I went to christ church Baptist, Six Ways, aston, from a very young child, my first memories are being taken with a group of youngsters by Margie Jackson who lived in Barton Street, she was probably about l3 or14 years old then and I was about 4.
I was in Mrs.compton class and we sat on bamboo type mats on the floor and she told us bible stories, we paid, I think, one old penny for the missionary society, we used to draw a picture from the story told to take home, together with a little text card. I am told though I don't remember that I drew a man with a top hat and when asked by the family who it was, said Jesus!
One of the highlights was the anniversary, we practised the hymns on a couple of week nights for ages before the event which was held either June or July every year. The girls were dressed in white with white ribbons in our hair, I had to endure having ringlets put in my hair with curling tongs which were heated under a gas ring on the stove, I was always terrified of being burnt, and can still recall the smell of singed hair
The boys were smart in their white shirts, and before the start we filed into a small room at the side of the church which was filled with roses the smell was wonderful, roses don't seem to have so much scent these days, or is my memory playing tricks? We were all given a buttonhole to wear.
There were two services morning and evening, and after the morning service I was taken to see my grandparents to show how lovely I looked!
We had another service on the Monday evening, which was also the prizegiving service, and we had books for good attendance, thankfully they were not always bibles.
as I grew older I joined the Girls Life Brigade, our leader was Miss Fox, her younger sister Valerie was also in the brigade. There was also a Boys Brigade. We were inspected for clean shoes and hands, my friends and I were often in trouble because on the way to the church we used to buy kali (is that how it is spelt) anyway it was yellow sugary powder which was sold in little triangular bags which we used to dip our fingers into and then lick, the bags always got soggy towards the end. We bought the kali from a little shop almost next door to Burlington Hall, at one old penny.
The Boys and Girls Brigade took part in church parades one Sunday each month along Victoria Road, Rifle crescent, Whitehead Road and other nearby streets.
I went on a hoiday with the Brigade to youth hostels in the cotswolds and we walked between the different hostels ending up in one which had a frontage leading to the river at Stratford-on-avon. We came back on the Midland Red bus to Birmingham - we didn't have to walk that far.
On another occasion we were taken on an outing to London, but mostly our days out were to the Lickeys and Sutton Park.
The minister was a Mr.Hamilton and I remember we went carol singing to his big house somewhere off the Broadway, Perry Barr, we were invited into the large hall and given mince pies.