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Christmas Selection

A few items which you may not have come across in your browsing, which are fun or have some link to Christmas. A few snippets:
  • There was generally a full programme of league football on both Christmas and Boxing days, often local derbies, with the same teams playing each other, home and away on the two days. Christmas day matches usually kicked off at 11 or 11.15. Boxing Day matches were afternoon affairs (read more from Terry Burke)
  • In the 1960s and 1970s it was a treat for the children for us to drive along the Great West Road to see the Christmas lights. All the factories put on displays and I think Firestone was always most spectacular. We were all sad (outraged) when it was pulled down and as I remember it happened on a Bank Holiday when nobody was looking - Diane Elphick (Gardner)
  • Gillette put on a children's Christmas party complete with Christmas tree, Father Christmas and gifts for (good) children; this must have been expecially popular during wartime; Diane Elphick (Gardner) sent a photo from around 1940 showing around 40 children and adults
  • Christmas day in the workhouse, 1851; the same page has a couple of other newspaper reports from Christmas tide
  • A postcard could be published specially for Christmas, such as this one showing Strand on the Green, early 1900s
  • A patriotic postcard sent by Reverend T. Selby Henrey in 1917
  • 'In the corner of the scullery was a copper lined brick wash boiler with a fireplace underneath. The only time I knew this to be used was for my grandmother to boil the Christmas puddings.' (Joyce writing about her grandparents' home at 158 High Street)
  • 'At Christmas time we went carol singing in The Butts. Three or four of us carrying a couple of jam jars containing a bit of candle.'(Harry Langley)
  • 'Christmas c1936 attended a Christmas party for children (at the Green School) given, I believe, by The Oddfellows. I was presented with an American small die cast car - which I still have' (Len Cox)
  • The Bees played against Leicester City on Christmas Day, 1947, Dave Stoneleigh has the programme to prove it
  • 'Every Friday (payday) we would go to a pub past Brentford Canal on the left and pay so much into a Christmas Club, then it would be drawn out at the end of November for our Christmas Shopping' (Brenda Bostock, nee Mortlock)
  • Sandra Graves has provided two photos taken around 1955 from the St Paul's School nativity (in which she played Mary)
  • memories of 'Moores the electrical shop where mum and dad bought me an electric train set for Christmas probably about 1959' (John Welsh)
  • Stones menswear shop 'we went there every Christmas to buy my grandad a new cap' (Sarah Champion)

St Paul's Parish Magazine for 1882 includes in its December 'Special Notices for the Month': Monday, 25th is Christmas Day. The early celebration will, as usual, be fully Choral. In the afternoon (3.30) there will be a shortened Service with Sermon, after which Carols will be sung by the School Children. There will be no late Evensong.'

It also includes a note that 'the Second Winter Entertainment in aid of the New Organ Fund will be held on Tuesday, the 5th. It is also proposed to give the Entertainment on Monday, the 4th, for the Working Class.'

If you have 10 minutes spare, take a look at these:

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Published December 2009; updated December 2019