Reminiscences of Christchurch.

William Tucker JP

These reminiscences were written by William Tucker JP, who was five times Mayor of Christchurch about 1920 at the suggestion of some members of the Christchurch Historical Society.    They were read to the Society in December 1920 and repeated to an audience at the Town Hall in January 1921.

The Early Years

The first five years of my life were spent at Poole, where I was born on the 15th January 1840. My father who was born at Christchurch, had been living at Poole for some years in the brush making trade. My recollections of Poole are not many, but I well remember playing in a long yard attached to the house and surrounded by the brush factory, at one end of which was a saw pit that I was warned not to go near. I also remember being taken, when I was four, to Sands’ Circus in the Ladies’ Walking Field, also going to Dame Parmiter’s School with my elder sister.

We came to Christchurch on my fifth birthday, 15th January 1845, on my father taking over the Christchurch business. My mother, sister, two younger brothers and myself, with the pictures, best crockery, etc, came in Sparks’ carrier’s wagon.

Boscombe Hill at Christchurch

Boscombe Hill at Christchurch. 1920 Image by Alwyin Lane

At that time Bournemouth was in its infancy. The first stone of house No 8 Westover Villas, was laid on the 1st June 1836; the Bath Hotel was completed in 1838. The first St. Peter’s Church was built in 1843 but was not consecrated  until the 7th August 1845. The Rev. Alexander Mordon Bennett having been appointed perpetual curate. He was a tall, austere man who frequently drove over to Christchurch, shopping.

For education I first went to Miss Goodbody’s school in a low thatched house at Purewell; then to a school in Bridge Street, kept by Miss Lemon; and after to Mr John Sopps’ at  Amsterdam House, Purewell.

I was taken away from school at a very early age and was put behind the counter in December 1851, before I was twelve years old. During the years 1856 and 1857 I was away from home in situations at Blandford and Poole; otherwise I have lived all my life in the town to which my grandfather came in 1798. During these years many changes have taken place in manners and customs, some of which I will mention.

When I was born the only means of locomotion and travel was by carrier’s wagon or the stage coach, and goods traffic by carrier’s wagon or by sailing vessel from Portsmouth to the Quay.

The carriers were Sparks and Curl, and later Marshfield to and from Poole; Snowdon to Lymington; Bower & James Tilley (and later Dowden), to Salisbury and John Tilley, to Southampton. London goods came by hoy to Portsmouth, and were brought on by Capt. Benjamin Tucker in his coal vessel.   On December 26th 1842, Capt. B. Tucker’s vessel, “The Pilot”, was blown on shore and my uncle lost a cask of sugar weighing nearly a ton.

The Railway

There were no railways when I was born. The line from Nine Elms to Southampton was opened on the 11th May 1840, four months after I was born, and the extension from Southampton to Dorchester not until the 7th June 1847. I well remember the stage coaches coming into the town. The Emerald coach used to put up in the George Inn yard.

The Salisbury, West Moors and Ringwood line was not opened until the 28th December 1866. Prior to that one had to go to Holmsley Station by  omnibus, which ran through to Bournemouth. Bournemouth residents and visitors had to go by omnibus or “fly” from Holmsley or from Hamworthy, Poole. The line was first proposed to have come through Hurn and Iford and have the station in Barrack Road; but there was opposition. This was in 1856.

One day Lord Malmesbury and Mr Wm. Dale Farr met at Holmsley Station and Lord Malmesbury said, “Farr, I spoke up for you at the railway meeting yesterday I said ’Gentlemen, I have a very old friend at Iford, and it will be the death of him if you carry the rail past his windows’ “.

Mr Farr said, “Thank you, my lord; I suppose there wasn’t a cock pheasant flitted before your lordship’s eyes at the time” .

Lord Malmesbury said, “What do you mean, you ungrateful rascal”.

Mr Farr replied, “Only, my lord, that I thought before it passed my windows it would have to go through your lordships well-stocked preserves,”

Mr. Farr was a short stout man, who would have made a very good model for Pickwick. He drove into town daily, and as a boy I always touched my hat to him— not out of respect but to see him, in acknowledging it, drop his whip on his old horse’s back. He died in 1865.   I well remember going to Salisbury on Christmas Day 1868, starting away in the pitch dark at 6 o’clock in the morning, driving to Holmsley and not reaching Salisbury until 12 o’clock.   After the line from Southampton was opened Newman’s wagon went daily to Holmsley, bringing all goods from London and elsewhere. One wagon a day sufficed unless some specially heavy quantity of goods arrived at the station, when a second wagon was sent.

Partridge Hunting

The district between Poole and Christchurch in 1845 was very sparsely populated – a few houses on Poole Road and the Woodman Arms. At Bournemouth the Westover Villas, Bath Hotel, and three or four shops in  Commercial Road; the Tregonwell Arms, on the site now  Post Office  Road, the Ragged Cat at Boscombe, a cottage or two near St. Clement’s Church, and a few cottages at Pokesdown.

In 1844 my father walked from Poole (Turnpike Gate) to the top of High Street, Christchurch, through Bournemouth, without meeting one person  the whole way; it was getting twilight on a late summer evening. The whole district of what is now Southbourne had only the buildings of what was then Cellar Farm. On Good Friday,1850, I helped catch five Partridges on the cliff at Cellar. My father, two uncles, a cousin and myself had gone over to Mount Misery and walked back along the beach to Cellar opening. My uncle said, “There have been partridges along here on the sands.” My cousin retorted, “You don’t know a partridge’s foot from a bull’s foot.” As my uncle, who was first, got half-way up the undercliff  he exclaimed, “What do you say now?” And in a moment we were down on a covey of partridges which had crept under a fisherman’s net spread on the Bennets. At the shout the birds rose and got entangled in the net, and before you could say “Knife” each of us had caught a bird and wrung its neck; And they were pocketed – plump, good birds.

Fires in Christchurch

In my younger days fires were a very frequent occurrence, and the only means of coping with them was a small engine which was kept in the Church porch, and another kept on the premises of the insurance agents in Bridge Street. Long poles with iron hooks were kept hung up under the Town Hall for the purpose of pulling off thatch from buildings on fire.

The most notable fires were: The Great Bargates Fire, in July 1825; a distress fund was raised , totalling £1,194 16s. 0d, and those rendered homeless were lodged in the Barracks. Cusse’s fire in the High Street, took place on the 21st November 1842. Cusse was a grocer and tallow chandler, and there was a large quantity of gunpowder in the premises. The casks of powder were got out and taken down through what is now Mr Druitt’s garden to Creedy Ditch. The place was rebuilt the following year and is the row of shops from Mr Burnie’s to the Town Hall.

The Bridge Street fire, involving seven houses, broke out at 8.30 pm on the 7th September, 1859. The soldiers from the Barracks, with the engine, which I believe, was afterwards bought by the town (Burry’s “Old Deluge”), attended. Water was supplied by a double line of people to the river through Reeks’ yard.

Mr. Wolden’s shop was burned in 1863; and other fires were; A baker’s shop in  July,1863.   The second large Bargates fire on the evening of the 3rd October,1864, which included some fifteen or sixteen cottages on both sides of Bargates. The farm buildings on the site occupied by Allen’s house were burnt in the night about two years later. Needless to say, all were thatched  buildings.

So frequent were fires in those days that my father kept an old suit of clothes by his bedside ready for a call. Water was difficult to get and exertions were mostly confined to saving neighbouring property.

Volunteers

The old Christchurch Volunteers, formed in 1793, disbanded after the Peace of Amiens in 1802 and were reformed in 1803. My grandfather was Sergeant-Major under Col. Walcott Simpson.   They were again disbanded in 1814, when local militia were created by Act of Parliament.   The 10th Hampshire Volunteers were formed in 1859, with Lord Malmesbury 1st Captain; Mr. John Mills, Lieutenant; Mr. Jas. Kemp Welch, Surgeon; Colour-Sergeant, J. B. Jenkins, Sergeats. W. Tucker (my father), H. Stokes and G. Ferrey.

Perambulation of Bounds

The last time the bounds of the old Borough were perambulated was on the 26th August 1840. There is an interesting account of the perambulation of 1811, in a book of Mr. G. Ferrey’s, by his great-grandfather, giving the route taken in detail. In it the bridge which preceded Waterloo Bridge is called Radford’s Bridge, and the bridge over the millstream called Mew’s Bridge. This Mew’s Bridge must have been very narrow, as it was widened ten feet by Sir G. Gervis on the north side in 1837 and it was again widened four or five feet on the south side in 1899.

Hard Frosts

There have been several very severe winters, notably:-

1841. Rivers frozen over from January 1st to February 11th; a fire on the ice near Great Bridge and a fat sheep roasted. Mr Edward Daw rode his grey horse from Wick to town, and Mr S. Hicks rode his pony round by the bridge.

Wick Ferry, River Stour, Christchurch, Dorset

Wick Ferry, River Stour, Christchurch, Dorset. Image by Alwyn Ladell

1855 (the Crimean year). But for the ferryman keeping the ice broken at Wick for the ferryboat, it was possible to skate from Barracks to Mudeford. Captain Cameron (afterwards General Cameron) came back after the Battle of Alma with his arm in a sling, and was amongst the skaters. Shops were closed for an hour at midday, and everybody got on the ice.

1881. There was a blizzard in the first week of January. Snow was not entirely gone on March 8th. The roads were quite impassable with drifts five to six feet deep; shop shutters were not taken down for a week. Roads had to be cut to get into and out of town. The rivers were again frozen over. When the thaw came, the snow, which had drifted under tiles at our High Street premises, came pouring through the attic ceiling. This we caught in waterproof sheets and ran into a bath which I carried downstairs, nine gallons of water.

1890. Millstream frozen over. (More about 1890’s frost read here – The School Treat)

1895. There were again heavy falls of snow all over the country at the end of January and February. Rivers frozen hard, and skating and sliding everywhere. All hard winters have been between January and March.

Elections

The first I will refer to was in 1803, which is said to have been the first contested election. I call attention to this one because it probably had some effect on the fortunes of my family. I had it from my grandmother that my grandfather was turned out of his house and shop. The candidates were George Rose and Henry Sturgess (Tories) and Greathead and Scott (Whigs). My grandfather refused to vote Whig, and after threats promised not to vote at all. This did not satisfy his landlord, who then served him with notice to quit, having only fitted up his shop five years before. He then voted Tory, and purchased premises from his brother-in-law and removed to where the present business is carried on.

I have been somewhat puzzled as to how he came to be a voter not being a Member of the Corporation, as it is generally believed that the two members of the Borough were returned by the Mayor and Corporation only. In an old manuscript written by Mr. G. Ferrey’s great-grandfather, he there, describing the election of 1831, says that after Sir G. Rose was proposed and seconded, Mr. Aldridge claimed the right of the inhabitants to vote. They did not, however, bring forward a candidate, and Sir G. Rose was declared elected. In an account of the election of 1830 it is stated that after nomimation the Mayor demanded a show of hands in favour of each candidate, and declared both elected.

In Merewether’s “History of Parliamentary Boroughs” in the ninth year of George I ‘s reign, 1722, Christchurch is stated to be truly a “Borough by Prescription” but, it is added, anciently consisted of a Mayor, Burgesses, and inhabitants called “the populace”.   King, in his “History of Lymington,” says there were disputes as to the right of the inhabitants, other than the corporation, voting and that on two occasions   double returns were made.

In 1837 there was a very hard-fought contest between Sir G. Rose and Colonel Cameron giving Rose a majority of eleven. At this election, Vickers, gardener to Lord Stuart, was told off to get a man named Ogg, a nurseryman at East Close, away on polling day. He was to get him to Southampton to select shrubs and trees for planting at Highcliffe, and to keep him too late to poll. The other side got word of this and a chaise and four horses were sent after them and Ogg was brought back in triumph. Vickers afterwards kept the “Isle of Wight Hoy,” a public-house, the thatched house on the right-hand near the lodge gates of the Castle.

The first election I remember was that of Captain Harris (grandfather of Lord Malmesbury), in 1847. In going to and from school we used to shout :- “Harris is the man, and Campbell is the mouse
And Harris is the man for Parliament House.”    Campbell was nominated, but did not go to the poll. The hustings for nomination day were erected at the Town Hall, facing Church Street.

I well remember Captain (afterwards Admiral) Walcott’s election on Captain Harris’ retirement in 1852. I had been to Beaulieu with my father, and drove back on Monday, June 28th (Coronation Day). As he drove into the lane next to Street’s shop, to put up the pony, Mr. Edward Elliot came round and told him that Captain Harris had retired and Lord Somerton had come forward. My father said, “Who is he? That won’t do!” Elliot said, “Come round to the hotel.” He went, and Sir G Rose said that Captain Harris having retired, there was no local man ready to come forward, and consequently Lord Somerton had. After he had finished my father got up and said he happened to know that there was a local man ready, for only a short time before Captain Walcott had told him he would come forward at the first vacancy. The result was the meeting was adjourned till next day and Lord Somerton retired.    Admiral Walcott continued to represent the Borough till he died in 1868. He was opposed by Burke in 1863.   The number of votes cast was Walcott, 211: Burke, 143.

The 1868 election was the last one with open voting, or with nomination at hustings erected in the street.   It was fought on the enlarged constituency created by the Reform Bill of 1867. The candidates were Sir Henry Drummond Wolff and Mr. Haviland Burke.   There was great excitement, violent meetings, the big-and-little-loaf was the cry, and there was a lot of beer about during the election. The result was: Burke, 600; Wolff, 560. My father was the returning officer. Wolff lodged a petition, but this was withdrawn. I expect neither side was stainless.

In 1874, Wolff and Clement Milward, (Wolff, 978 and Milward, 607).     The first election by ballot. There was a tremendous procession from Bransgore to Bournemouth the next day.

I took part in a number of other elections but particularly in 1901 when Major Balfour beat Brassey by three. In that year I was in charge of the district east of the Stour; there were three coastguards away in the Isle of Wight and Southampton Water whom we despaired of getting to the poll, but at last we got in touch with a yacht owner at Yarmouth, and, after spending I am afraid to say what on telegrams, got all into touch and had them landed at Bournemouth Pier, brought over and polled. This was the three majority.

Later elections were much quieter and more humdrum than in olden days. A lot of beer was formerly given away by the member after election; in 1826 it is recorded that at six o’clock four hogsheads of beer were given away—one in Market House,  in front of “White Hart”; one in front of “The Ship”; one in front of “the Eight Bells”; and one in front of the Hotel. The Corporation were given a dinner at the Hotel, and halfpence were thrown from the balcony to boys.

Fairs

There used to be two Fairs, regulated by the Corporation and held in the streets, the Summer Fair and that of October 17th. Pigs were penned in the Market Square, horses and cattle in Bargates near the Conservative Club; whilst opposite the Masonic Hall and National Schools boxing booths and shows of various kinds were pitched. The pleasure fair, ginger-bread stalls, etc, were erected on the east side of High Street, facing the pavement and sometimes turning the corner into Castle Street. They lasted two days.

In later years they were a great nuisance and were abolished in 1872. Wombwell’s Wild Beast Show was pitched in the High Street August 8th, 1848.

The Old and New Corporation

The old Corporation formerly consisted of a Mayor and out-town and in-town Burgesses. The Mayors from William Colgill, in 1568, down to 1831 were mostly chosen from the out-town Burgesses, who usually appointed a deputy. After 1831 they were always in-town Mayors.   The present mace was given by Henry Hastings, of Hinton Admiral, in 1662. There had been an earlier mace which was taken to Southampton   Castle for safe keeping and never returned.    The powers and duties of the Corporation were, at all events for some years before the new Charter, very little. Mostly confined to charities, the fairs and the management of Corporation property, which at one time appears to have been voted to the Mayor’s use.    In 1734 Edward Hooper, of Heron Court, presented his accounts, showing a balance of £16 19s 2d, which was voted to him for use of his kitchen.

In later years the Corporation husbanded their funds and made grants to various useful objects. They contributed £255 out of accumulated funds to the building of the present Town Hall, and about £200 in 1886 for paving Bargates.   I remember as a child watching, with awe, the Mayor and Corporation going to church in their purple robes, and also the election days when the Mayor, bailiff, ale taster, constables and Hayward were elected by the pot-boilers, at the window of Mrs. Scott’s back room in Castle Street; two or three names had been previously nominated by the Corporation.     In old times there would appear to have been a great amount of beer given away after. In 1680, in consequence of drunkenness, the Mayor was forbidden to lay out more than 20 shilling, on pain of a fine of £5

The office of ale taster was a very old one, and it must be remembered that beer was the sole drink of everybody in ordinary life at each meal, no tea or coffee. It was to the interest of all to get ale and beer good and cheap, hence the office of ale taster. A brewer had to be authorised by the Mayor and Burgesses, who fixed the price. There was rivalry for the office, the last being John Butler, who lived in a cottage next to the back gates of the George Inn, in Millhams Street.

Down to 1886 the roads were looked after by a highway board. Paving in the town was first laid in 1835, by subscription, as the result of a public meeting held 10th March, 1834. Mr. Tapps, M.P., giving £250.

The scavenging at the time was done by Joe James, and afterwards by Joseph Brewer with his donkey cart. He paid for the right to collect the sweepings. Brewer also for some years watered High Street, Castle Street and Bridge Street by means of a barrel on wheels, drawn by the same donkey, with water drawn from the Mill Stream by a pump fixed to the little bridge. He collected coppers from the shops on the line of watering, weekly. Prior to this when I was a boy, the lower parts of High Street were watered by stopping up the end of the gutter on the west side and filling it with water from the town pump and throwing it over the road with a wooden spudgell; the shopkeepers took it in turn to water.   As boys we used to try and wet anybody passing on the opposite  pavement. Later, and for some years before 1886, a small watering committee was formed, who collected a voluntary rate from High Street, Castle Street, and Bridge Street. A water cart and chain pump were purchased and a man paid to water. The cart and pump were handed over to the Town Council on its formation.

Public lighting there was none until after the gasworks were built in 1850.   A resolution to light a district of the town and appoint lighting inspectors was carried on 21st December 1850; this district was High Street to Waterloo Bridge. Shops were lit by gas for the first time on 9th December 1852; prior to that, tallow candles and oil lamps were the usual means of lighting.     As children we were sent to bed by the light of a rushlight. Those were the days of the old flint and steel. Matches were only just introduced, and not in general use until about 1840. I well remember using flint, steel, and tinder to get a light.

The town did not grow much under these rustic conditions until after the enclosure of Portfield in 1875, and further after the Charter of Incorporation was obtained and the present Town Council appointed in 1886, with full urban powers. The result has been, better roads, better sewerage and lighting, and many other improvements.

Town improvements

About the year 1856 the old Country House, a range of thatched buildings comprising the Public House and outhouses, which stood in the road just above Mr. Linwood Pike’s, leaving only about fourteen feet of roadway, was pulled down and the site thrown into road.

In 1859 the Town Hall, which stood in the road at the junctions of High Street and Castle Street and was erected in 1746 on the sites of old Houses and Shambles, was taken down and the site sold to the Highway Board for £55. there had been a former Town Hall, probably of wood, nearby in Church Street.    Our present Town Hall in High Street is built with the stonework of the old Hall redressed and is the exact size of the old one. The removal added to the highway the whole of the space. The carriage way between Town Hall pavement at Lloyds Bank was only twelve to fourteen feet wide. The cost of rebuilding the old Hall and adding the large room was £1560, of which Admiral Walcott M.P. and family contributed £600.

The block of buildings standing in the road from Spicer Street towards High Street was removed about 1890, the cost being covered by subscriptions. Here again the road was only fifteen feet wide. Argyle’s and Bowditch’s houses and thatched house, opposite the site now occupied by cinema, were pulled down to make the road wide enough for trams.

About 1892 some old houses were removed in Church Street and the road was considerably widened.

One of the most important improvements in road widening, and one of which I am somewhat proud of having got accomplished during my Mayoralty in 1899, was the widening of the Old Bridge. The whole width between parapets was only  sixteen feet and no footpath. After years of correspondence with Hampshire County Council, in1897 a deputation, consisting of Alderman Marshall (Editor of the “Christchurch Times,” who was then Mayor), Alderman S. Bemister, and myself, waited on the County Council, and our arguments so impressed them that they promised shortly after that, provided the town acquired the property necessary for the approaches, they would

I had been elected Mayor in 1898, and at once took steps to raise the necessary funds by subscription. I negotiated and purchased Bridge House, and raised £523. Sir George Meyrick, whom I interviewed, headed a list with £100. The County Council contributed £250 for the land they took, and after re-selling the remainder of house and site there was a balance of £130 left which was used towards Bargates widening  later. The Old Bridge was  widened on the north, and Millstream Bridge on the south.


Anther improvements were the Quay wall, built in 1890. The Convent Walk opened on King George’s Coronation, 1910, by Mrs. Robert Druitt (Mayoress). The new Congregational Church was opened in 1867, the old one being pulled down in 1866. Seymour, who had been in the Workhouse for years, lost his leg during the pulling down. He was a schoolboy at that time and got into the building whilst workmen were at   dinner, and a wall fell on him.

A great event for Christchurch took place on February 2nd, 1856, when Admiral Lord Lyons, of Christchurch, was received on his return from the Crimea. Triumphal Arches were erected at Purewell, the Bridge and High Street. The town was profusely decorated, lions in every posture being much in evidence. A platform was erected in the High Street in front of the  Nationals Schools and an address was presented by the Mayor, the Admiral with his cousin Admiral Walcott, M.P., having been escorted into the town by a very large procession headed by a Military Band. A lunch was given to him at the Hotel.

Lord Charles Beresford was quite informally received on his coming to visit Lady Waterford, at Highcliffe, after the bombardment of Alexandria, in which he took so prominent a part in the “Condor”, the Admiral signalling to him “Well done, Condor”.     Lord Roberts was addressed by the Mayor, Col. Monckton, in the Station Yard on his return from the Boer War.

Special events

Other noteworthy events have been:-

  1. Queen Victoria’s Jubilee Celebration 1887. When a great dinner for adults and tea for children was given in the Recreation Ground, with a large bonfire in the evening. This ground, which was very rough, was levelled and much improved, entrance gates put up, etc, as a permanent memorial of the event. About £190 was raised by subscription and expended for grounds only.
  2. The Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria, in 1897, was celebrated by decorations, illuminations, a tea for children, processions, and fireworks.
  3. The marriage of King George and Queen Mary in July, 1893, was also celebrated as a festival day.
  4. Queen Victoria’s funeral service in the church was attended by the Mayor (myself), the Corporation and a large congregation.
  5. The addition to the Town Hall, Technical Schools, etc, was erected in 1902 as a memorial to Queen Victoria; about £480 was raised by subscription, started by myself as Mayor in 1901. The County Council contributed £460, and the Town Council £460. The buildings were opened during the Mayoralty of Councillor Frank Lane on October 7th 1903, by the Lord Lieutenant, Lord Northbrook. An Old English fair was held to provide funds for furnishing and appliances.
  6. The accession of King Edward was announced by me, as Mayor, supported by Sir G. Meyrick, the Sheriff of the county, and a battery of Horse Artillery. King Edward’s Coronation, which was delayed owing to his illness, was celebrated by a procession, a lunch given to the Corporation and others by the Mayor, Col. Monckton; a tea to school children; and illuminations.
  7. King George’s Coronation was celebrated by processions, teas, etc., and a lunch given at the hotel by the mayor, Councillor R. Druitt.
  8. In Victory Gun Week, during the Great War, we collected £27,000 for War Bonds and Certificates in the Borough.

Brother Painters

In the Council Chamber of the Town Hall there are two oil paintings of considerable local interest. The one is of the Rt. Hon. George Rose. M.P. and an inscription on the back says it was copied by George Holloway, Jun. from the original painting by Sir William Beechey, R.A, and was presented to the Mayor and Corporation of Christchurch by George Holloway, Senior, on December 14th 1839.    The other is of Admiral Walcott, M.P.  by Lewis Holloway.  Both Members of Parliament were members for the Borough.   The two artists were George, the eldest son, and Lewis, the youngest son of Mr. George Holloway, painter, of Bridge Street, and eldest and youngest brothers of Miss Holloway, of “Belvedere”, Barrack Road.

Some Old Characters

In the “forties and fifties”, Whit-Monday and May Day were great events; on the former the Clubs, whose headquarters were at the Eight Bells and the Dolphin, met, went to church, had a procession of the town with bands and banners, after which there was a dinner at each inn.  On May Day, Benny Read, an old eccentric, used to dress himself up with all the ribbons he could collect from the drapers and go round the town cadging for coppers, and the sweeps also came out decked up.

Another eccentric individual was Charlie Chissel, a half-witted inmate of the Workhouse; he used to fetch water from the river for washing purposes. Charlie was once sent by the Workhouse Master, Mr. John Gould, with a letter to a farmer named Newman, at Burton, and whilst the maid was getting a reply he took half a pound of butter, just made, and put it in his hat. It was a very hot day, and the heat of the sun and his head melted the butter and Charlie was a pretty object when he got back.    Charlie Chissel also blew the bellows of the organ. On one occasion, after an anthem, he said to Miss Tulloch, who was playing the organ; “We played that very well, didn’t we?” Miss Tulloch resented his using the word “we” but the next Sunday she was not able to get any sound out of the organ until she had acknowledged that “we” played the organ. Miss Tulloch was the grand-daughter of the first organist, Mr. Wm. Hiscock. Elected in 1788, he held office until 1851, but for many years performed it by deputy. He had become stone deaf, and on one occasion continued fingering the notes after the blower had ceased blowing; he was quite unaware the organ was giving no sound, remarking to someone, “What glorious music!” As a Choir boy I helped sing his funeral anthem in 1851.

Tony Foster (properly Antony Villian Foster) was formerly a music and dancing master, visiting all the neighbourhood round Christchurch and Lymington. He lived at Mudeford, and became very eccentric.