The Methodist Church began in Chapel Street, New Eastwood, in the late 1800s and progressed to Newthorpe Common in September 1902.
My father, Douglas Kirkham, was Sunday School superintendant and teacher, church secretary, circuit secretary and local preacher. My mother Vera was president of the Ladies Bright Hour meeting, a choir member, and visited the elderly and sick.
I remember Sunday school, anniversary days, prize giving and outings. At age 14 I became a primary teacher and helped to run a mid-week children’s group. We took the children to the ‘Festival of Queens’, the annual fundraising event of the National Children’s Homes, at the Nottingham Albert Hall. We dressed our own queen, attendants and purse-bearer.
We had an excellent youth group who attended the Methodist Association of Youth Club’s London weekends; hiked in Derbyshire, travelling on the Ramblers’ train from Langley Mill, and enjoyed regular social get-togethers.
Christmas Eve was special with a large group carol singing from house to house. Annual flower festivals welcomed the community. One of these festivals coincided with the funeral of the late Princess of Wales, and we arranged a special service along with a floral arrangement and condolence book.
These happy memories along with the lifelong friendships will always remain with me.