A trip down memory lane for 190yr-old Sunday school

By Alexandra Moerschner 

Taunton Sunday School celebrated their 190th anniversary last weekend.

The school opened from September 10-12 for three Heritage Open Days.

Sheila Blanchard, a longstanding member of the Sunday school, organised the event so that the community could celebrate 190 fulfilling years of praise and worship.

Over the weekend there was a display of the history of the school and the surrounding area, which involved a look into local family trees so that people could trace their own heritage.

Pieces of memorabilia were brought in for the visitors to look through and many of them found themselves in some of the old photographs.

Sheila said: “The weekend was a great success; there were lots of familiar faces and plenty of opportunities for people to chat about old times and share stories.”

There was also a quiz and songs of praise put on by some of the other members of the Sunday school.

Sheila added that all the activities were enjoyed and well attended.

Jack Millin, longstanding member of the Sunday school, said: “I have many fond memories of Taunton Sunday School.

“The whole of my early years were centred around the annual cycle of events and happenings with morning and afternoon school every Sunday.

“Singing at the Sermons and Harvest, showing off our new clothes at Whitsuntide, the band leading our Whit walks and outings to the seaside, I’ll always remember that part of my life with great fondness.”

The Sunday school was built in 1820 on Newmarket Road, close to Daisy Nook.

In 1900 the present building replaced the old school on the same plot.

John Greenhalgh plays the organ at the Sunday services and delivers the hugely popular monthly quiz.

 “I love the building,” John said. “I find the atmosphere inside gives me peace and calm, especially after those hectic weeks.”

Although events such as the Whit walks and pantomimes have not taken place for over twenty years, a service is still held each Sunday morning at 10.30am and a quiz each second Friday of the month at 7.30pm. 

Sheila added: “I will always remember, with affection, the wonderful times we had.”

Taunton Sunday School is an undenominational church so all are welcome.

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