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Harvest Festivals

Rushden Echo, Friday, September 6, 1901, transcribed by Greville Watson

Harvest Festival at Rushden

Park-road Wesleyan Church

Exquisite taste was displayed in the decorations, the whole of the work being carried out under the direction of Mr.Thos.Watson.Hung conspicuously on the wall at the back of the pulpit was a large anchor composed of laurel leaves and sunflowers, and on each side there was a double triangle of foliage, decked with flowers. In front of the pulpit was placed a huge loaf of the twisted variety, given by Mr.Crane; and several cottage loaves and festoons of flowers were used with good effect in the embellishment of the pulpit. The arched panels in front of the rostrum were lightly treated with ivy. Immediately in front of the pulpit were three tables, on the centre one there being displayed a collection of fruit and vegetables, including some lovely hot-house grapes, besides plums, apples, tomatoes, marrows, &c., while the tables on each side bore plates of fruit. On the communion table, which was covered with a white cloth, were plates of fruit, honey in the with vegetables and fruit. The pillars of the arches around the church were entwined with evergreens, and on the walls above the arches were various triangle and heart-shaped devices of evergreen, brightened with cereals and flowers, the tops of the arches being prettily embellished with asparagus. A particularly noticeable feature in the decorations were the very beautifully arranged baskets of flowers and fruit, some of them with trailing ivy, hops, and other foliage, one of these baskets being suspended from each arch and one in the centre of the church. The roof of the edifice is a particularly high one, and long festoons of evergreens from each side of the roof crossed the building.  It was evident that a considerable amount of decorative skill had been called into requisition, and the effect was really artistic.  The workers included the following:-  ivy strings, Mrs.I.Cunnington, Mrs.Nattrass, Mrs.C.F.Groom, and Misses Austin, Gibbs, C.Watson, Nellie Watson, Knock, Source, Heighton, and A.Desborough; triangles, Mrs.J.W.Bright and Mrs.C.W.Horrell; hearts, Misses Darnell, Louie Causebrook, Ekins, and I.L.Scott; arches, Messrs. A.Clarke, Hankins, and Horrell; ivy festoons from the roof, Mr.S.Watson; tables of fruit, Mrs.Watson and Mrs.I.Cunnington; pillars, Mr.T.Cunnington; pulpit, Mr.I.Cunnington.  Besides these, there were many other workers.

The preacher on Sunday was the Rev.G.H.Hayes, of Higham Ferrers, whose discourses were exceedingly helpful and appropriate.  In the morning the choir sang the anthem, “A day in Thy courts,” and at night “O be joyful in the Lord.”  Mr.F.Betts conducting.  Mr.Chas.Wooding presided at the organ.

A musical service was held in the afternoon, the subject being “Lessons of the flowers,” and the service was nicely carried out by the children, who had been carefully trained by Miss I.L.Scott.  Mr.F.Betts conducted the musical portion of the service.  The solo, “God make my life a little light,” was sung by Master Lawrence Clarke; Misses Florrie Osborne and Florrie Haddon sang a duet, “Pansies, lilies, and roses”; and misses Nellie Watson and Clarrie Button sang “A flower there is.”  The connective recitations were given as follows:-

"Feeble" : Alice Partridge
"Lowly" : Frank Betts
"Obedient" : Florrie Osborne
"Willing" : Florrie Haddon
"Earnest" : Florrie Trusler
"Reliant" : Florrie Partridge
"Steadfast" : Emma Ellis

"Fortitude" : Florrie Bettles
"Reputation" : Ethel Clarke
"Usefulness" : Alice Clarke
"Integrity" : Lily Causebrook
"Triumph" : Fred Betts

It will be seen that the initial letters form the words “flowers” and “fruit,” and the children displayed these letters with good effect.  The Rev.G.H.Hayes highly complimented the children on the able way in which they had rendered the music and recitations.

Tea was provided on Monday evening, when there was a large attendance, and afterwards the fruit and vegetables were sold, excellent prices being made.  The total proceeds will be about £27 10s. clear of expenses.

Rushden Argus, Friday, September 12, 1902, transcribed by Greville Watson

Harvest Festival at Rushden

Park-road Wesleyan Church

The Wesleyan Methodist Church in Park-road had been tastefully and lavishly adorned in keeping with the occasion.  A large canopy had been erected over the pulpit by means of asparagus foliage and evergreens relieved with sunflowers, a basket of fruit forming a pretty centre-piece.  Festoons of evergreens were also stretched across the wall above.  In front of the pulpit a shelving stage had been erected, upon which was displayed a large variety of nature’s products.  The pillars were festooned with evergreens and corn, whilst from the centre of each archway hung a basket of flowers.  The window sills and other portions of the building had also received attention, and the heating apparatus on one side was loaded with fruit and vegetables.  The whole edifice testified to the bounty of the harvest, the generosity of friends, and the diligence of the workers.  The services, which were attended by crowded congregations, were conducted by the Rev.R.B.Woodward, the newly-appointed minister, who thus began his ministry in Rushden amid special surroundings.  At the morning service the text chosen was Psalm ciii., 1-2, the preacher first reminding the young people present that the gifts, promises, and blessings of God were for them as well as for older people, and that all the good things they enjoyed came from Him.  He then dealt with the object, agent, method, and reasons for gratitude.  In the evening Mr.Woodward dealt with the subject “Food and gladness.”  Appropriate hymns were sung at each service, and anthems were given by the choir, Mr.Bates conducting, and Mr.C.Wooding presiding at the organ.  In the afternoon a special musical service was held, when, in addition to the usual devotional exercises, the following items were given:- Solo, “My bud in Heaven,” Miss Waring; recitation, “The muster roll,” Miss Nash; solo, “The Holy City,” Mr.Craxton; address, Rev.R. B.Woodward; song, “The lost chord,” Miss Waring; quartet, “Shepherd of souls,” Miss Waring, Miss Maxted, Mr.Craxton, and Mr.Bates; and recitation, “The false lights of Rosilly,” Miss Nash.  Collections were taken during the day on behalf of the New Building Fund.  A public tea was held on Monday evening, after which the fruit and vegetables were disposed of.

Rushden Argus, Friday, September 4, 1903, transcribed by Greville Watson

Harvest Festival

The first harvest festival for the year in the district was held at the Wesleyan Methodist Church, Park-road, on Sunday and Monday.  The chapel was prettily decorated in keeping with the occasion, and a good collection of gifts was received from the friends.  On Sunday the services were conducted by the Rev.D.Pughe, and proved to be of an interesting and stimulating character.  In the morning the preacher dealt with the words, “Give us this day our daily bread,” and in the evening his subject was “Blasting and mildew.”  Special harvest hymns were sung at each service, and in addition special anthems were given by the choir, that in the morning being Challoner’s “Is it not wheat harvest?” Miss Darnell taking the solo part in good style, and the evening one being “O give thanks unto the Lord” (E.Fisher).  In the afternoon a service for young people was held when the Rev.E.Seddon’s service of song, “The Children’s Harvest Thanksgiving,” was given.  The children taking part were divided into four companies, being respectively bread and corn, fruit, grapes, and flowers.  Each sang of the gifts that were presented, and the children marched to the platform, where their gifts were received by the Rev.D.pughe, who conducted the service.  Mr.C.S.Wooding conducted the singing throiughout the day, and Mr.J.H.Waring presided at the organ.  Large congregations assembled at each service, and in the evening, even after a large number of additional seats had been provided, a good number were unable to gain admission.  The collections, which were in aid of the new building fund, realised just over £20.  On Monday a public tea was held, generously provided by the stewards, Messrs. C.W.Horrell and J.Nattrass.  About 130 sat down, and a hearty vote of thanks was accorded to Messrs. Horrell and Nattrass, on the motion of the Rev.D.Pughe, seconded by Mr.Short.  The fruit and gifts were afterwards sold, Mr.Pughe superintending the sale.  The total proceeds of the festival for the two days was £30 12s. 7d., so that the first thousand pounds required for the new building is well in sight, only about £47 being required to reach that sum previous to this effort.

Rushden Echo, Friday, September 9, 1904, transcribed by Greville Watson

Harvest Festival

Rushden Wesleyan Methodists

Marked ability was displayed in the general arrangement of the decorations for the harvest thanksgiving services at the Park-road Wesleyan Church, Rushden, held on Sunday last.  One of the most conspicuous features in the adornment of the edifice was the elegant canopy of foliage over the pulpit, with the appropriate text, “Praise ye the Lord, for His mercy endureth forever,” very neatly lettered.  In front of the choir seats was erected a tiered stand, covered with a white cloth, on which had been placed a quantity of choice fruit, &c., and a number of lovely maidenhair ferns and other plants in pots.  The pillars and gas brackets were nicely festooned, and a particularly noteworthy feature was the array of fancy baskets of choice fruit suspended from the canopy above the rostrum and the arches.

The decorations were carried out by a committee consisting of Messrs. Austin, Lawman, Crouch, Wingrove, Church, and W.E.Capon.  The town was divided into districts and calls were made, promises of vegetables, &c., being thus obtained.  This, as usual, was undertaken by Messrs. Gadsby, Hankins, and H.W.Wooding.  Misses Austin, Gibbs, Crouch and Louie Causebrook were responsible for the trimming of the twelve baskets of fruit, which added very much to the artistic appearance of the church.  Amongst many who assisted were Misses Ball, Short, Button, Scott, Miers, I. and S.Atkinson, Goodman, and Crouch, Mrs.Church, Mrs.Wingrove, Messrs. T.Cunnington, Fox, C.Wooding, Horrell, and Bright.  Thewhole of the arrangements were superintended by Mr.C.Wagstaff, to whom great credit is due.

The special preacher for Sunday was the Rev.H.J.Atkinson, the newly-appointed minister, and crowded congregations assembled.  Mr.Atkinsons’s discourses were listened to very attentively, and made a deep impression.  The musical portions of the service were very effective, and the choir are to be congratulated on the success of their efforts.  Mr.Frederick Betts conducted the choir, and Mr.Waring officiated at the organ.  The anthem in the morning was “O give thanks,” and in the evening the choir gave a fine rendering of “Praise ye the Lord” (as sung at the Nonconformist Choral Festival at the Crystal Palace.)

The afternoon was devoted to a musical service.  The Rev.H.J.Atkinson presided and gave an address on music.  The Park-road Baptist Quartette Party (Mrs.Arthur Taylor, Mrs.Corbett, Mr.Stringer, and Mr.T.T.Clark) gave artistic renderings of “God is a spirit,” “Waiting by the river,” and “Saviour, breathe an evening blessing.”  A duet, “He wipes the tear from every eye,” was given by Mrs.Taylor and Mrs.Stringer; and a solo, “Arm, arm, ye brave,” by Mr.T.T.Clark.  Mr.George Farey presided at the organ.

A public tea was held on Monday and was largely attended.  Subsequently the fruit, &c., was sold, and realised £8/14s/4d.

The total proceeds of the festival, for the new church building fund, amounted to £24.

Rushden Echo, Friday, September 15, 1905, transcribed by Greville Watson

Harvest Festival at Rushden

Park-road Wesleyan Church

A festive appearance was imparted to this Church on Sunday by choice gifts of fruit and flowers, admirably arranged in front of the pulpit by Mr.F.Betts and other friends.  Large congregations assembled.  The Rev.J.W.Eacott (superintendent minister) preached in the morning and the Rev.H.J.Atkinson occupied the pulpit in the evening.  Special harvest hymns and anthems were sung by the choir, conducted by Mr.F.Betts, Mr.Waring presiding at the organ.  In the afternoon a musical service was held, the programme being:- Song, De Profundis, Mr.Welsh; anthem, Is it not wheat harvest, choir; song, Beyond, Miss Williams; quartette, Thou will keep him in perfect peace, Miss F.Haddon, Miss I.L.Scott, Messrs. H.Wooding and A.Clarke; song, Dream of Paradise, Miss F.Darnell; recitation (by request) Prayer and potatoes, Miss Nash, anthem, Praise the Lord, O my soul, choir.  Mrs.Atkinson also gave a very helpful address.  Mr.C.Wooding was the accompanist.  The sale of the fruit, flowers, etc., took place on Monday evening in the schoolroom.

Harvest Service 1968

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