A piece appeared in the Methodist Church’s issue 13 of its newsletter and is written by Irene Cook, and her daughter, Judith. Irene was previously Miss Wiles, and many of her family were members of the Rossington Methodist Church, but she is recorded in 2016 as the longest serving member of the church. Photos from Irene and Judith will follow soon.
I was born in Lingdale in North Yorkshire in 1926. I remember that, as children, we used to play on the moors near our home in Lingdale, often disappearing on the moors for the whole day, supplied with a bottle of water to drink and some sandwiches (probably jam) to eat. I remember one of my sisters and brothers managed to set the moor on fire whilst trying to melt lead to make into brooches. We had run back to Lingdale reporting that someone had set the moors on fire, but I wouldn’t have dared admit that it was me to my Mother. It was only when my Mother was elderly did I admit to her that I was with those who had started the fire.
We moved to Rossington in 1938 when I was 12, and joined the Methodist Church there. I have continued there ever since.
I left home and went into service at the age of 14, straight from school. I cannot recall how I got this job but I assume that it was found for me and that I had little say in the matter. I was employed as a kitchen maid at the home of the daughter of the brewer, Sir Thomas Shipstone, at Edwalton near Notthingham. The family had 3 daughters, and 2 sons who were both away serving in the forces. I remember that I started work at 6.30 am, and worked long hours. The work was physically hard with lots of work on my hands and knees scrubbing steps.
I earned 10 shillings per month, half of which I sent home to my Mother. When I had a half day off work, I walked the 3 miles into Nottingham. I remember that, on one occasion, my Father and brother, Harry, cycled all the way from Rossington to see me one of my half days. This would have been a distance of 40 miles each way. I left the job after 18 months to return home to Rossington as the bombing had started.
On my return home to Rossington, I found employment at the Railway Works in Doncaster where I soldered lamps. I remained there for the rest of the war. I remember that at the age of 20 or 21 I was earning 17 shillings and 6 pence (87.5p) per week. After 4 and a half years, I left to work at Crompton Parkinson, Motor Engineers, where I was employed to wire motors.
I have had a full and active life within the Church, both as a child along with my brothers and sisters, and latterly with my late husband, Glynne, who had moved to Rossington from Newport in South Wales, and we married at the Church in August 1949. We had 56 happy years together.
Following the birth of my daughter, Judith, on 8 June 1958, I became a Dinner Lady at Holmescarr School to fit in with childcare. Later on, I got a job at Doncaster School for the Deaf where I remained until 1988 when I retired at the age of 62. I have 2 grandchildren, Adam and Emily, who I looked after when they were younger and who still live in the village.
I have always been very involved with Rossington Methodist Church and helped out at numerous sales and fund-raising coffee mornings over the years.
I was one of the founding members of the Young Wives’ group that met weekly at the Church. The group continued to meet until recently but over the years has changed its name to the Ladies’ Circle as none of the members was now young. Sadly, infirmity amongst the members has caused the group to fold.
I also took part in regular social activities, including badminton, Christmas Pantomimes, and trips to the coast.
Unfortunately, I now am not able to be an active member of the Church because of my mobility, but I am still blessed to have my friends from the Church, who visit me regularly and keep me up to date with things happening there and around the village.
I am grateful for the good times the Church has given me, and I have made lots of good friends and have lots of memories of those who are no longer with us….