By Anthony Larkman
One of your contributors asks if we remember Fr. Cornwall. Indeed I remember him well.
I was an altar boy during the second World War and served Mass daily for Fr. Cornwall. But this is by the way. Fr. Cornwall was very patriotic (I believe he flew fighter planes during the First World War.) However war-time meant a shortage of food, so using the land behind the church (the church hall came later) he built a hen house and raised chickens from young pullets. A bold venture you may think? But – next came the ducklings followed by the young geese. Finally the turkeys which were almost fully grown and took some persuading to roost in the turkey house.
(the code name given to the evacuation of children in WWII)
My mother was fourteen years old when the Great War started and could remember vividly the Zeppelin raids on Hull. During the 30′s we had seen newsreel shots in the cinemas of air raids by the Japanese in Manchuria, by the Italians in Abyssinia and in Spain during the Spanish Civil War, particularly the raid on Guernica. She was a pessimist, and after Munich and the distribution of gas masks, preparations for war began in earnest and she was really worried about what would happen. At this time I was a pupil at the Hull College of Commerce in Brunswick Avenue which covered a two-year course in commercial subjects. It was a mixed school with ninety pupils in each school year and we had completed our first year of the course in the summer of 1939. During that year parents had been asked to indicate whether or not they wanted their children to be evacuated in the event of war and my mother gave her consent for my sister (who was at a different school) and me to take part. My friend, Kathleen Murtagh, was also a possible evacuee and we hoped we could “be together”. We were both in our fourteenth year.
Hello, Mona Plumtree here.
Twenty years ago I came to St. Wilfrid’s to be Fr. Peter Coleman’s housekeeper from which I found a great pleasure and joy as we got on so well together.
By John Oxley
On moving to South Cave we discovered it would only take 15 minutes on a Sunday morning, without travelling at breakneck speeds, to reach St. Wilfrid’s. My wife and I found great changes afoot.
Father Boyd was ill in Ireland and Father Corcoran and Hanrahan were running 3 parishes.
By Mary Davies (From the Hull Catholic Magazine June 1975)
The sudden death in early April of our beloved late parish priest, Canon Hall, brought a wave of deep sadness such as this parish has never seen before. The Canon had not been well for some considerable time and died while on holiday in the South of England. Five years ago he was appointed to the easier parish of St. John’s, Beverley, where he was received with great kindness, and where he established the first Parish Council. The wonderful farewell party they gave on his retirement in 1971 was an indication of the esteem and affection they had for him.
I have happy memories of all the West Hull Parishes. The youngest of six children I was baptised at St. Wilfrid’s and educated there for my first two years. Sister Mary Sebastian was in charge of the infants, a sweet and gentle nun, and Sister Mary Vianney the headmistress, a strict disciplinarian, but no less fondly remembered.
By Adrian E Power
The increase in the population of Hull in the 19th C. was unprecedented in the town’s history. In 1800 it was recorded that three thousand people lived in the town and in one hundred years this figure had swelled to approximately two hundred and fifty thousand, a considerable proportion of which were Roman Catholics.