A collection of papers of the Parochial Church Council (PCC) for 1923 has recently come to light. This page is taken from those papers and starts with the 1923 Report given to the Annual Meeting of the PCC most likely by Mr Noah Ratcliffe, Hon.Sec. of the PCC. Mr Radcliffe had been headteacher at Redmile school until his retirement in 1921, he died in 1926. Mr J. Morley appears to have been in post as Treasurer.

I have much pleasure in submitting to the meeting my third annual report.

There have been nine Council meetings since the last annual parochial meeting and much work done.

They organised a Gymkhana which was held on the Feast Tuesday and thanks to a willing band of helpers proved a success. The sum of 30 being cleared. Of this:-

12 was allotted to the Church
10 was allotted to the Day School
8 was allotted to the Sunday School
The balance sheet to be submitted will show how these sums have been expended.

Church Improvements.

Six new hanging lamps of the Miller pattern have been placed in the body of the church and the old lamps and brackets removed. One of the same pattern with extension has been put in the chancel. These handsome lamps have greatly improved the appearance of the interior of the church and the light is everything that can be desired. Further the heat given out will improve the warmth.

Only complaint - porch not lighted.

Church Fabric.

The roof has, owing to gales, had to be attended to several times but is at present time in a fair state of repair.
Downrights and a drain need attention.


The bearings of the treble bell which had become loose have now been made secure.

The Churchyard

A large thorn bush on the north side was a disfigurement has been removed and the large ash tree at the corner of the new portion has been lopped according to Mr Mitchell's instructions.

The Council have arranged for the churchyard to be mown twice annually and the appearance has greatly improved already.

A new lantern - the Quick Lite - has been fixed on a post near the porch and the light from it is of great assistance to the congregation when entering and leaving.

Catches to hold the gates open have been fixed in position.

The Shrubbery

Since our last meeting the newly added ground has been planted with shrubs by Mr Mitchell and I have planted a number of perennials.

Mr Mitchell who happened to see them when in flower complimented me on the improvements made.

This ground has proved to be a decided gain to the Council because of the protection it affords to the sanctity of the churchyard. The graveyard is no longer a romping ground for children and everyone seems to take an interest in the improvements made and I hope will continue to do so.

The F.W.O.

This scheme continues to be a great success and 22-3-3d was raised by it during the last year and I would like to tender my grateful thanks to all those who continue to subscribe.

What does it mean to the Council?
It means that by everyone helping according to his or her means the Council is immensely relieved of financial worries and can devote itself with easy mind to improving church matters.

(unsigned notes)

Miller Lamps

The 6 miller lamps were purchased from R.Pochin and Son Ltd. of Granby Street, Leicester. They cost 48/9d each (2-44p). With the chains, chimneys and other extras the cost was 23/15/2d (23-76p). In addition to this Fred Tolliday put in an invoice for removing the old lamps and fitting the new. A pair of steps were also ordered from Pochin's, were these especially for the installation? There was a charge of 5/- (25p) on the packing case which was returned by train at a charge of 8d (3p).

The project moved fairly quickly. After the Rev. S. Parkinson made the initial request for information in August 1923. It would appear that Mr Ratcliffe made a trip, by train, to Leicester to place the order on Tuesday 4th September and Mr Morley had a similar outing to collect the chancel lamp. On the 10th September Pochin's had to report:-

Dear Sir,

It is with exceeding regret that we have to inform you that a letter received from London this morning advises us that it is possible that we may have to wait another fortnight before your lamps can be completed and despatched. It appears that the prolonged Dock Strike has so disorganized and delayed the execution of the season's orders that our London people are in a muddle it will take them a fortnight to get out of.

We advise you of this delay immediately we are aware of it in order that you may act as you feel it wisest. We will, of course, do our utmost to get the order through as quickly as possible, but if you feel you must cancel the order we would ask you in all kindness to let us know to that effect speedily. We hope you will allow the order to go through, and assure you of our best attention.

Yours faithfully,

p.p. R. Pochin & Son, Ltd.


The old lamps in 1908

Roof Repairs

Churchyard Mowing
Mr W. Pickard had the job of mowing the churchyard twice annually. He was paid 1-10-0 (1.50p) on each occasion. For pumping the organ on a Sunday he was paid 1 a year. Mr Charles Tolladay also did work for the Churchwardens being paid 5/- (25p) a day.

Colemans Quick-Lite

Two brochures for the Coleman Quick-Lites are among the papers, an extract is shown left. There appears to be a cult following for these lamps see this web site. The lamps were made in the U.S.A. as were the Miller lamps and were supplied directly from the companies UK base.

Among the testimonials in one of the companies leaflets is the following:-

"The Lamp was purchased about eighteen months ago and has been in use ever since. It has always worked well and photographs have been taken by the light; in fact it is used for printing-off gas-light postcards."


Pitsea Cottage,
Near Ashford,


Extract from a letter to Mr N. Ratcliffe, Hon.Sec., Redmile Church Council. Thursday 11th October 1923.

Dear Sir,

We beg to thank you for your kind order,and to hand the Invoice herewith.

The lantern is being dispatched by parcel post, and we trust will arrive safely.

Enclosed in parcel will be found full instructions for assembling, filling and lighting, and these shoud be carefully followed in order to obtain the best results. In this connection may we advise you that the correct fuel for use with these devices is PETROL, and no other will give equal satisfaction. The reason for this is that the Lamps burn Petrol Gas, the mixture of Air and Petrol being vapourised into Gas as it passes round the coil of the PREHEATED Generator. The coil should be heated with two large matches BEFORE TURNING ON THE PETROL.

Yours faithfully

1, Electric Parade, Norwood Road, London. SE27

Balance Sheets 1923

(Six neatly written and carefully laid out account sheets are bound in a cover of brown wrapping paper. Each sheet is off set from the next and all are glued into place along the top edge. details of the main sheet are given below.)

Invoice from G.D. Simpson Grocer and Provision Merchant, REDMILE.

Ticket from J.B. Morley, Coal merchant, REDMILE.

1. Church Accounts (details below)
2. Whist Drive and Dance
3. Jumble Sale
3. Bazaar Fund
4. Sunday School
5. Choir and Church Works Social

Balance Sheet Church Accounts 1923


£ s d

Balance from last account

7 5


36 8 1

F.W. Offerings (Free Will Offerings?)

22 3 3




6 18

73 9 9


Repairs and upkeep Fabric

1 7 8

Fuel, light, cleaning

5 7 7½


8 10

Furniture and repairs

1 6 3

Organ blower


Churchyard maintenance

6 2

Diocesan Quota


Work of Church Overseas


Societies, hospitals, charities

9 16 8½

Bell ringing and repairs

3 9 2

Rent taxes, insurance

3 6 2

Expenses travelling and Fees

2 15

Postage and stationary



7 7 2