If you have anything that you would like to add, please complete the form on the St. Andrew’s Church Archives page.
1 June – Formation of a separate district of St. Andrew’s Church, Coulsdon, including portions of Beddington, Carshalton and Woodmansterne. The Rev. Francis H. Roberts placed in charge and St. Andrew’s handed over to him as temporary church.
Rev Francis H Roberts was born in 1870, came to St Andrew’s aged 36, left in 1920, and died in 1952. His wife Eileen was born in 1887 and died in 1946. They were instrumental in getting out church built and there is a commemoration in the Lady Chapel.
From COULSDON PARISH MAGAZINE – AUGUST 1906 [St Andrew’s had a page in the St John’s magazine at this time.]
S. Andrew’s, Lower Coulsdon.
SERVICES DURING AUGUST.
8.0 a.m. Holy Communion.
11.0 a.m. Matins and Sermon.
12.0 noon. Holy Communion (August 19th only).
3.0 p.m. Children’s Service (August 5th and 19th).
7.0 p.m. Evensong and Sermon.
Holy Day. S. Bartholomew, A. & M. (August 24th).
7.30 a.m. Holy Communion.
11.0 a.m. Matins
6.0 a.m. Evensong (on the Eve, August 23rg).
THE SITE OF S. ANDREW’S.
The statement in the July issue that the site of the present building was held on lease proves to be incorrect, but the freeholder, Mr. G. Tucker, met me most generously in the matter, and I hope to be able to announce shortly that a lease is actually in existence, with the option of purchase for a stated sum at the end of the time. It seems very probable that it will always be most helpful to hold this very central plot of land for parochial purposes.
Will some gentlemen volunteer to join our choir? Both tenors and basses are needed. We have begun a determined effort to give more training to the boys, and just now more adult voices would be a timely help.
1.-An electro-plated Chalice and Paten of larger size than those at present in use.
2.-A brass Book-desk for the Altar.
3.-Fifty Bibles for the Sunday School.
4.-Hundred copies Hymns, A. & M. (words only).
Will anyone help us in one of these ways?
FRANCIS H. ROBERTS
From COULSDON PARISH MAGAZINE – SEPTEMBER 1906
THE NEW FONT.
At Evensong on Sunday, July 29th, the New Font was dedicated by the Rev. F. H. Roberts. A space had been set apart in the “south west” corner of the Church, and thither the choir proceeded before the service, hymn 242 being sung, and collects of dedication offered there. The church was quite full and the opportunity was taken to preach a sermon on the significance of Holy Baptism after the Evensong which followed.
The New Font is of fumed oak with removable basin, and was supplied by Messrs. West and Collier, London. It has been surrounded by hangings of dark green, and is a very great improvement to the Church.
THE FURNISHING OF THE CHURCH.
During this month a start has been made with our scheme of improvements. The structural alterations have been made, and the result is a great gain both in dignity and convenience. There is also a small gain in seating room in the nave. The woodwork is (at the time of going to press) still undecorated, but it is hoped that funds will be forthcoming to paint the interior of the Church. Meanwhile I have accepted a tender to both heat and light the building with gas, thereby abolishing the unsightly coke stove and the oil lamps at present in use. And of course, there are yet chairs, kneelers and cassocks and surplices to buy!
Funds have not been flowing in very fast, but our scheme is so very necessary and I feel so confident that help will be forthcoming, that I am making a venture of faith and proceeding with the work.
I gratefully acknowledge donations from Mr. J. Saltmarsh, Mr. and Mrs. White, Messrs. C. Meierhoff, J. Carpenter, B. Beckwith, J. Walters, E. H. Hecker, W. Geary, C Fischer, and Mr. and Mrs. Ebbutt. The amount at present contributed is £13 15s.
The Harvest Services will be held on Sunday, October 7th. Gifts of flowers, corn and grpes will be gratefully received at the Church on October 6th, about 10.30 a.m., when it is hoped that many friends will join in the work of decoration.
It is asked that no fruit other than grapes, and no vegetables be sent.
FRANCIS H. ROBERTS
From COULSDON PARISH MAGAZINE – OCTOBER 1906
THE FURNISHING OF THE CHURCH.
I am glad to be able to report progress, under this now familiar heading.
There has been progress in the work – for the oil lamps and stove are no more, their place having been taken by incandescent lights and a gas heating stove. It is now possible to read easily all over the building, and the air is much purer at the Sunday Evensong……
But we are still a very long way from having the needed sum, and I earnestly ask those who read these lines and are interested to help. A sum of £40 is needed for chairs and kneelers; and the recent increase in our congregations, especially on Sunday nights, makes the provision of this new seating (which will accommodate 50 more persons) and all the more urgent need. It seems hard to have to tell would-be-members of the congregation, that there is no seat left for them.
FRANCIS H. ROBERTS
From COULSDON PARISH MAGAZINE – NOVEMBER 1906
Special Services of Thanksgiving for the mercies of Harvest were held at S. Andrew’s, on Sunday, October 7th. The Church was prettily decorated with flowers, corn and grapes – a labour of love which was undertaken by Mrs. Chapman, Mrs. and Miss Ebbutt, Miss Mason, Miss Potter and Mrs. Roberts.
The congregation were excellent throughout the day and in the evening, despite the fact that the whole floor space was uncomfortably crowded, many had to be turned away for want of room.
The collections, which were given to the Furnishing fund realized £4 14s. 4d.
Our hearty thanks are due to the donors of the flowers, grapes and corn, and also to Mr. White, Hon. Sec. To the Workman’s Club, by whose kindness many additional chairs were placed at our disposal for the day.
Considering that at present the chants for the Psalms have to be “taught by ear,” all will agree that the boys and girls of the choir manage remarkably well. But we can never get them beyond a certain point without sufficient copies of the music.
Experience in other places tells me that the best and (in the long run) the cheapest way of supplying the need lies in the purchase of “Cathedral Prayer Books.” There, in one volume, is contained the words and music of everything to be sung at every service – excepting only, of course, the hymns.
Will anyone give us some or all of these books? About 30 are required, and each copy costs 4s. 6d. net. This means a heavy expense, but I am sure the abundant justification for the outlay would be seen within six months.
FRANCIS H. ROBERTS
COULSDON PARISH MAGAZINE – DECEMBER 1906
N.B. – From January 1st 1907, there will be a daily service at S. Andrew’s, and a sung Evensong every Wednesday, and on the Eve of every Festival, at 8.0 p.m. Full particulars will be given later.
THE FURNISHING OF THE CHURCH.
By the time that these lines reach our readers, the re-furnishing of the church will be (D.V.) an accomplished fact. The Re-opening Services being fixed for the Eve of S. Andrew.
The building has had to be in part re-floored, the walls have been re-varnished, and a dado of green to match the chairs has been painted. The other woodwork, the doors, windows, choir stalls, pulpit, &c., have all been treated in harmony with the general colour scheme, and the effect is very good. Outside, gutters and soak-aways have been provided, which it is believed, with the improved system of ventilation, will obviate the dampness which has been so marked of late. Cassocks and surplices have been provided for the choir, and last but not least, new kneelers have been purchased.
THE NEW MAGAZINE.
On and after January 1st, S. Andrew’s will issue its own magazine…..
In announcing this new issue, I desire to publicly acknowledge the real debt of gratitude we owe to the Rector of Coulsdon, for so generously giving me the use of this page for the past six months.
FRANCIS H. ROBERTS
S. Andrew’s (Coulsdon) Parish Magazine Vol. 1., No. 1. January 1907
Clergy.-Rev. Francis H. Roberts, S. Andrew’s Cottage, Coulsdon, Surrey
Reader (Honorary).-Mr. W. A. Kelk, Osgathorpe
Wardens.-Mr. A. T. Chapman, Trevista; Mr. W. Geary, 1, Argyle Villas
Organist.-Mrs. Weston, Hayes Lane, Kenley
Choirmen.-Messrs. H. Barton, L. Bearman, A. Bonwick, H. Bonwick, S. Bourne, P. Muir, R. Muir, and W. Wood
Choirboys.-B. Bayfield, E. Bonwick, A. English, J. Geary, H. Hayes, J. Hayes, F. Hill, H. Hill, G. Payne, G. Pogmore, I. Ratcliffe, E. Vaughan, and R. Wood
Caretaker.-Mrs. Bushell, 10, Cane Hill Cottages
Seats.-All the seats in the Church are free and unappropriated.
Music.-Hymns A. & M. and the Cathedral Prayer Book are used.
The church is open daily till 7 p.m. (or till dusk, if earlier) for Rest, Meditation, or Private Prayer.
S. Andrew’s Cottage, Coulsdon
Jan. 1st 1907
My Dear People,
A few words, first of all, to introduce this, the first number of our own Parish Magazine…..
It is only seven months today since we began our work together, but I thankfully chronicle that you have already furnished, re-lit, re-heated, and re-painted the Church and surpliced our choir.
Helpers in other ways have also come forward, and we are able to begin this New Year both with a staff of wardens and sidesmen, and with a greatly augmented list of district visitors.
Owing to our lack of a Parish Room, the only organisation we have been able to start is a Mothers’ Meeting – this by the kindness of the Trustees of the Workmen’s Club. But I know, we all hope and pray, that the provision of a Hall to serve as a home for further organisations will not be long delayed.
FRANCIS H. ROBERTS
REOPENING OF THE TEMPORARY CHURCH
On S. Andrew’s Eve, the refurnished, repainted, and in part reconstructed Church was opened by the Ven. The Archdeacon of Kingston.
On the evening previous twenty-one men and boys had been admitted into the Choir at a short Special Service, and these – vested now for the first time in cassocks and surplices – led the praises of a large congregation.
After Choral Evensong the Archdeacon, taking as his text S. John i. 40, spoke very warmly of the great improvements that had been carried out in the building. It was “a right spirit” that had prompted his hearers to arrange that God’s House should be as well cared for as their own homes. He thought it was as beautiful as a temporary Church could well be made, and he hoped that this “right spirit” – so marked in the life of our Patron Saint – would continue to band the worshippers together throughout the yet greater tasks which lay before them in the near future.
A Special Service of Dedication (authorised by the Lord Bishop of the Diocese) and a solemn Te Deum brought a memorable service to a close.
FRANCIS H. ROBERTS
PARISH MAGAZINE – FEBRUARY 1907
Sunday School Listing February 1907
Superintendent: Mr. A. Bonwick
Teachers: Boys, Messrs. B. Beckwith and H. Bonwick, Miss Carpenter, Miss G. Carpenter, Mrs. Potter, and Miss R. Scammell. Girls, Miss A. Bearman, Miss Lutz, Miss W. M. Mason, Mrs. Mitchell, Miss Potter, and Miss E. Wright. Infants, Miss Dove and Miss Ratcliffe.
A letter to my parishioners
……If I may suggest an object to which any Lent savings might very properly be given it would be to devote these to the Building Fund of the new Parish Room. For until that room is erected it is impossible for the work of the church in this place to go on efficiently. I shall be glad to supply Lent savings boxes to any parishioners who feel moved to try this Lent to save up a small sum for this or any other good object. A certified statement of the total amount thus sent in will be posted on the board in the church after Easter. But no details of the names or separate amounts contributed will be divulged either by myself or the auditor. This has been arranged not only in the interest of those who can give but little, but because sums put in by in the way of Lent savings should be as far as possible “in secret.”
Please remember, too, in this connection what I have said above about a frequent rule. The smallest possible sum set aside each day, or each week, means you are observing Lent. A lump sum put into the box just before it is handed back, is not at all the same thing, and it is the observance of Lent that I entreat, far more than any money that may be thus realised for church work.
Your sincere friend,
FRANCIS H. ROBERTS
THE PROPOSED PARISH ROOM
Good progress has recently been made in the scheme for providing a Parish Room for S. Andrew’s. Capital plans have been prepared by Mr. S. Knight, F.R.I.B.A., with a view to the fullest possible use being made of the vacant land behind the present church, and these have been examined with care by the Church Council, and provisionally accepted. A copy will be hung up at the west end of the church.
The building is designed to be built of brick and roofed with slate, the walls being 15-ft, 6-in. High to the eaves. The main room is shown as 48-ft. long by 27-ft. Broad, and as containing a platform at one end across the whole width. The main entrance is shown as through a porch on the north-east corner, and also on the north side are the lavatories, &c., and a classroom about 22-ft. By 13-ft., which a moveable partition will divide into two separate rooms when needed. On the south side an “emergency exit” is provided for.
The building thus planned would, for Sunday School purposes, accommodate a total of 325 – including platform and classrooms. For public meetings, &c., the number provided for would, of course, be less. The cost is estimated by the architect at £825, exclusive of the price of the freehold of the site, which is £175 – which price, by the kindness of Mr. Tucker – is only half the actual value of the ground.
A determined and sustained effort must be made if we are to raise this thousand pounds. Applications for grants in aid, both of the site-purchase and the building fund, have already been sent in to the South London Church Fund; and we are at present trying to put ourselves, technically, in a position to ask for a grant also from the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. But whatever help we may be fortunate enough to obtain in these ways, there will still be a (for us) very large sum to collect in and around the district.
As soon as we know more how we stand in this matter all the facts will be embodied in an appeal for funds, now in active preparation. A Bazaar in the summer is also in contemplation. It is hoped to give some further details about these things in our next issue; meanwhile let all our readers make up their minds to “put their shoulder to the wheel” when the time comes. Let them remember that the work of the church is being actually crippled now by the lack of such a building; let them remember also that the building, when provided, will be a permanent part of the plant of the parish, and that the course will then be clear to take up the question of the new Parish Church.
THE SITE OF THE PROPOSED NEW PARISH CHURCH
It will be known to our readers that the Rector of Woodmansterne gave much time and consideration to this question before the S. Andrew’s District was separated, and that his efforts resulted in the free gift, by Sir E. Durning Lawrence and others, of a plot of land situate in the Woodman Road.
Since this land was given and conveyed for this purpose to the Diocesan Trust, the growth of houses up the hill, and the decision not to abandon the present temporary church in the valley, have both pointed to the advisability of building the new church at a greater distance from the old one, than the site in Woodman Road. Thus a very difficult and delicate point arose, but the donors of the land and Rev. H. F. Hamilton met the suggestion of an exchange of sites with the greatest practical kindness. And their sanction having been obtained, the Charity Commissioners have consented to “consider a scheme” for the selling of the Woodman Road site, and for the application of the money thus realised to the purchase of another site, which has been provisionally approved by a Commission appointed by the Bishop.
The site now proposed being of a less area, the exchange would also mean the carrying over of a balance to the new church building fund.
If this scheme is carried through, inasmuch as the sale of the one site buys the other, we shall not fail to remember with gratitude, that both the new site and any balance in hand that there may be, we owe to the donors of the site in Woodman Road, through the active interest of the Rector of Woodmansterne.
ITEMS OF INTEREST
THE SUNDAY SCHOOL has been moved from the temporary church, the Workmen’s Club having kindly provided it with a home for the time being.
THE MID-DAY CELEBRATIONS OF HOLY COMMUNION will for the future be enriched by the addition of Hymns. A simple setting of the service is now being learnt by the choir, and will, it is hoped, be ready by Easter Day.
THE COMMUNICANTS at S. Andrew’s on Christmas Day numbered 75. This is a very encouraging figure.
THE SITE OF THE PRESENT CHURCH on the Brighton Road has now been conveyed to the Diocesan Trust to hold for us on Lease for fifteen years. Mr J. Tucker of Portnalls has granted the ground on very generous terms, and we are very grateful to him for his kindness. It is proposed to try to raise the sum needed to purchase the Freehold of this ground, and to erect a Parish Room upon it behind the present church.
PARISH MAGAZINE – MARCH 1907
THE CHOIR.-Two new boys, William Bryant and Edgar Potter, have been admitted. More adult members are badly needed. Will and Communicants volunteer for this interesting work?
PARISH MAGAZINE – APRIL 1907
THE PROPOSED NEW PARISH HALL
A detailed statement concerning this most important piece of parish machinery is in the press, and will be issued with an appeal for funds shortly after Easter. Meanwhile our readers will be glad to know that good progress has been made.
The Bishop has warmly espoused our cause, and writes under date March 9th:- “I fully feel the strength of the case which you have carefully put before me for the erection of a Hall on the site in the Valley, and if the freehold be obtained, I will recommend it to the Commissioners for a grant of £250, being the quarter of the total estimated cost, payable when the work is carried out and the rest of the money is in hand.
“I am heartily glad to help you in this way, and I hope that you will be warmly supported by many.
“I was greatly struck a few days ago, when travelling down to Reigate, by the extreme rapidity with which the extension of building is going on in your parish.”
To this great assistance through our Bishop we have to add a generous promise of £100 from Mr. Harry Lloyd, and also (beside the grant of £100 towards site purchase reported last month) the permission to apply for a further grant for building to the South London Church Fund.
We can thus see our way to about half the total cost of site and building. Laus Deo.
The question of the raising of the remaining £500 will have to be seriously tackled. The Church Council will have recommendations to make on the subject at the Easter Vestry meeting, when it is hoped that a goodly number of parishioners will be present.
At the meeting of the Church Council held on Friday, March 22nd, Mrs. Wood, of 20 Railway Approach, was appointed caretaker of St. Andrew’s. She enters upon her duties on April 1st.
PARISH MAGAZINE – MAY 1907
MY DEAR PEOPLE
I thank you very much indeed for the handsome Easter offering you have given me. And may I add, that it was no small addition to the joy of the Festival to find 130 persons making their communion on this, our first Easter Day together?
Your sincere friend
FRANCIS H. ROBERTS
HOLY WEEK AND EASTER AT S. ANDREW’S.
On Easter Day Holy Communion was at 7.15 and 8am, while at noon the first Choral Eucharist ever offered at S. Andrew’s was sung. At these services 130 persons made their Communion, and the other services were also well attended. The Easter offering amounted to £9 15s. 5d.
THE CHOIR – One thing that stands in the way of greater efficiency is the want of an adequate number of tenors and basses. Will no one volunteer to swell our ranks?
PARISH MAGAZINE – JUNE 1907
S. SAVIOUR’s CATHEDRAL, SOUTHWARK
The Bishop…says “The Cathedral is, as I have already said in public, insolvent…..”
THE VENTILATION OF S. ANDREW’S
The sudden burst of hot weather on May 12th caused much inconvenience to worshippers at S. Andrew’s on that Sunday. Since that date, however, half the big “West” window has been made to open, and a new window has been cut over the Altar, at the other end of the building. By these means it is believed that efficient ventilation has been secured for the warm weather that is to come.
THE MUSIC AT ST.ANDREW’S
A great gain will result from the purchase of a two manual harmonium, with pedals, which has been obtained for a nominal sum. The instrument, which is not new, is at present undergoing a thorough cleaning and repair. The cost of the instrument, its renovation, and removal here (together with the price of some much needed Psalters and Hymn Books for the Choir) will amount to nearly £25.
The new instrument will be used for the first time on Sunday, June 16th, when the newly appointed organist will begin his work at S. Andrew’s.
Mr. Gilbert called the attention of the committee (Coulsdon Parochial Committee) to a finger post between Coulsdon Church and Smitham Bottom. He thought the wording upon it should be altered to Coulsdon-road, late Smitham Bottom in parentheses and small letters (laughter).
The Chairman observed that Mr. Gilbert wanted to show the people how to get to church.
Mr. Densham: Be content with the name, “Smitham Bottom.”
It was agreed that the arms upon the post should be altered as desired.
Friday 5 July 1907 – Surrey Mirror
PARISH MAGAZINE – JULY 1907
THE MUSIC AT S. ANDREW’S
Mr. A.H.Barnes, late organist of Holy Trinity, Southall, has begun work as organist and choirmaster at S. Andrew’s; he is hoping to reside here in a few weeks’ time. The new instrument will be in place before these lines reach our readers, and the new choir books have been ordered. In response to the appeal for £21 3s. needed to properly equip our choir and obtain and repair the instrument, donations amounting to £17 have been paid or promised by the following kind donors:- Messrs. “W.B.B.”, J.Carpenter, A.T.Chapman, R.S.Meierhoff, “F.H.R.,” J.Saltmarsh and J.Tucker. The balance needed (£4 3s.) has been granted from the Cake Fair profits as stated above.
PARISH MAGAZINE – AUGUST 1907
MY DEAR PEOPLE
Now the largest charge upon our income is one of £25 per annum for organist and about £10 a year for choir expenses. Next comes the sum due for rents, made up as follows:-Ground rent (S. Andrew’s site), £7; rents of schools and club (for Sunday School), £11 14s.; total, £18 14s.; caretaking accounts for £13; gas and water cost £10 18s. 6d.; printing and postage cost £8; Sunday School expenses (not rent) reach £2 10s.; insurances cost £1 2s. 6d.; Communion wine will be used to the value of £1 13s.; repairs to building, etc., will probably cost not less than £5; and we may count on sundry other necessary outlays in small matters totalling up to about £6.
If these figures be added up it will be seen that the grand total of the yearly sum which the general offertory has to find is £101 18s.
Sincerely yours, FRANCIS H. ROBERTS
Now that our new organist is in residence, and our new choir books are in order, it is much hoped that some more tenors and basses will see their way to join the choir…..kindly communicate with Mr. Barnes, who has come into residence amoung us at Lavant House, Chipstead Valley Road.
A MATTER OF INTEREST
We are glad to hear that a testimonial to the lately resigned organist, Mrs. Weston, is in contemplation. Messrs. L. Bearman and P. Muir are kindly acting as treasurers, and will be glad to receive contributions from any who may wish to join in offering to Mrs. Weston a little token of their esteem.
PARISH MAGAZINE – SEPTEMBER 1907
SUNDAY SCHOOl TREAT
Monday, August 26th, will long be remembered by the children in our Sunday School. For it marks the new and welcome step of taking our youngsters over seven years old to the sea for their Summer Treat. Parading at Coulsdon South Station at 7.15 nearly 130 strong, the party – after a slow and somewhat unpuntual journey – arrived at last at Margate. Here, a rallying place having been pointed out, the children were set free to ramble where they would till 4.30pm. Then, after a capital tea served by a restaurant on the sea front, the children had another hour to wander, assembling at the station shortly after six p.m. for the return journey.
A good proportion of the teachers, and some of the parents, accompanied the children, and though the weather was not all that could have been desired, all seemed to spend a most enjoyable day.
PARISH MAGAZINE – FEBRUARY 1908
The time has come when it would be helpful to organise a band of Servers at Holy Communion. Hitherto this work has been performed entirely by our Honorary Reader, or (in his absense) by one of the choir boys. Now there must be a number of persons among our male Communicants who would value an opportunity of rendering help of this kind, and who would like, therefore, to claim this undenible privilege of the laity in the service of God….
By the kindness of Mr. and Mrs. A.T. Chapman, the boys of the Choir were entertained to supper at their house on Tuesday, January 11th. Fouteen boys did ample justice to the good things prepared for them, and spent the rest of the evening in games. During the evening songs were given by Mrs. Foster and Mr. Chapman, recitations by Mrs. Chapman, and conjuring tricks by Mr. C. Meierhoff. The boys all enjoyed themselves immensely, and gave hearty cheers for their host nd hostess when departing for home at 10.30 p.m.
The girls of the Supplementary Choir had not been forgotten – they each received a gift from the same kind source on Christmas Day.
MORE TO FOLLOW FROM PARISH MAGAZINES HERE…..
CONCERT AT COULSDON. – On Wednesday a concert was held at St. Andrew’s Parish Hall on behalf of the Hall Furnishing Fund. The programme, varied, vivacious, and most attractive, had been kindly arranged by the Rev. J. C. Crawford and family. At the opening Mr. Reginald and Miss Margaret Crawford joined in a delightfully rendered duet, and was followed by a song, “A Jolly Old Cavalier,” by Mr. J. N. Crawford, a fine baritone, who afterwards gave “Three for Jack,” and received an encore. Miss Audrey Crawford, a pleasing soprano, gave “Sleeping Tide,” and “A Spring Song.” The humerous part was well represented by Mr. V. F. S. Crawford in “The tears rolled down his cheek,” and “The Sergeant of the Line.” Mr. Reginald Crawford sang with much expression, “Thora” and “I hear you calling me,” and was also encored. Miss Aimee Seale gave “My Treasure” and also indulged the audience with some graceful dances. As a relief Mr. Douglas Dexter gave some interesting “Problems in Magic.” Last, but not least, were the humerous and quaint stories contributed by the Rev. J. C. Crawford. There was a large audience, the building being crowded.
Friday 12 February 1909 – Surrey Mirror
A Lady Who Cannot Be Kept Down.
CHARTERED AN AIRSHIP.
Miss Muriel Matters, known to fame as one of the ladies who chained themselves to the grille in the House of Commons gallery, chartered an airship – or, to be accurate, a dirigible balloon – on which she intended, armed with a megaphone, to travel the route of the Royal procession at the opening of Parliament yesterday, and entertain the crown with exhortations to support the demand for “votes for women.”
In its fulfilment, this ingenious programme fell somewhat short of expectation. At half-past one Miss Matters was duly hoisted into the basket of the balloon at Hendon, in the presence of a large crowd. She was surrounded by parcels of Women’s Freedom League flags and 56lb of handbills, and attached to the car were streamers 40ft. In length, with the ubiquitous inscription “Votes for Women.”
Things went wrong at the start, however. For almost half and hour the engines refused to work, and it was after two o’clock when the balloon, which was under the direction of Mr. H. Spencer, rose into the air. The flight towards London was rapid, but the wind was so strong that Westminster was passed at an altitude that caused Miss Matters’ streamers to go unseen and her megaphone unheard. She alighted at Coulsdon, near Croydon.
Miss Matters said she was not nervous at all – not nearly so much as during the “grille” incident. “I think we can say now we are well up to date,” she observed. “If we want to go up in the air, neither the police nor anyone else can keep us down, and if we could throw handbills we could easily throw anything else.” Miss Matters is an Australian.
Wednesday 17 February 1909 – Hull Daily Mail
Suffragette lands in Coulsdon!
In despair at the stalled progress of women’s emancipation, Emmeline Pankhurst, the widow of a Manchester physician, founded the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) in 1903, the suffragettes. With a nose for publicity that would shame a Blairite spin doctor, Pankhurst moved the WSPU HQ from Manchester to London simply because stunts in the capital would get the notice of Parliament and the national papers. Henceforth London was to be Suffragette City. It was in London, especially, that suffragettes chained themselves to railings to publicise their cause. It was over London that, in 1909, Miss Muriel Matters sailed in an airship emblazoned with the legend Votes for Women. En voyage she dropped leaflets demanding suffrage. It was the first blitz. Sadly, the airship went off course, missed the House of Commons and landed in a tree in Coulsdon.
Miss Matters’s airship was almost symbolic. The WSPU also veered in a strange direction to become wreckage. Under Mrs Pankhurst’s dominating leadership, the WSPU moved from such non-violent tactics as Muriel Matters in an air ship to militant street theatre. Pankhurst discovered “the argument of the stone”, ordering the WSPU to chuck rocks at the windows of No. 10 Downing Street. There were mass arrests of suffragettes. Put in prison, suffragettes went on hunger strike, only to be force-fed, usually with rubber hoses via the nose. Tragically, one suffragette went mad because of this brutal administration of food. To avoid the martyring of suffragette hunger strikers, the Liberal government of Herbert Asquith introduced the Cat and Mouse Act, whereby hunger strikers were released before they died. As soon as they were well they were rearrested, ad infinitum.
John Stempel, Sunday Express, February 2014
Living at St. Andrew’s Cottage [6 Bramley Avenue] were:
Francis Henry Roberts 40 Incumbent S. Andrew’s Coulsdon, Chaplain of Surrey County Asylum
Eileen Mary Roberts 25 Wife
Mary Eileen Frances Roberts 4
Monica Lilian Roberts 5 months
Louise Emma Bedlow 23 Nurse (domestic)
Ivy Evelyn Mitcham 16 General Servant (domestic)
There were 7 rooms in the cottage.
13 October – The Lord Bishop of Southwark dedicates the site, and cuts the first sod…..