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Can anyone remember the beginnings of the church?

When we first moved to Clifton - I think about 1953 whilst it was still being built - there was no church, just a Wimpey hut near where the Winning Post pub is now, which made do as a church, and venue for the Young Wives club, to which my mother belonged.

I recall being given paper envelopes with sections to put threepenny bits in. Each threepence would buy a brick and they were handed in regularly. I think the residents of the estated helped build the church themselves.

The first vicar was, I think, the Rev Stephen Verney, who later went on to become a bishop somewhere. He gave me and my sister our first (and only) bibles because we didn't have one. I've just googled him and found this picture and that he was the son of a baronet with a very distinguished war record. He died in 2009, aged 90

stephen_verney_1521866f.jpg

After him there was a nice chap whose name I can't recall, but if you went to the youth club and took your Latin homework, he would help you with it. Actually, he'd do it for you!

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I'm not the most religious person on the planet, so I'm a bit out of my depth here, but..........

I don't really remember the name of Stephen Verney - maybe he was a bit early for me; but I think (may be wrong) that his successor was a man called Whittaker.

I definitely remember that by the late 1960s it was a guy called Christopher Aldridge.

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I can't rarely comment on who the vicar was but was chased down Farnborough Road by one of them for ringing the bell after one Sunday morning service, that would be 59/60. St Francis I mainly remember for the Saturday night dances that went on for years in the church hall.

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  • 1 year later...

Bump

Another Pathe News clip from 1957 , showing the old and the new church in Clifton and the Rev. Verney.

Plenty of shots of some of the locals that may be of interest to someone someday ?

http://www.britishpathe.com/video/home-made-church/query/nottingham

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  • 3 months later...

This Forum is infectious.

Thanks for posting that wonderful clip from pathe, my older Brother was head choirboy on the day of the filming.

Another pathe extended clip of the same event exists somewhere. My younger Brother and myself were "enlisted" into the choir a few years later.

I do remember Stephen Verney & later Cristopher Aldridge. One of the attractions of choir membership was a nice fee received for attending baptisms, wedding & funerals.

Looking back it was quite mercenary, we continued as "sopranos" after our voices had started to break (so as not to miss out) by miming part of the time. They did not have vacancies in other departments of the choir! A Mr Vasey was the choirmaster / organist, he used to cycle over from Mapperley I think, and would play the organ still wearing his bike clips!

We even had a go at (officially) ringing the bell from time to time, but all of this stopped after moving to Fairham, it was looked upon as being a bit soppy by our growing number of school mates.

Local shops on Varney Road that I can remember:- Marsdens Grocery, Dewhursts Butchers, Fourboys Newsagents and the Co-op at the top opposite the school entrance.

On the days that the latter was closed you could always hear a strange eerie noise coming through the gap in the glass doors "whoooo" Of course it was the wind, but stories went around that the place was haunted on Thursdays! This was probably a way of stopping kids loitering outside on the way home from school.....

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Hi VW Golf a great reminder I got married at St Francis church on the 26 March 1977 the vicar was Frank Crowther. If you Google Frank Crowther vicar in Nottingham it will bring up chapter 1 Clifton Methodist church then click on it and will tell you the history about St Francis , and yes I am still married.

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In the 1960s the organist was a Bill vasey. He used to play for 'Evensong' on Sundays. I went a few times. Mr Vasey was a part time music teacher when

I was at Trent Bridge Boys school.

Kind regards,

Tony

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  • 2 weeks later...

Smiffy 49 #6.

My mum worked at the Co-op on Varney Road for a few years in the 1960s. In the summer holidays of 1964 I'd fallen out with my girlfriend Carol, and my mum suggested that I went and helped her in the grocery dept to take my mind off it. She was responsible for weighing and wrapping the veg and wet fish to go out onto the shelves. I remember driving her mad 'cos the idea was to get everything weighed and wrapped really quickly to get them out onto the shelves nice and fresh, but I insisted on trying to make the portions of fish weigh exactly 4, 8, or 12 ozs!

Our daughter lives in Clifton these days and when I drive round that area I'm really shocked at how far downhill everything seems to have gone now.

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  • 5 years later...

That cross was made by a Polish guy who came to the UK as a refugee during the war. My cousin helped to paint the mural on the ceiling..

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3 hours ago, Cliff Ton said:

Now demolished. Makes me feel old because I'm slightly older than it was.

 

 

Same with Gedling School , now being demolished and 10 years younger than me .

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  • 7 months later...

Nice to see you're still around VWG...even after 8 years.

 

It's difficult to find any information about what will happen to the site. The City Council Planning Applications don't appear to mention it at all.

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  • 9 months later...

Coming back from the M1 last week, I decided to drive through Clifton to see what had replaced St Francis Church - and there's nothing there.  Just a patch of cleared ground.
I also drove along Greencroft and along Brinkhill.  Greencroft Junior school is still there (called something else now) and I know the one in the middle was demolished, but couldn't spot Greencroft Infants school as I drove past the gate at the bottom of Sunninghill.  Has that gone, too?

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13 hours ago, VWGolf said:

but couldn't spot Greencroft Infants school as I drove past the gate at the bottom of Sunninghill.  Has that gone, too?

 

It's still there, although rebuilt. It's not the same building which existed in my (or your) time, but it's a new building on the same site. I'm not sure you could ever see it from the bottom of Sunninghill; it was off to the left.

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  • 7 months later...

Wow what a few memories this has brought back. Went to green Croft junr school then farnborough girls school after. Was in the choir at st francis and sang with the future teacher of my son . Frank crowther was the vicar there then. I found him very kind and did make you laugh in sermons.  We moved to sherwood when I was 14 and he married me and my ex when I was 19 in traverse gardens sherwood his new Parrish. He remembered me as well . I sang on a Sunday and at weddings . 

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Nothing to do with Clifton but I was intrigued by the mention of Traverse Gardens. Are you possibly referring to Trevose Gardens? I thought that was in Woodthorpe but it's not my area of Nottingham. The reason I noticed it was that our Junior Red Cross detachment leader at Manning lived at number 1 Trevose Gardens. Her name was Miss Kathleen Barrow.

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That sounds like the place I remember. She was a grand lady, Miss Barrow. Born in 1917. Very jolly hockey sticks and had clearly been in the military during WW2. It appears she died in 1981.

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I went to a friend’s wedding in the early 70s at that church in Trevose Gardens.  I met a chap at a ‘do’ in north Lincolnshire a few years ago who used to live in the house with beautiful twisted  chimneys on the road.  I loved those chimneys and admired them as I passed them on the bus into town when I was just a slip of a gel! 

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17 hours ago, R.M. said:

 Frank crowther was the vicar there then. 

 

What years are you taking about ? I don't remember that name although I lived only a few minutes from St Francis church. The total number of occasions I went in the place probably doesn't get into double figures, but the vicar I remember was Christopher Aldridge.

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