The Slaugham Archives

All Saints Church in Handcross
The Slaugham Archive
All Saints Church in Handcross

Having been built in about 1885, All Saints Church in Handcross can hardly be described as ancient, but what a lot has changed all around it over its short life. For the first 30 years it was variously known as the Mission Room, Mission Church, or Mission Hall. Effectively it was the village hall and was used for band practices, whist drives, and other social events and meetings. The Parish Hall was built in 1914 and the Mission Room lost its mission in life until Mrs Bigg from the Hyde turned it into a proper church in memory of her husband. Appropriately, it was consecrated on All Saints Day 1915.
Changes to the building since the photograph was taken include the removal of the four ventilating chimneys, and the replacement of the large window on the roadside with a smaller one to provide space for the extension built at that end.
To the left, the avenue of trees line the old Slaugham Park Drive which joined the Horsham Road where the bridge is now situated.
The present road is now several feet higher due to the bridge construction, and access to the church is now made by the use of a flight of steps.
In 1906, traffic was light and no pavements were required as the children demonstrate. It seems that five one-legged girls are chasing a boy towards the church! I wonder if the bell was ringing out from the oversized bell-turret.
My 12-year-old grandmother, May Backshall (later Longhurst), often reminded us that she was one of the girls in the picture.
Click on Large Version for a close up of the children.

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Picture added on 19 April 2013 at 17:18
This picture is in the following groups
Churches - Handcross
Does, anyone remember the tall and large hare that used to come from the woods behind All Saints Church in the 1970s and early 1980s? It used to go to the roadside on full legs, turn and go back to All Saints wood.
Damn quick, that hare!
Added by Anon on 06 June 2017
I remember that “hare” very well. Actually it was a pale grey pedigree rabbit owned by Tony Myram who operated a pet shop in Horsham and who lived in a bungalow a few yards beyond the church behind the roadside houses.
In about 1975, the rabbit escaped and lived wild, spending much of its time in our garden with its new friend, Percy, our black and white cat. We lived in Albertine next to the church from 1970 to 1978 and used to feed the rabbit with biscuits.
Over the years many kind people used to knock on our door to warn us that our rabbit was outside sitting on the pavement.
A year or so before we moved, during one of my wife’s visits to her sister in Bristol, I noticed that Percy was not eating much and was sleeping for long periods. I went into the garage and found the remains of the rabbit; Percy had attacked and eaten it.
I had to inform my wife over the telephone that all that was left was a “back leg and bobtail”. Naturally, I was to blame for not feeding the cat!
What was sad was that the cat was so upset that he could not find his friend and moped around the house for weeks.
So ends the saga of Percy and the rabbit, or, as it’s known in the family, “Rag, Tag and Bobtail”.

Added by Barry Ray on 06 June 2017
Further to the above comments my Dad, the above-mentioned Tony Myram, now aged 90, remembers the rabbit with much affection!. His face split into a wide grin when I showed him the above comments.
He has asked that if anyone has any further memories they would like to share with him he would love to share a tea and a natter whenever they like. He is bed-bound now and has to rely on visitors coming to him!
If anyone wishes to visit please let me know and I would be delighted to provide transport.
Added by Christopher Myram on 21 September 2017
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