"By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I have written briefly"

1 Peter 5 verse 12

Although Peter's epistles appear to be fully comprehensive, yet he speaks of the brevity of his message to the Christians scattered abroad - a message conveyed and, no doubt, written by Silvanus at the dictation of Peter. If the message is brief its meaning is fully comprehensible "exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand."

The story of the Centenary which has been unfolded is compounded of many parts and incidents, each of them recorded with a necessary degree of brevity. There are those elements of the whole that would not have lost any of their interest had they been told more fully - rather , fullness would, I trust, have given added pleasure to the reader. and a greater appreciation of the events of those early days. I cannot conclude this account of "One Hundred Years - and more" without reference to some of our other activities and events.


I am deeply indebted to the Group Scoutmaster, Mr. Eric Beaumont, for kindly allowing me to use much of the information he so ably prepared for the Group's Golden Jubilee Thanksgiving Service held on 14th November 1976.

The Scouts were formed as a Sunday School Group called the 235th Liverpool by the late Charles Beatson, who, by his example and mighty influence bonded so many boys into a strong Christian Brotherhood of Scouting here in Wavertree. He remained Scoutmaster right through the hardship days of the 30's and on through the grim and difficult war period, and for many years after, building, leading and encouraging boys through Scouting, to serve God, and their fellow men, until he was called to higher service in 1963.

The group was formed by him on the foundation of a firm faith in God, and a sincere enthusiasm for true Christian living, and his good life influenced many a young man stepping out into the world.

The group was at one time composed of Cubs, Scouts, Senior Scouts and Rovers and flourished for in any years under the new title of l0th Wavertree. It was during this period that our activities and achievements reached their peak, for many camps were held abroad and a new enthusiasm for keen effort and scouting adventure prevailed but still the true aim and purpose of the group was maintained, namely to bring boys and young men to a knowledge of the Lord Jesus, as their Saviour and Friend.

It would be difficult indeed to estimate the number of boys who have passed through the Group during these wonderful years, and we rejoice and give thanks to God, for the many who can testify and bear witness that the influence of the Group, and the Sunday School has  led them into the ways of salvation1.

I have already referred to the Christian influence of Mr. Charles Beatson as a Sunday School teacher and leader, and when Miss Blyth invited him to form the Scout Group in 1926 his only purpose in accepting the request was the establishment of a Christian-influenced group for boys and young men.

One of these young men, who, with many of his companions gained one of Scouting's highest awards, the Queen's Scout Badge, and who attended the young men's Bible Class led by Mr. Beaumont, was with a small party who went to a "Youth for Christ" after-rally at which a Billy Graham film was being shown. Richard Dangerfield, for he was the young man, listened intently as he watched the film and soon became aware of God speaking to him about his spiritual need. Richard accepted Christ as his Saviour and was led by Him, through military service in Malaya where he was befriended and encouraged by some missionaries, to enter Bible college, and ultimately to be accepted by the Overseas Missionary Fellowship in 1962 for service in South Thailand.

Richard met Dorothy in Thailand as a fellow - Missionary and later they married in South Thailand. They now have three children.

Another of the young men of that time, John Anders, after a number of years as a marine engineer in the Merchant Navy, felt the call to service for God, and studied for the Ministry with the Church of England.

John was ordained at St. Peters, Woolton, in 1971 and served as a curate in Prescot for five years before becoming the Rector of St. Mary's Church in Wavertree in October 1976.

Paul Nener, another splendid Christian, studied at the University and became a doctor. He is, at present applying his excellent medical skills in a Hospital in South Africa, but I am told he is to prepare for ordination in the Church of England.


G. S. L. Charles Reginald Beatson “Ariki”

Medal of Merit, Silver Acorn

G. S. L. Eric Beaumont

Silver Acorn





C. R. Beatson

W. Gould


J. Tighe

S. Hornby

E. Beaumont

B. Farrar

G. Stananought

H. Cowle

E. Beaumont

G. Leadbetter


R. Mackintosh

R. Mackintosh

N. Harper

P. Connor

R. Dangerfield

R. Espley

L. Wilkinson


S. Trousdale

J. Anders


Miss E. Trousdale

N. Kenny


Miss J. A. Trousdale

P. Evans


G. Howarth

R. Pheasant


F D Crane

B. Riley


Mrs. J. Crane

F. Rooke


Mrs. J Wilkinson



A. Trousdale



Mrs. J .A. Howarth
(née Trousdale)



D. Trousdale


Presentation of Scouts "Thanks" Badges, November 1966

To (left to right) Mrs. L. Tighe, Mrs. I. Hornby, Mrs. M. Morris and Mrs. G. Beatson,
by Mr. Frank McGrath, District Commissioner (right) with Group Scout Master, Eric Beaumont.


A Guide Company was first formed in Wellington Road Mission in 1931 under Miss Dorothy Gould (Captain) and Miss I. Williams (Lieutenant), and continued actively and successfully until 1939.

Two of the girls from that company, Vera Hand and her sister Audrey, became the leaders of a new Brownies' group formed in April 1944 and a newly formed Guide Company in October of the same year.

In 1949, Miss Grace Bevan came from St. Mary's Guide Company to become Captain of the Wellington Road Guides, and Miss Beryl Stapleton became her Lieutenant. About 6 years later Miss Alma Rimmer took over the Captaincy of the Guide Company.

The girls of the Brownies and Guides have always been under the influence of Christian leaders, and a number have come to know Jesus as their Saviour. Some of these girls later became officers with the Brownies or Guides. Mrs. Valerie Rooke, is the present Captain, ably. assisted by Mrs. Joyce Smith.



Mrs. Elsie Anders (née Franklin)
Mrs. Sheila Keys (née Connor)
Mrs. Alma Sisson (née Rimmer)
Mrs. Irene Jones (née Franklin)
Mrs. Valerie Rooke (née Flower)
Mrs. Olive Staley (née Mackintosh)


Mrs. Judith Trousdale (née Staley) assisted, when necessary, by Mrs. Olive Staley

Queens Guides:

Jacqueline Lloyd – 1972
Helen Horne – 1977

The 275th Liverpool Guide Company, 1972 with their officers and some of the former leaders.
Mrs. Valerie Rooke (Captain) is on the extreme left of the photograph.

The occasion was the presentation of the Queens Guide Award by District Commissioner,
Miss Margaret Hayes. second from the right to Jacqueline Lloyd front row, centre
Jacqueline was the first in the Company to achieve this high award


Whilst we have not got a record of the meetings held for ladies on Tuesday afternoons, it is known that such a gathering has been held since 1909, and probably for several years before that.

Mrs. A. Critchley, the one-time leader of the Ladies' Bible Class on Sundays, is known to have had charge of the Ladies' Tuesday Meetings for many years up to the late 1920's, and upon her retirement Mrs. A. Lytle became the leader .

When new pastors were appointed to Wellington Road Mission Church they made their individual arrangements and in some instances the wife of the Pastor was able to take on the leadership.

We are blessed, indeed, in that Mrs. Jean Dimmock, the wife of our present Pastor has accepted responsibility for this meeting. She is a kind, happy and dedicated leader and is supported by a faithful group of helpers each week, and a rota of Christian lady speakers.

Recently, upon the initiative of Mrs. Dimmock, a monthly Ladies' Forum was started, and on Thursday evenings various interesting subjects are presented with practical demonstrations whenever appropriate. Of course, the devotional period is the focal point of each 'get-together'. It has proved to be a very popular and successful evening for the ladies.


Here is a name which is seldom heard in these modern times, and one wonders whether the dramatic increase in the taking of alcohol should receive much more attention by Christian assemblies. The paramount need of course, is to bring a person to the realisation of their need of the Saviour". For the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace. " However, the destruction, or even the diminution of one's faculties, is a matter for grave concern, and there is, today, a vital need for the encouragement of abstinence from the taking of alcohol alongside the preaching of the Gospel of Salvation.

The Church and Mission minutes of the past century are dotted with references to the holding of Band of Hope meetings in Wellington Road Hall, and the attendance of more than 200 children on many, many occasions.

This was our experience in the 1930's, but in retrospect, one realises that these meetings had become gospel meetings for children with references to temperance few and far between. In fact the name 'Band of Hope' with its particular meaning in those earlier years, had become a misnomer, so that the name simply disappeared from the notices of events, and in recent years has been replaced by "The Good News Club" for the younger children, held on Wednesdays and "Cross Purpose" - a Friday activity and devotional evening for young people.


This started as an informal adults' and young people's activity shortly after the 1939-1945 war, and, as the title suggests, it featured walks across the Wirral and elsewhere to beaches or parks where picnic teas were enjoyed and rounders, cricket or football played not only by the Young folk but, also by the young-in-heart.

From this summer activity developed indoor winter meetings on Saturday evenings which always ended with a devotional half-hour.

The organisation became increasingly formalised as arrangements became detailed and destinations more distant, so that in 1949 duly appointed leaders were approved by the Mission Council and made answerable to the Pastor and Committee. These Officers were

Mr. M. Bowerman (Senior), Mr. J. Connor, and Mr. L. Crane.

Today, through the changing scenes of life the Ramblers do not ramble, but content themselves with organised coach trips on several of the Bank Holidays. Mr. Leslie Crane has kindly accepted responsibility for the organisation of these successful outings, which are open to all the members of the Congregation.


·        The large Sankey hymn books - words only - cost two shillings and three pence each in 1939 - about 12p in toady's money, and in 1961 they were six shillings each - 30p in decimal money. In 1977, the cost of the equivalent book, but with smaller and more compact print was about 95p - nineteen shillings in pre - decimal values.

·        The platform in its' present form, with oak panelled surround, was the result of alterations carried out in 1937. Before this the platform had been enclosed by the original mahogany topped wrought-iron rail with dark red velvet curtains behind the ironwork. When a change was considered necessary, enquiries were first made regarding a new chromium or brass surround, and the cost of a brass rail was estimated at £50. The work, as carried out, cost £23. 2s. 6d.

·        By January 1940, as the result of reduced attendance at the commencement of the second World War, the General Fund balance was £12 - 18s - 7d.

·        In 1942, Miss Corkey, a Deaconess on the staff of the Liverpool City Mission assisted the newly appointed pastor, Mr. Harry Hughes, at Wellington Road during his brief stay with us before he left Liverpool. Miss Corkey was responsible for the Ladies' Meeting and for visiting on the district.

·        The mounting costs of maintaining the Lord's work in this district of Wavertree today, are highlighted by the following resolution in the middle 1950's:" Agreed, that the expenses for the maintenance of Mr. 's bicycle, £2. 8s. 2d, be paid from the General Fund. "

·        At a meeting held on 3rd February 1935, the teachers were advised that the forms which had been in use since 1878 were in disrepair. It was agreed that the old forms be replaced by 150 chairs to be supplied by Messrs. A. J. Buckingham. The cost of the first l00 chairs was £37. 10s. 0d, and the suppliers offered to pay £ 10 for 40 forms. A number of the chairs were broken in the bomb damage to the Hall in 1941, but the remainder are still in use.

·        In May 1958, the cost of painting the Large Hall was £148.

·        Reference has already been made to the financial position of Hunters Lane Church during the 1930's, and its effect upon their ability to meet the cost of maintaining the work.

In January 1930 a special meeting at Hunters Lane heard that " the excess of expenditure over income (from Wellington Road) had been met by many generous-hearted benefactors. "

Some idea of this difference is expressed in the following statement to the Church:-

1926 - Income from Wellington Road & L. C. M. - £73 Costs £91
1927 - Income from Wellington Road & L. C. M. - £68 Costs £105
1928 - Income from Wellington Road & L. C. M. - £62 Costs £112
1929 - Income from Wellington Road & L. C. M. - £53 Costs £106

During that decade (1930's) an endeavour was made to improve the situation, but Hunters Lane Church came to the decision in 1939 to sell the Wellington Road premises, and after much discussion between the Church authorities and the Liverpool City Mission Executive Committee, together with representations from our own Committee urging the L. C. M. to maintain the work at Wellington Road, agreement was reached and at the valuation set by the Charity Commissioners, £2,500, the Hall was purchased by the Liverpool City Mission in 1940.

·        From the earliest days of the Sunday School it was customary for our scholars and teachers to join with Hunters Lane School at least twice a year. i. e. on the first Sunday in the New Year and at their Sunday School Anniversary. United meetings would also occur for other special events, and all our visits to the Church entailed some 200 or more children and 30 or so teachers walking together across the 'Mystery' (Wavertree Playground), for the services held in the Church.

·        The Jubilee Thanksgiving Service was held on Monday 19th November, 1928, when Rev. gave the address . H. Donald, M. A. , the Minister of Hunters Lane Church. The Order of Service reveals a little known fact that weeknight services were being held in Wellington Road before the Mill House Sunday School was started in 1869.

The programme includes the following:-

“Presentation of cheque.

As a result of a promise made to Hunters Lane Church the sum of £120 has been collected by those connected with the Wellington Road Sunday School and Mission. It will be presented to Mr. Donald by Leonard Cunliffe, great grandson of the Mrs. Cunliffe who in 1862 was the pioneer of the week-night services in Wellington Road.”

·        I have already referred to the damage to the Hall and the destruction of the nearby houses during the 1941 air-raids. Some months earlier tragedy also struck a family connected with the Mission when their house, and others in Wellington Road, were destroyed by bombs. These attacks, of course, were aimed at the railway and bridge over Wellington Road.

Mr. & Mrs. Buckley and their son Leslie were killed, and another son, Will, serving with the Royal Marines, but home on leave, was seriously injured. John Buckley, a son serving with the army, was on embarkation leave - destined for Singapore and immediate capture by the Japanese - escaped the bombing because he was visiting friends during the raid. He returned from his visit to find his home wrecked and his loved ones taken from him.

·        For some twenty-five years a football team has represented the Sunday School in the Liverpool Sunday School Union Competition. Under the direction of Mr. Ron Mackintosh and his brother George, these young men have gained many successes. Mr. Charles Beatson was the Chairman of the team's committee and Mr. George Blake was Treasurer. After the death of Mr. Beatson, Mr. Edward Lytle became their Chairman.

·        In recent years the Liverpool City Mission have had a marquee in the Annual Liverpool Show where they have sought to evangelise the crowds who have flocked to "The Mystery". This successful witness was' first started by our Pastor, Mr. Dimmock in about 1968, when, with the aid of some of our young men, a stall was erected in the grounds of the Mission close to the street pavement, Tracts in various languages, and other Christian literature were given to the thousands of people who, on the Saturdays, thronged down Wellington Road.

·        In the opening chapter of this story I pointed out the rural and residential character of Wavertree, where wealthy business men and notable persons had imposing houses. This is well illustrated by the report of the visit to Liverpool in 1872 by H. R. H. Prince Arthur, the third son of Queen Victoria, who came to open the new Sefton Park and the Southern Hospital.

The Prince arrived at Broad green Station and was the guest of S. R. Graves, Esq. M. P. at his residence, "The Grange", Prince Alfred Road, Wavertree. "The Grange" was a very large house with grounds on what is now part of the Wavertree Playground, and stood just a little distance away from Hunters Lane.

Mr. Graves died a few months after this visit of Prince Arthur and a "Monument Fund" was started in January 1873. A statue of the late Member of Parliament was erected in St. George's Hall and unveiled by the Home Secretary in December 1875.

·        The administration of a church, the maintenance of its fabric and the 'comfort' facilities such as heating and lighting are dependent in great measure upon those who voluntarily give their time and energy, and Wellington Road Mission Church is certainly no exception to this.

Some reference by name has been made to those with certain responsibilities, but there are many who assist the material and spiritual activities of our Church selflessly and oft-times secretly.

We pray for God's blessing upon them all as we express our deep gratitude to our joiners, electricians, 'labourers', and our ladies who together with Mrs. Dimmock, attend to the catering and cleaning needs of the Church.

There is yet another who needs our continuing prayer and practical support; the one who faithfully proclaims the Message of the Lord to us each week; the man who so often has to step into the gap created by an absent volunteer - our Pastor, Mr. Dimmock.

Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever .Amen.

Jude 24, 25

This was the prayer offered by Miss Blyth at the close of the Primary teachers' preparation classes.