Fond memories of many Sundays spent at school

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It wasn’t the same as day school, but Roy Woodcock has fond memories of his time spent at the Railway Street Methodist Church Sunday School in Chorley as a lad.

Although he no longer lives in Chorley, Roy spent the first 21 years of his life in the town.

He says: “I was baptised at the church in 1933 and my father and I attended the church and Sunday School three times practically every Sunday – morning and evening services and afternoon Sunday School.

It probably involved walking about seven miles each Sunday to and fro from our house on the Gillibrand estate.”

THe church closed in 1941, during what was described as one of the darkest years of the Second World War.

Roy recalls: “I attended a very emotional last service, or one very close to it, accompanied by my father, and I have an abiding memory of a very moving sermon which had several ladies in the congregation openly weeping and leaving the church before the end of the service.”

His dad carried playing for the church football team.

Another very poignant memory relates to Sunday morning trek by Roy and his dad to Church and Sunday School.

“We were walking up one of the terraced streets on the eastern side of Market Street, with each house having about three steps up to the front door.

A man was lying in a drunken stupor in the street – he had apparently been there all night – and a tearful woman begged my father to help lift the man, who was her husband, off the street and up the steps into their home.

“My father was not a big man, but somehow he and the man’s wife eventually managed to get him safely indoors.

“As a boy of about eight, the episode was quite a new experience for me to witness, until my father explained to me that such occurrences were quite common on that side of town.”

Walking Day was a big event for the Sunday School boys and girls, who got dressed up and in their finery and paraded through the town’s streets.

Roys belvies that his mother was among the children from the Sunday School when, aged 12, she laid a memorial brick with her name, or initials, on the site of the new Sunday School in June 1911.