Monday 23 May 2022

Tough Assignment - Ministers, Local Preachers and Trustees

 Ministers with pastoral responsibility for Eton Wick

Local Preachers belonging to the Chapel

These are lay men or women appointed to preach anywhere in the Connexion, but who normally preach at churches within their own Circuit.

The date give is the year they first became a Local preacher.

before 1893 John Lane

 before 1893 Frank Tarrant

1902 Frances Annie Tough

1902 S Baker

1907 Frances Paintin

1935 William Templeman

1951 Daphne Hogg

1952 Tom Dally

1953 Helen Banham

1963 Dennis Nelson

1981 Neville Thorman 


Eight trustees were originally appointed in 1886, but by 1933 these had been reduced to only three. It was resolved to draw up a new trust deed and to increase the number to twelve. Two of the original trustees retired. By 1952 it was again necessary to elect new trustees to bring the numbers up_ to twelve again. For ninety years the trustees were responsible for the fabric of the chapel, in 1976 duties came to an end with the passing of the Methodist Churches Act which transferred responsibility to the Church Council.


Frances Tough

Eton Wick

Domestic duties


John Lane

Eton Wick



John Moore

Eton Wick

Mast and Oar maker


Henry Goodman




James Leaver


House decorator


Robert Kirby


Paper finisher


Henry Murby


Ginger beer manuf


Jesse Wilkins


Brass finisher


Ada Moore

Eton Wick

Domestic duties


Archibald Chew

Eton Wick

Woollen merchant


Annie Chew

Eton Wick

Domestic duties


Harry Cook

Eton Wick



Ivy Jewell

Eton Wick

Domestic duties


William Sullivan

Eton Wick

Medical lam maker


William Pratt


Civil servant


Charles Wilkins


Cycle dealer


Augustus Eggleton




Henry Carter




George Weeks




Charles Pasco




Allan Kempton


Accounts clerk


Claude Wisbey


Distribution supr.


Winifred Jewell

Eton Wick

Restaurant mgr.


Ernest Drake

Eton Wick

Grocer's assistant


Majorie Morris

Eton Wick



Joyce Chew

Eton Wick



Sylvia Chew

Eton Wick

Civil Servant


The Eton Wick History Group is most grateful for the kind permission given by the Eton Wick Methodist Chapel to republish this history, Tough Assignment on this website.

Wednesday 18 May 2022

From the Parish Magazine - Eton Wick History Group Meeting - Local Entertainment Before the Age of the Telly.

The members of the Eton Wick History Group enjoyed illustrated talks from three speakers when they met on the 8th July, 1998. The topic was 'LOCAL FETES, FAIRS, CARNIVALS AND CONCERTS' and the group was entertained by John Denham, Joan Ballhatchet and Frank Bond. 

Frank was the first to take the floor; he described the various 'big' days in Eton Wick going back 200 years to when, for the 100 people who then lived along Common Road or in farm cottages, a 'big' day was simply having a day off from work. There would be traditional days of celebration; May Day for example, the day when cattle and horses were let out on to the Common; the 1st August (Lamas) which was at harvest time; there was Eton College's `Fourth of June' celebration when many of the inhabitants of Eton and Eton Wick would turn out to see the Procession of Boats. Another special day was the one reserved for `Beating the Bounds' - this was originally an ecclesiastical duty, with the civil authorities later becoming aware of the necessity to mark out the area's boundaries; the College used to provide a breakfast of ale and roast beef for those taking part. (Perhaps we could 'Beat the Bounds at the Millennium?) Less formal, but just as welcome, treats would be those such as Mr. Lovell's Concert Parties; Pelham's Funfair at Eton Wick; Sunday School and Boys' Club outings and pub outings; and the Horticultural Society's tradition of donating fruit and vegetable, taken by horse drawn cart, to King Edward VII Hospital. There was certainly no shortage of functions to prepare for, anticipate and enjoy. 

Mrs. Ballhatchet gave a vivid and fascinating description of the Horticultural Shows, which were among the highlights of the Summer. Trestle tables were laden with fruit, vegetables, flowers, needlework, and various types of craft work manufactured by men and boys; there was poultry and livestock; there was a beer tent; there were coconut shies, and races for children and adults, with prizes presented by a VIP.; and in the evening there would be dancing to a band which would have played all day. The earliest record of an Eton Wick Horticultural and Industrial Exhibition appears in the first Parish Magazine, and the event was to take place on the 21st August 1878 in the Wheatbutts orchard. Mrs. Ballhatchet read out various highlights from the Magazines' reports, which included subjects as diverse as the need for Eton Wick's Drum and Fife Band to have new uniforms (1887) to the fact that a 'Collection of English Snails' had received a special award, a swan in a lake scene was constructed entirely of fish scales; and on one occasion two live wasps' nests were displayed as exhibits. The last Horticultural Exhibition entry was in the Parish Magazine of September 1939; but after the Second World War, in the 1950s, the exhibitions recommenced under the title 'The Allotment Holders' Show and these continued until 1963 by which time there was a new entertainment in the form of the annual Wicko' Fair which, with its many star turns and celebrity attractions, eventually, grew to be so well known, popular and successful it became difficult to control, it had lost its 'Village flavour' and so was finally abandoned after 1982. 

A delight of the evening was the sight of so many photographs of Concert Parties and Pantomimes - originally these were held to raise money for the football team's kit - the team originally wore their own white shirts and black shorts made from the blackout material. The entertaining troupe was called The Unity Players' (after 'United'); and costumes for the shows were made from parachute material, crepe paper, 1/- worth of dirty muslin from Petticoat Lane and any other odd bits and pieces that came to hand; props and scenery were painted in the old mortuary; and a generator provided power from outside the building. 

John Denham was the expert on Scout Fetes, also their Gang Shows, raffles, jumble sales, whist drives, in fact anything which would bring in money. The first of the Village's Scout Fetes is recorded as being in 1952 and it was held in Wheatbutts, where the Scout Hut was then sited. This but was burnt down in 1961 - it had been hired out to a skiffle group who had suspect wiring. The fetes and gang shows (which were in true Ralph Reader tradition) were held over a period of about 45 years; there were exhibitions, and the displays were always of a very high standard. Mr. Moss of Eton Wick School introduced the boys to the game of 'Shinty' and this soon became Eton Wick's adopted sport; the Shinty finals were always played out at the Scout Fete, including men against women - it eventually became so rough that Mr. Moss pulled out! Other entertainments at the fetes ranged from Penny Rigden's dancing troupe to Guards' weapon displays and American Air Force drill exhibitions. These fetes continued until interest waned in 1973. 

Earlier in the evening Frank Bond had pointed out that this was the end of the 7th year of the Group; and he thanked Mary Gyngell who had provided cakes for every meeting over that period; and thanks, were also given to the Committee, particularly Joan Neighbour, Zena Redhunt, Rene Thompson, Mrs. Jean Tyler and Brenda Irvine. The programme for 1999 was issued in September, suggestions for subjects welcome. 

During the 1990's the Parish Magazine of Eton, Eton Wick and Boveney reported on the meetings of the Eton Wick History Group. A member of the audience took shorthand notes in the darkened hall. This article was published in the August edition of 1998.

Tuesday 10 May 2022


Two laws, passed in the interests of the College before Henry VI.'s death, concerned the inhabitants of the town. In the twenty-second year of his reign (1444), it was enacted that no persons should take lodgings in the town or parish, without the consent of the Provost or his deputy, and two years later an Act was passed prohibiting soldiers or officers from being quartered in the town.

The parishioners must have naturally taken great interest in the foundation of the Royal College, and especially in the building of the splendid Church, which was to take the place of that in which they had worshipped for many years ; and so no doubt they shared the consternation caused by the news that King Henry's successor, Edward IV., had determined to upset the late King's plans, and to put an end to the College, and hand over the revenues to St. George's Chapel, Windsor.

No great progress had hitherto been made with the college buildings, and the Collegiate Church was still hardly above the ground. This the King represented to the Pope and asked him to issue a bull to enable him to carry out his purpose. The bull was issued in 1463, condition that the site of the College was not to be profane uses. King Edward had already seized of the College estates, and things went so far that the bells, the vestments, the altar furniture, and plate were in Windsor.

Meantime, from lack of funds, the School had sunk to a low ebb. All salaries had to be cut down, and the thirteen almsmen or bedesmen, who had formed part of King Henry's Foundation, were disbanded. The cloud however proved a passing one, and there must have been a general feeling of relief in Eton, when in 1469 the King changed his mind, and the Church property which had been removed to Windsor was restored, and the bells were rehung in the belfry of the old Church.

In 1470, the building of the new Church was resumed, under the vigorous supervision of Bishop Waynflete, but on a smaller scale than that planned by Henry VI. Instead of a grand nave, stretching across the road, and measuring 168 feet long and 8o feet wide, this part of the Church was cut down to the dimensions of what is now known as the Ante-Chapel. This was considered sufficient for the accommodation of the townspeople and parishioners, without any thought for the future growth of the place.

This nave was far more open than at present to the choir of the Church, being only separated by an open wooden screen or rood-loft, the materials for which were taken from the rood-loft and stalls in the old Church.

The rood-loft was approached by a stair behind the Provost's stall, which stood six feet away from it, and was much lower than the present one. The rood-loft was used for the reading of the Gospel and for choral singing, the latter being supported by a small kind of organ.

In this nave stood four altars. In the north-east corner behind the present font, the Altar of the Blessed Virgin—in the south-east corner, an altar, known as the Altar of Thomas Jourdelay,1 an inhabitant of Eton who died about this time and was buried near it. His name survives in the house known as Jordley Place.

The old Church was probably pulled down about 1487, as soon as the new Church was finished, but no particulars about this have been preserved. The vestry however remained in use as late as 1516, the roof being repaired in 1501.

The Provost and Rector of Eton at this time was Dr. Henry Bost, who on his death in 1504 left a legacy of 13s. 4d. a year for the benefit of the poor.

Two other benefactions to the parish may be here mentioned, as coming from men of the same generation.

One which amounts to 10s. a year was left by a certain Robert Brede of Burnham, who died in 1515 and was buried in the Church at Eton at the expense of the College. The anniversary of his death, which took place at the end of July, was in accordance with his will observed for some time after with solemn services, which were attended by the Provost and Posers of King's College, Cambridge.

Dating from the same time, and apparently connected with the same bequest, is a sum of £1 8s. known as Breakfast Money. This was originally spent in bread and beer given to the poor of Eton at Election time. To this has since been added 5s., which was assigned to the Provost and Posers of King's for the same occasion. Another legacy producing 10s. a year was the bequest of Dr. Roger Lupton who succeeded Dr. Bost as Provost and Rector. The small chapel on the north side of the College Chapel bears his name, as also the clock tower in the School yard. 

The above benefactions amounting in all to 13 6s. 4d. are paid by the College yearly to the Vicar and Church-wardens and are used towards the weekly pension of some aged parishioner. 


1 Among other items in Thomas Jourdelay's will, proved before William Westbury, Provost of Eton, October 22, 1468, is a bequest of " xx shillings for the repair of the footpath in Eton between Baldwynes Brygge and Bowyer's Elm." 

OLD DAYS OF ETON PARISH by The Rev. John Shephard, M.A. was published in 1908 by Spottiswoode and Co Ltd. The text is has been copied from the original book that is now out of copyright.

Tuesday 3 May 2022

Photographic History - Village Characters - Harry Chantler

Harry Chantler and his wife Hilda being presented with a cheque and a bound book containing the signatures of many local residents marking their respect and affection, on the occasion of Harry's retirement in March 1973. Harry's father took on the village store at Clifton House in 1929. Following his father's death in 1932, Harry carried on the grocery business and sub-post office for over 40 years. He was active in many local organisations, being a member of Eton Poor Estate, the Parochial Church Council and serving as a School Governor. The presentation took place at the Women's Institute meeting and was made by the president, Mrs Joan Ballhatchet (right). 

This article was first published in A Pictorial History of Eton Wick & Eton.