Memories of growing up at St Georges Hall in the 1930's

I recall attending Sunday school and Evening Worship at this chapel between 1934 and 1937 where my father Frederick James Burgess, was a lay preacher. The senior clergyman was the Rev. Skinner and a regular from some local order was”Sister Francis”
I think my parents’ association with the chapel dated back to their teens. Mum, Grace Winifred, was born 1903 in Blackfriars and Dad, 1904 in Southwark.
In 1934 we lived in Aquinas’ St. just off Stanford St , near a Police Housing estate adjacent to St Andrew’s church. So the Chapel was a brief walk via Stanford St or The Cut.
As I recall, the chapel was accessed by a door to the left of the main stairs which led into main floor where Mothers Meetings used to be held and the Harvest Festivals and Annual Bazaars. I remember how the boxes of miniature bottles and jars of sauces, pickles and the like donated by local companies used to fascinate me and my sister Margaret. Dad would never allow us to take one!
I well remember a basement which always seemed be full of gas flares. gas-stoves, steaming cauldrons and giant boiling kettles. I think it was accessed from a rear entrance
At one time,circa 1937, the local cricket team, based on the chapel and captained by my father, won the 4th Division of the London Cricket League.
I have a photograph dated 1937 taken by Kings Studios, New Cross Gate, of the Reverend Skinner and dignitaries grouped on the pulpit and the congregation arranged above on the balcony.
At the opposite end to my family and friends is no less a person than Mr Overy of ‘Allen and Overy’ fame who, in those days a helpful friend to many.
In January 1936, we stood on the chapel steps and grieved the passing of the funeral procession for the King George V and on 12th May 1937 we stood on those same steps and waved our flags to the newly crowned King George VI.!
Later that year my family joined the exodus from London to the Home Counties so my connection with the chapel ceased although my father maintained contact for some years after.

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