A dearly loved pastor
The Revd. J A Aston BA was the fifth Vicar of Bollington St. John’s church in office from 1853 to 1856. We know that he was dearly loved because one of the Sunday School teachers wrote a lengthy poem to be read to him at the Church Sunday School Tea Meeting on December 30th 1856. The poem was typeset and printed presumably for distribution among the audience. Here is the poem …
“THE TOWNSHIP OF BOLLINGTON,”
Recited at the Church Sunday School Tea Meeting, December 30th, 1856.
COMPOSED FOR THE OCCASION BY A SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER.
In Bollington township, now don’t think me vain,
Near one thousand houses the town contains,
On the north, the hill Beeston, so rugged and drear,
On the south, the hill Nancy, that all here do know,
There’s Olivers’ and Greg’s, and what else I can’t tell,
If a little further, you look for awhile,
Miss Minter and Miss Holmes to their scholars are kind,
Of all our kind teachers I’ve a great deal to say,
Great have been his labours, and his kindness no end,
In our beautiful Church, if you only look there,
And all his kind actions are producing much good,
Then let all of us hope, that where’er he may be,
As the time will soon come, that he from us must part,
A long life may he live, for the good of mankind,
E. MARTLEW, PRINTER, STATIONER ETC., GREAT HIGH STREET, BOLLINGTON.
This poem gives us a number of historically interesting pieces of information. Firstly it tells us that the balconies, galleries in the poem, in the church were added after the church was consecrated. It reminds us that Adelphi mill was built in 1856. It tells us that Beeston hill is changing fast – this was the height of the quarrying industry, and John Brier, who owned Oak Bank mill, was building something, possibly more mill or maybe re-building it after another fire! Or it could have been his great house on Oak Bank above the mill, which was completed in 1858. It shows us that White Nancy was not only painted white but also as popular then as it is today. “The Bollington Mills” refers to Higher and Lower mills at the end of Church Street. The reference to the church and ‘Her Schools’ refers to St John’s church, St John’s school which then stood where Vine Street is today and also Lowther Street school. The poem also suggests that the Infant School, that is St John’s school next door to the church, was built at this time. The printer was located in Great High Street – we call it Palmerston Street today.
My thanks go to those who researched and discovered the history that is presented in these pages. Please read the full acknowledgement of their remarkable achievement.
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