Important part of my life
I was baptised at St Luke’s in 1939, by the then vicar, Edward Yorke. The church was to play an important part in my life in my early years. Weekday contacts began early on, with my induction into the Robins, which functioned as a junior arm of the Life Boys and subsequently the Boys Brigade. Meetings were held at the church hall in Exeter Street.
Learning to play the organ
As a member of the church choir I obviously attended services on Sunday as well as practices during the week and occasional wedding services. A distant relative, Cyril Marchant was the church organist, and I learnt to play the organ moderately well with his help. The organ, sadly, is no longer there, but the photo shows that this impressive instrument was built by Morgan & Smith of Hove.
Delivering the Prestonville Post
Cyril Marchant’s wife, Joyce (née Card) was a fine soprano. Cyril’s father strangely ran a rival church: the Port Hall Mission in Port Hall Road on the corner of Exeter Street, opposite the Post Office.
A glutton for punishment, I also helped to deliver copies of Prestonville Post, with its illustration of the cockerel atop the weather vane of the church on the front cover. The cockerel, alas, is no longer there.