A Sunday School Treat, 1889

Transcribed by Ruth Robinson from an 1889 parish magazine in her possession:

Martock Church of England Sunday School Treat.Taken from the Parish Magazine, 1889. The Annual Event passed off very successfully on Friday, 19th Jully 1889. In former years the scene of the day’s festivities has been the ‘Rookery Field’, the use of which has always been kindly granted by Dr Adams. The same kind permission would have been given us this year, but the suggestion of ‘Ham Hill’ having been made at the Teachers’ Meeting in June, it was decided to try the experiment this year of an excursion to that favourite resort of holiday makers. 1.15 pm was the time fixed for assembling at the Schoolroom, after which a short service was held in the Church. On leaving the Church a long procession of about 20 waggons, some of them very effectively trimmed for the occasion, was in readiness to convey us to our destination.

The names of those who in response to the Vicar’s request were kind enough to lend the wagons are given below. Among them will be noticed those of several of our Nonconformist friends, who were most kind in this contributing towards the days enjoyment. As soon as the ‘loading up’ was over, we started off. Headed by the Martock Brass Band (Who did their part admirably, throughout the day) through Bower Hinton, past ‘Holy Tree’ Stoke to the foot of the hill. Here all but the smaller passengers rested the horses by taking to their feet. On reaching the ‘Prince of Wales Inn’ we marched together to the strains of the Band, till we came to the ‘Frying Pan’ where an excellent Tea was provided by Mr Taylor. 254 children sat down to Tea the number being swelled to 340 by Teachers, Helpers, Band, Carters etc. The time after tea was spent in racing, cricket, dancing etc. The weather was beautifully fine, & the extensive view of the surrounding country was seen at its very best. The athletes (ranging from 4 upwards) seemed very delighted with their prizes of which some 40 or 50, or nearly half of the whole number, were presented by Mr J.H. Smith who has always taken a most practical interest in the children’s enjoyment.At 7pm. The homeward journey commenced, the route this time being the shorter one by Cart Gate. All reached the Schoolroom safely by 8pm, when buns were distributed and the little ones sent home to a well earned rest leaving the elder scholars, teacher, subscribers and their friends to enjoy themselves for another two hours in the Schoolroom.We cannot be too thankful for the beautiful weather with which we were favoured; and we are glad to say the day passed without any accident or hitch of any kind. Our best thanks are due to all who helped us so willingly and efficiently during the day, and especially to those to whom we owe what was one of the best features of the days’ amusement, namely the wagon-ride, viz; Messrs S Darby, H J Farrent, E.O. Nutt, Walter Palmer, T Paull, J. Pool, Joseph Richards, T.W Richards, W. Scammell, W. Palmer, J. Symes, W. Tucker, G. Vaux and Emmanuel Worner. One of the children was heard to observe “I wish we had to ride a 100 miles,” A few complaints were made of the Treat being taken away from Martock, but it must be borne in mind that a Sunday School Treat is a Treat for the children and scholars, as a recognition for their attendance at School during the year, and to give brightness in after years to reminiscences of Sunday School days.

We do not like to think that those who subscribe to the Sunday School do so with the idea of any share of enjoyment they may themselves come in for on the day of the children’s Treat. We very much prefer to think that they subscribe from an unselfish interest in the good work of the Sunday School, and in the happiness of the children.

Notes: Dr Adam's family were big clothiers in Martock in the 18th century. Dr Adams lived at The Lawn, now called the Doctors Old House. John Hedgecombe Smith was a rope and twine manufacturer based at the Parrett Works.