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A 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.

Yours sincerely

Florence George (nee Green) (nee Purple)

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