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Correspondence from Thomas Towle to Lucy Facer 1968.

Dear Lucy

I see by this mornings paper a record of Quorn. As a small help towards the restoration fund, I enclose a little help. It maybe I am one of the oldest Sunday School scholars, starting not later than 1882. Also most of my family lie in peace in the churchyard. I well remember the Rev Robert Stammers and also Miss Corlett.

I trust you are keeping well and that 1968 will bring more pleasure to the country than 1967.


Thomas P Towle.


Nan Hill
Woodhouse Eaves

Dear Lucy

As I am snowed up and there are no papers, thought I could not do better than put on paper a few of my memories of Quorn. When the weather behaves itself you could bring Mr Keeping along for a chat over them. No doubt many of them are in the Church records, but the notes are my personal memories, I have written a record of my life handed over to M. H. not for publication in my lifetime. In it Quorn has filled a fair portion of it. You know the old saying ‘you never forget your first love’.

In any case if they give you an interest I shall be well repaid, but knowing your very great interest in the village, your knowledge would make mine look very mild.

With kind regards


If it bores you, blame the snow as without it I doubt if my thoughts would have been put on record.

Re the Farnham wedding. Quorn men met the carriage bringing the couple home. They took the horses out and attached ropes and drew them all the way to the House. I can see them very clear. Also the funeral of the present boy’s grandfather in the family vault.

Memories of Quorn Church 1880-1892
Where possible check dates – 75 years is a long time to remember:

1) Rector – Rev Stammers, a very wealthy man. Stern in his ways, but very highly respected. I believe his housekeeper was Mrs Ainslie, and I always understood his sister. I do not know whether he was ever married.
2) His curate was Mr Evans, a popular man and the opposite in temperament to the Rector. In those days whenever we met the Rector we were supposed to acknowledge him. Failure to do so met with painful results at school. Thus he visited regularly.
3) I remember the musical instrument played by Mr Lucas, who had a shop on High Street where he sold jewellery of all descriptions and repaired watches etc.
4) This instrument was replaced by the present organ and the Choir was trained by Mr J Taylor of Leicester, who came on Sunday to play for the services.
5) He was followed later by his brother, who I believe married one of the Miss Firrs, the Huntsman’s daughter (note in margin reads ‘No!, McDonald (?) married Miss F)
6) With the new organ the Choir wore surplices. I believe, for the first time. They were assisted by Mr Sudbury of Barrow-on-Soar, who used to walk over, bringing his two daughters – that was the first time I saw my first wife, the mother of my two children.
7) There was a system in vogue those days when one could pay a small amount as Pew Rent. Of course, at times, if not occupied they could be used by other churchgoers. Of course, the three front tows facing the Altar were occupied by the wealthy people, who usually came along in their carriages with coachmen in uniform. The Farnhams, of course, used their own chapel, other families were the Warners, the Holes and others.
8) I can only remember one Church Warden, a Mr Tacey, who lived on the Barrow Lane.
9) The Sexton was a Mr Phipps, a very popular man who lived by himself in a cottage opposite the shop owned at one time by Miss Facer’s Grandfather. Phipps was followed by a Mr Herbert. All boys loved Mr Phipps and that will tell you his character.
10) Collections were taken by Plates, not bags.
11) Miss Corlett was in charge of the Sunday School class. I can see her now, a prim determined lady. She did not face up the Church but had a side seat, so that she could watch all the girls, and, believe me, Miss Corlett was a real martinet. She was, of course, Head Mistress of the Girls’ and Infants’ section at the Church School. At this school, I started my education 88 years ago and my complete education cost my parents the sum not exceeding 3d per week (may have been 2d). At 11 years of age I secured a scholarship at the Barrow Grammar School and before I leave remarks on the Church School, during its very early days it did a wonderful job based on conditions it had to work under.
12) The Sunday School was run, and as far as I can remember the Superintendent in the Girls’ School was a Miss Rue, who married a Quorn man, Mr Facer. Miss Lucy is the daughter of this connection. The boys’ Superintendent was Mr George White, a young man whose father was butler in the Farnham’s family, and later became the leading man at Quorn in connection with all public matters. He was employed in his early days at Messrs Woolley, Beardsley and Bosworth, Solicitors of Loughborough. The Beardsley boys still live at Quorn.

Not connected with the Church, I can remember seeing the Grandfather of the present Mr Farnham bring his Bride home. I believe she was the daughter of Mr Adrian Hope. A lovely lady – all Quorn loved her. She was Head of the Girls’ Friendly Society, and whenever a member got married, she presented the wedding dress.

I remember the 1887 Jubilee, amongst many things, and can remember all the Inglesants, the Norths (Grocers), Richardsons (Butchers), Holmes (Blacksmiths), Websters (Bakers), Swains (Painters), Bates (Wheelwrights), Facers (Carpenters) and several others in a small way:
Doctors – Dear old Mr Harris, and later Dr Unitt.

If there is anything else I can do to help, let me know. I claim to know Quorn 1880-1896 very well and can never really understand why I did not settle there later in my life.

 Submitted on: 2011-05-13
 Submitted by: Kathryn Paterson
 Artefact ID: 1270
 Artefact URL: www.quornmuseum.com/display.php?id=1270

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