Sunday school adventure
An Article in the Wellington Journal dated 8th August 1885, regarding a Sunday school ’Treat’
Six hundred (!) children and visitors from the Hadley Wesleyan Sunday School were taken on a Sunday School treat, from Hadley to Uffington and return.
The children assembled at the national school girls’ playground. The younger children were put in two wagons. The other children marched behind the Wrockwardine Wood Church Brass Band, to Wappenshall Junction (canal), which was just short of 3 miles.
Four boats were loaded. The children, together with a harmonium (a pump organ) and other musical instruments, then set off. Villagers along the canal gathered to watch the flotilla pass. They arrived at Berwick Wharf, then marched to a field at Uffington – some two miles. Each child was given a large bun and they were left to play in the field. In the mean time the adults went for tea at the Corbett Arms
The boats were brought along to Uffington Wharf. The children boarded the boats for the return trip.
The flotilla passed through the Berwick Tunnel, ‘Where all was darkness except under the vent holes, when a flood of delicious light reflected from the green ferns and mosses growing on the side of the vent holes and refreshed by continual dropping of water from springs above, burst upon the sight and amply repaid the party for the inconvenience of the darkness’.
They all arrived back at Wappenshall late. The article finished with a remark that ‘One small girl had a ducking’ and ‘One boy had an injured foot when a mast fell on it’. They also thanked the Canal agent Mr Haywood for his help.
It is interesting to note that the children walked over 10 miles that day, also spending time playing in the field.
Contributed by one of our volunteer photograph cataloguers, Anthony Price.
Unfortunately we’ve not got any photographs of the children piling into the ferry, although we’ve got this much quieter view of the ferry at Uffington from a similar time.