Forest Town in 1948

Nurse Saunders
Private Collection
St Alban's Youth Fellowship
Mansfield Advertiser
Rev John Spencer
Private Collection
St Alban's Church circa 1948
Private Collection

This extract which is taken from a 1948 St Alban’s Church Newsletter reveals what the R ev. John Spencer wrote to his parishioners.

The letter gives an insight into both village life, and local people during that time.

No doubt the events and names mentioned will take some people on a trip down memory lane.




Dear People of Forest Town,

…We were awfully sorry to hear of Nurse Sander’s illness, and were distressed to learn that the British Legion Convalescent Home had not room for her. We wish Nurse a speedy recovery, and hope that soon she may be resuming her normal duties.

Those of us who attended the various events at the Forest Town School during Education Week were greatly impressed, and we know that parents (and scholars) do value the great services rendered by Mr. Bates, Miss Berry and their able Staffs. A biblical quotation is applicable,” the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life,” and at Forest Town schools a certain ” spirit ” is noticeable as soon as one enters the door. The Young People’s Service at the commencement of the week was particularly moving. We hope that it may be the first of many such services. The reverent “Assembly ” is often overheard from the Vicarage garden.

Then, while writing of schools, we must congratulate Brian Jelly on securing a place at the Mansfield Grammar School, not to mention Billy Wright’s passing for the “Tech.” We hope that they will be very happy in their new schools, and we believe that they, and through them the community, will greatly benefit by their advanced education.

We have missed Mr Wilkinson’s familiar figure from Evensong, and are looking forward to having him back again on his next leave. We hope that he may give us an evening and tell us about life in present-day Germany.

The Elderly People’s Committee must have worked very hard to have arranged that marvellous outing last month, and we hope that Mr. Redfern realises how much his work is valued by all of us.

It does not seem that Mrs. Spencer and I are to have any holiday this year, but I do hope to take a party from the Youth Fellowship under canvas in August. (And during this time the vicarage will be ” officially ” closed, but not in fact). Mr. Evans has volunteered to help, and the boys are greatly looking forward to their “camp.” It certainly will not be a holiday for the organisers, and is not planned specifically as a holiday for the boys, but rather to give them an opportunity for living the Christian life together absolutely apart from their normal surroundings. There will be no orderlies, and very few orders. All the cooking and washing-up, etc., will be done under a volunteer system, and strangely enough it works, at least it always has done in past camps your vicar has arranged, and knowing his boys here, he has no doubts this time. We are going to a farm near Everton, between Retford and Gainsborough. Please pray for us, that whatever the weather, charity may prevail. That is the great thing.

The Church is grateful to the donors for the “Parish Tent,” which in part has made this camp possible. We hope later to publish a list of subscribers. The parish will be delighted to learn that the Gala has enabled us to wipe off the debt of £200 on the Church Field. The Junior Boys’ intend to enter a soccer team in one of the Church and Chapel Leagues, and the Junior Girls are talking about hockey. It is as yet uncertain as to the position of the Senior Fellowship, but at least they will be able to arrange frequent “friendlies,” so it would seem that the church organisations will be queuing up each week for the use of the ground.

Yours sincerely in Christ, JOHN SPENCER.

Acknowledgement is given to the many people who have contributed to the collection of Forest Town History over the past number of years. By preserving the information it is being kept alive for future generations - Pauline Marples.

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