his left is Canon Harold Lancaster Taylor, the vicar of St Matthew’s Lightcliffe from 1 October 1914 until his death, aged 77, on 30 September 1955.  A remarkable 41 years.  Third from the left is Col. R. H. Goldthorp, a Priestley Green resident, who opened the bazaar.  No one in Lightcliffe, according to the Archdeacon of Pontefract, the Revd. R.H. Morris, who presided and is pictured fourth from the left, was “more well known” than this First World War officer.  Judging by the number of times that he appeared on local photographs this is a fact that cannot be disputed!  Mrs. Taylor is pictured in the centre of the photograph with the archdeacon and, I believe, his wife on her left.  On the far right of the group we see the headteacher, George L. Armitage who had begun his nineteen-year tenure the previous November. After the opening remarks, votes of thanks were given by two stalwarts of the church, Messrs. Stanley Hooson and Alfred Ramsden.

Records suggest that this was the church’s first major event of this nature after the war and was clearly well attended as it realised a remarkable profit of £1250 of which £400 was placed the school building account.  Throughout the two days the refreshment room, run by the Mothers’ Union, was very busy and “only some very industrious efforts on their part enabled them to cope”. There was a wide range of stalls and, during both evenings, a “very large programme of entertainments” that included a dancing display by pupils of Miss Dorothy Stevens who, some 58 years later, is still enthusiastically and expertly teaching pupils at her local dancing school.

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