Letter to Elizabeth Kettle ....
Dear Mrs Kettle
I was delighted to receive your
letter, and do hope what little information I can remember will
be of interest. The Congregational Chapel in Welgate Road in
the early 1920s Mrs Neve took charge of most of the events,
other services were taken by Pastor Brown who lived in Elvin
Road, Dereham, from where he cycled each Sunday. He took the
Funeral Services and any other duties connected with the Chapel.
When he was unable to take the sermons local men known as Lay
Readers took his place. I recall Walter Garner was one of the
men, I think one of his daughters (Ruth) still lives in the
Mattishall. I do not known very much about the Old Moor Chapel,
it was usually attended by Yaxham people who lived nearby. Bertha’s
(nee Girling) lived in a cottage near the Chapel. In the late
1970’s I had a visit from some Yorkshire friends, they
wanted to visit the Girling family (I expect Bertha will remember
Ernest and his wife well). Harry Girling was living in the cottage
he showed us into the Chapel, but alas it was being used as
an outhouse, chickens were all around, I even saw one perched
on the pulpit. What must have been the last wedding to have
taken place there was Hilda Gunton (a well known Congregationalist
who often played the organ at Welgate Road) to Albert Hawkins
in the 1930’s. One of the last burials there was Mrs Cripoth
from Yaxham Mill House around 1920. I think Pastor Brown officiated
at both but I’m not sure Bertha has more knowledge of
the Chapel than I.
It was interesting to know that
you live in Connie Hill’s House, I knew her quite well
and remember her living there. In the 1930’s Church Plain
was in the centre of the village. There was Neve’s Shop,
then Hewitt’s the butchers, a little further on were two
pink washed cottages one was occupied by a well known village
gent called Mr Buscal and his sister who did dress making. The
next was Church Farm occupied by Talbot Hill (Connie’s
father), then came the row of houses Connie eventually lived
in one, the next was occupied by Miss Mildred Edwards and her
sister Bina. This was in the 1940’s. Around 1950 they
moved to a newly built bungalow on the Norwich Road. My mother
lived in the next bungalow, so in later years were close friends.
I am unable to give any information about Brandon Parva as there
was no village Public Transport to the surrounding villages.
Horse and trap or bicycle was our only means of travel. Welborne
the next village to Mattishall has a dwelling called Solomon’s
Temple. I never hear of it having any connections with a place
of worship. I have a good reason to remember it as in the 1940’s
my husband drove a lorry to London to deliver vegetables, he
had with him a mate who’s name was Cecil Howard who lived
at Solomon’s Temple. To enter London they were issued
with passports, when Cecil handed his to the police he was taken
to the nearest police station, as they did not believe such
a place existed. The passport read:- Cecil Howard, Solomon’s
Temple, Welbourne (but badly brought up).
He was let off with a sever caution
for defacing his passport. I know these little incidents do
not concern Mattishall but they all concern past history.
Thank you for writing, I hope what
little information I can remember will be of interest. If I
can help in way of remembering past events please write. I shall
always be pleased to help.
Florence George (nee Green) (nee