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Higham Ferrers Church - notes
The Grammar School, one of the oldest in the country, closed in 1906. The building was sold to the Church in 1911 for £200.

carving plaque
The carved goat's head on one of the pinnacles
Plaque in the church to commemorate the men of the RWF who fell in WWI. Their mascot had been a goat.

About 1920, the carved masonry of the old Grammar School was undergoing repairs, and one of the masons carved a goat’s head which now looks down from one of the pinnacles.

The Church & school (left)

From Wellingborough & Kettering News 31/05/1889, transcribed by Peter Brown

THE CLOCK WINDER AND HIS SALARY—During the past few days, the parish has been put to some inconvenience by the stoppage of the church clock which has been caused by the parish clerk (Parker), refusing to wind the clock up any more or deliver up the key until his salary is paid. Sometime ago he sent in his account, which included the items for winding and repairing the clock to the churchwardens but these were struck out, and on Parker making a personal application he was told there was no money to pay him. He was, however, advised by a high official in the Borough to keep on winding until he had got his money. He followed the advice for some time, and the question was brought on at the Easter Vestry, when one of the churchwardens thought the charge (£4) was too much. It was resolved, however, to get the money by subscription, and with this assurance the clerk kept on, but not receiving any money, or any intelligence of where it was to come from, he ceased winding one night last week, and as a necessary consequence the clock stopped. Mr. C. Fisher, of Rushden, was at once sent for, and asked to undertake the management of the clock, and he attended on Friday evening, meeting the Vicar and Mr. Crew in the church. On applying to Parker for the key, the latter refused to give up the key of the clock tower until he had been paid. Thus the case stands at present: Parker is waiting for his money, and the parish is waiting for time. In reference to the charge for winding it might be said that Parker lives some 200 or 300 yards from the church; he has to ascend some 60 steps up the clock tower twice every day, winter and summer, and wind three sets of machinery, besides oiling, cleaning, and repairs; and the clock being an old one, the latter is an important item. For that he gets £5 per annum, when he is paid, but a year and a half’s salary is due.

Wellingborough & Kettering News 21/06/1889, transcribed by Peter Brown

INDUCTION OF THE NEW VICAR—On Saturday afternoon last the Rev. James Dunn was inducted to this living by the Ven. Archdeacon Lightfoot, vicar of Wellingborough.

Wellingborough & Kettering News 11/10/1889, transcribed by Peter Brown

The Curate’s Salary — The Vicar on Sunday evening last, announced from the pulpit, that it was necessary to have a curate for the parish, and for Chelveston, and that it was desirable his stipend should be raised to £100 per annum, but he, the Vicar, could not afford so much, and therefore he had decided to appeal to his parishioners for assistance in the matter.

Wellingborough & Kettering News 06/12/1889, transcribed by Peter Brown

REPAIRING THE CROSS—We understand the old Cross in the churchyard is being restored by Mr. Geo. Henson, of Wellingborough, under the orders of a committee, and that a subscription list has been opened to defray the necessary expenses.—A correspondent asks whether any of our readers could give the origin of the structure.

the church clockWellingborough & Kettering News 07/02/1890, transcribed by Peter Brown

The Church Clock has again commenced to strike, and the necessity of going to Rushden to know the time has again passed away. The inhabitants were startled on Friday evening last on hearing the friendly old voice, and on enquiry we learn the time is to be given again "on tick." The Vicar, however, has promised to see the work paid for in future. It is thought by many that the Mayor and Council would confer a boon on the town by having a town clock that could be depended upon placed in the front of the Town Hall.

Wellingborough & Kettering News 03/10/1890, transcribed by Peter Brown

The Church Bells—A meeting of the churchwardens and sidesmen, for the purposes of further consideration of the question of the bells being repaired, and the addition of two others, was held in the Grammar School on Friday evening last. The vicar (Rev. J. Dun) occupied the chair, and there were present Dr. Crew and Mr. E. B. Randall, churchwardens; Messrs. C. Jolley, Spong, Hardwick, A.T. Patenall, Flintham, Wheatly, Felce, T. Randall, Peacock and W. Parker. The Chairman mentioned that last May it was unanimously agreed that the churchwardens, with the sidesmen, should form themselves into District Committees to see how much money might be raised to carry out the work of repairing the bells. This task had been completed, and the amount promised was £51 8s. Other inhabitants intimated that they would give, but stated no sum, so with the money promised and the amount of money in hand there was every prospect of having their bells repaired. It was further intimated at the meeting that the two new bells which had been asked for would be given by a private gentleman, and if this is done the ringers of Higham will be able to boast of one of the finest peals in the county.

Wellingborough News, 8th January 1892, transcribed by Kay Collins

CHURCH WORKERS' GATHERING—The annual church workers' tea and social meeting was held in the Bede House last night. Tea was served at seven o'clock, to which the ringers, singers, Sunday School teachers, district visitors, churchwardens, and in fact the whole of the church workers were invited. After tea the Vicar gave a short and appropriate address, after which songs were given and games and dancing indulged in, a very enjoyable evening being spent.

A ticket sent to Mrs F Parker, from Higham Church Mothers' Union, for an Easter Tea on April 23rd 1908.

A note is written on the ticket "Snowing all day - a record for Easter". On the back another note "Icicles 2 ft long hang from the houses".

Tea ticket

St Mary's Social Club
Gipsy Fair
‘Gipsy Fair’ for the Spire Fund 1932

Jean Winter on the left
left is Jean Winter c1932

Rushden & Higham Ferrers Reporter March 2015 - Friends of St Mary's Newsletter - February 2015

Peregrine Falcon Watch!

You might like to know that the two Peregrine Falcons, currently guarding the Church Spire, could happily be enjoying a more comfortable habitat in the Spring courtesy of John Broadbent and Brian Behagg who have installed a state of the art nesting box inside the spire! They hope that the birds appreciate their new home after the intrepid adventurers risked life and limb climbing on to the bell tower roof and then on a ladder (firmly held by Brian!) to reach half way up the spire!

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