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Anthony Earl-Williams

Saint John's Church, Six Bells

Though I am now a Catholic bishop, I attended Saint John's in the early years of my life at Six Bells.  It is very special to me. I was baptised by Father Oscroft-Jones who served the parish so faithfully between 1938 and 1964, dying on Whit Monday that year, aged 78.  I remembered him at Mass this morning.
Mr and Mrs Reg Vaughan of Bryngwyn Road were my God parents.
There will be many people in Six Bells, not least Griffin Street and Arrael Street, with many memories of the old "red tin" church which I loved so much. It was one of the most famous Anglo-Catholic churches in Monmouthshire and South Wales and I know that Father Oscroft-Jones had the occasional "battle" with the Bishop of Monmouth!
I know Billy Delve died a few years ago. Nobody could swing a thurible like Billy! And there was Mrs Blodwen Davies, the Vicar's Warden and Mr. Stan Hewett, peoples' Warden.  Stan's son taught at Queen Street and is on one of the photos on that site.
I look forward to some Six Bells people posting their memories of Saint John's on this topic.
Anthony Earl-Williams

Saint John\s Six Bells

I saw this and had to write I never went into the church but as a young boy I used to climb over the wall from Arrael St run throe the back garden jump over into  Griffing St then run into my house before any one could see me I doubt if easy one ever look or cared
I lived in number 39 Griffing and used to look out my bedroom window into the back garden of the church and sometimes listen the people singing
Robert Courtney

I donít belong to St Johnís but I know two people who did, one of whom I am pretty certain still attends regularly.

My next door neighbour Vi Riley was a member for as long as I knew her. She was a lovely lady and I was very sad when she died a few years ago. Her son John still lives in Abertillery and her other son graham lives in Blackwood I believe. It was down to her that we live where we do in fact since she tipped my mother off (who she was friendly with) before the house came onto the market and we got ahead of the game.

The other was her good friend Hazel Crandon, who worked in radiography in Nevill Hall until a few years ago. I did a work placement in Nevill Hall for my MSc and used to travel to work with Hazel who was also a lovely lady. I was in school with her daughter Ruth and my daughter was in school with Ruthís daughter Amy. Small world!
Anthony Earl-Williams

St. John's, Six Bells

I have just remembered, Martyn, that Mr. Stan Nash who was organist for many years at St. John's, lived in one of those nice houses near you. Does that name ring a bell with anyone? He was a great pianist and organist.
His mother lived very near the church, in Arael Street.
When I was a chorister at St. John's I used to come to Mr. Nash's house for weekly singing practice. I had a lovely treble voice, even if I do say so myself. Father Oscroft-Jones and Mrs Vaughan certainly thought so.
Mr Nash taught me many of the well loved Communion hymns which are in the English Hymnal. How many years ago did he die?  I expect Dragongirl will be able to find out for me in due course!
Marie Bard became organist after Mr. Nash; she died a couple of years ago.  I believe that Cllr.Stephen Bard is her grandson(?) Stephen is related to Christine Tidey on her father's side.

I'm afraid I don't remember Stan Nash, although I only moved to Six Bells in '93.

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