As I am now 65years old my memories of Streetfold are those of a child and young teenager. I was aware of the adult involvement in church life via my mother May Barnes. She was a member of the Wednesday afternoon Ladies Fellowship, Band Ladies Committee and church choir. The ladies of the church seemed very busy with coffee mornings, whist drives and endless making of sandwiches for various events .They raised funds for missionary causes, band instruments and a baptismal font amongst other church needs.
Writing down these memories it struck me as to how things change. The morning congregation at Streetfold was very sparse often 8 or 9.I know this, as I used to attend Flo Mycock’s Junior Church on Sunday morning which ended by us children joining the congregation for the first two hymns of their service before going home. The regulars in that service included the window cleaning brothers and I especially remember Herbert who played the big drum in the band on Trinity Sunday.
The main service was the evening service with two choirs, Junior and Senior. The Lord’s Prayer was sung as were vespers at the end of the service.
Sunday School was in the afternoon at 2pm.I mainly remember the Juniors led by David Jones, it took place in the hall. Boys on one side and girls on the other separated by a central aisle. Youngest at the front, each row with a teacher at the end, the hall was full every week. The format was much as a church service (no games or quizzes) just hymns, readings and prayers. The sermon was replaced by lesson time. Some of those teachers are still involved in the life of Moston Methodist so thank you to them for helping me along the road. The hymn that sticks in my mind from those days is ‘My faith it is an oaken staff’
I remember taking scripture union exams coached by Flo Mycock, having to write out from memory the 23rd psalm. Anniversary services were taken seriously with a presentation by the children which took many forms. Once it was a play ‘The Little Matchgirl’ what a tear jerker. The closing scene of the matchgirl’s death played out near the old pipe organ was a wonder to behold!
Highlight of the Sunday School year was the annual trip often to Poynton on at least two double decker buses, the numbers attending always increased as the trip got nearer. We had a wonderful time, rounders, cricket and races. The ladies of course took over the kitchens at Poynton Methodist to produce tea for everyone, all set out on tables looking delicious.
Trinity Sunday was the procession, a lot of hard work went into this, baskets of flowers being made up on the Sunday morning. The chidrens’ banners having been prepared weeks before with handmade paper flowers. The band and banner led us through the streets avoiding other processions at the Ben Brierley, crowds lined the pavements to clap and cheer.
Other highlights were ‘The Young Men’s’ concerts whenever I hear the song ‘Stormy Weather’ I can see a poor unfortunate in a sou’wester being drowned by buckets of water thrown by his friends from the wings whilst he sang on.
I learnt to ballroom dance at the Saturday night socials not just the waltz and quickstep but St.Bernards waltz, square tango and the Mississippi dip.
As Moston Methodist we still rent out rooms for community use; back in my childhood I spent two years being educated as part of Moston Fields School by Mr Norman Hollinshead in our hall. After assembly every morning 40 children and one teacher walked in all weathers down Moston Lane, back again at lunchtime, returned to Streetfold after lunch and then allowed to go home alone at 4.00pm. This was Standard 1&2 or in modern numbering is Years 3&4 .
There were so many other events JMA rallies, the Eisteddfod at Harpurhey Methodist, and finally the Youth Club led by Jim Sagar, a very happy time .
Thank you Streetfold and its congregation.