A peep into an old copy of its Parish Magazine will repay with a host of interesting items the researcher seeking to uncover something of Studley's past. Some will delight, some will amuse, some will enlighten; and yet others will cause us to ask 'whatever happened to...?'
Let's take a look, then, at Studley & Mappleborough Parish Magazine for the year 1905, and, stopping once in a while to drop a few names - many of whose successors are still with us today - we'll see what can be found.
It was reported in January that the subject of Studley Debating Society was "Vaccination". Proposed by Dr Bodge, and opposed by the Rev Johnson, the motion was carried by 15 votes to 5. Further PR no doubt led to further conviction. Its next meeting was to discuss 'Should we have Sunday opening in England?' That one certainly ran and ran.
We see that on Christmas Day, Alfred William Welch of Little-wood Green married Maria Bennett of Alcester Road.
Some disappointment was felt when, as a result of the subdivision of the Worcester Diocese, February's hoped-for Confirmation Service at Studley Church, was instead to be conducted by the new Bishop at Alcester Parish Church, in April. The transfer of Studley to the Diocese of Coventry resulted in the keeping of church records at two locations, to the occasional frustration of historians.
But favourable reports upon both mixed and infant National Schools were received from His Majesty's Inspectorate; and an Old Folks' Dinner, provided by the brewer Mr J Thompson, was much enjoyed. Prizes went to the oldest and the tallest man and woman. The Rev Boyd Welch was 'struck with the gathering's remarkable longevity, attributable in some measure to the healthiness of the village". Dr Bodger's well-known propensity for giving malingerers a clout round the ear may have had something to do with it, also!
In March, it was reported that children at the National Schools who had made a perfect attendance during the last year, were to be presented with National Saving Bank books by the County Council. The deserving recipients were: Jane Wheeler, Emily and Edith Emes, Beatrice Lewis, James Dyer, Percy William Smith, Mary Bennett, Mabel Taylor, Kate Pinfield, Daisy Dyer, Dorothy Heighway, Albert Blick, Leslie Elvins, Albert Ireland, Harold Lewis, James Buck, and Ethel Perks. And the infants: Sydney Richards, Ethel Hemming, Nay Roberts and Rose Dyer.
Studley Castle Entertainment was also reported. The Staff and Students at Lady Warwick Hostel of Studley Castle, (alias the Rover Marketing Centre) gave to the Public a most successful entertainment, consisting of songs, farce, pianoforte and shadow acting. Al though "thoroughly enjoyed by everyone present", it was deeply regretted that "anyone who witnessed the performance could 1~e so ungracious and rude as to forward insulting anonymous letters to those who took part". Describing it as "most ungentlemanly or unladylike", the Vicar was "most pained" to have to put a public apology for the behaviour of the senders in the pages of the Parish Magazine.
In April's pages was reported the arrival at the National School of another assistant mistress, Miss Edith Page, in place of Miss Kitt, who had resigned. We read, also, that at the recommendation of the Government Inspector, another partition was erected in the school's big room, so that various standards may be taught more easily, not hindered by the distraction of the other classes.
All those interested in the scheme to provide a Village Nurse were earnestly asked to attend a meeting on 8th of May, when the subject was to be thoroughly discussed. We read that on April 1st, Hark Jackson of Houghton Lodge and NELIA Warring of Watts Lane were married.
The report on the Annual Easter Vestry meeting included the names of four newly-appointed sidesmen, F Dyer, J Carter, S Cook and T Gibbons. A sum of £179 had passed through the Churchwarden's Account, and £65 13s 7d, the largest total ever reached, had been collected for Church expenses; but there remained a debt of £13 to the bank - "certainly unsatisfactory". Mr Simmonds was thanked for kindly lighting the lamps on the way to Church.
June's report on the matter of the Village Nurse was encouraging. At the meeting chaired by Dr Bodge, an interesting account was given on the successful scheme at Headless Cross. It was decided unanimously that an effort should be made to secure a Nurse for Studley. A strong committee of ladies was appointed, and also a committee of men to look after the finances, for the large sum of £90 a year would be needed.
In July, we read that the Day Schools at Mappleborough Green were closed on account of measles: it was hoped to reopen on the third of the month. Reported, also, was the marriage of Francis Lane of Uttoxeter to Frances Gibbs of Studley. On Whit Tuesday, the occasion of their annual cricket match, Studley choir boys beat Mappleborough choirboys on the second innings, thus taking revenge for their defeat of the previous year.
A long report appeared in August, on the Consecration of the Church of the Holy Ascension at Mappleborough. Previously enjoying the status of an ordinary mission room, its Consecration was brought about by the generosity of Sir Wm. Jaffray, who endowed the curacy. After the service, Sir Wm. and Lady Jaffray entertained the whole congregation to tea, in a nearby marquee.
An amusing account of the choir and bell-ringers' annual outing appeared in September. A party of 70 left Studley, by train, at 5.45, arriving at Sharpness at 9.15, from where they boarded the steamer to Weston-Super-Mare. The walk across the docks was disagreeable, for hundreds were going by the same boat, and a very pleasant trip was rendered most uncomfortable by the densely crowded and overcrowded conditions. Arrived at Weston Pier at 12.15, lunch was taken at Brown Bros., in the High Street, and the afternoon was spent enjoying the "endless attractions" , including the "new" pier. After tea, at Brown' S, it was back to the Pier for the boat home. This time there were two; the second of them being the faster, it arrived at Sharpness first, happily bearing those members of the party who had been thought left behind in the crowd. All arrived home at one-o-clock in the morning, at the end of a very happy day.
In October, the Vicar expressed his concern that twice in the last year, brides had presented themselves for their marriage ceremony without a covering to their heads. Exhorting all to read I Corinthian XI 1-17, he stated that a veil would henceforth be kept in the vestry, and he would require it to be used by any who presented themselves without a covering. We may detect a little disappointment in his writing for this month, for he declared, also, that jumble sale admission charges were to be raised "to compensate for the many things which disappeared owing to last year' S crowd". (Better news next month, though, for he reported a very successful result)
"Studley's Great Need - A Church", headed the November item which related to the comment made by the Bishop of Worcester during his July visit to Consecrate Mappleborough Church. He was "struck at the distance from the village, also the very inconvenient situation of our Old Parish Church" He went on to suggest to the Vicar that his duty was to provide for Studley's Great Need - a Church - in the midst of the people. The Vicarage Ground was suggested as a suitable site, and the Patron was agreeable to the transfer of the land. Discussion followed, and has continued to the present day, but the current building of dwellings upon the site formerly occupied by the now-demolished Vicarage and garden must leave the Great Need unsatisfied. To some extent, though, Sir Wm. Jaffray's gift to Studley of a Vicarage Hall on this site, in 1912, lessened the inconvenience of the situation observed by the Bishop.
The year ended as it began, with another "very gratifying" report upon the National School from HMI. Steady, painstaking work continued to be done by the teachers, who were congratulated upon their efforts. Alfred Dyer of Redditch Road married Clara Elizabeth Biddle of Mappleborough Green
Beginning with the January issue, of 1906, the Magazine was to increase by a further eight pages, and advertisements were to be re-introduced, at no extra cost to the purchaser. All the more exciting for those local historians lying in wait!
Spring 1997 Index