(OLD) ARTICLE IN ANDOVER ADVERTISER
TRANSCRIPT OF ARTICLE IN ANDOVER ADVERTISER (c.1931)
(AS REFERENCED IN PC MINUTES)
OPENING OF THE CHILDREN’S PLAYING FIELD
The younger generation in the village were much in evidence on Wednesday evening on the occasion of the official opening of the Children’s playing field adjoining the cricket ground. A procession was formed composed of the Parish Councillors and cubs in charge of Scoutmaster Jones. Headed by the Michelmersh Band (Mr Topp is the conductor) they marched to the entrance of the ground at the Cricket Field.
Mrs Theophilus performed the opening ceremony and gave a sympathetic speech. She thanked them for inviting her but she said she would have liked to see Mrs Millburn or someone else undertaking that duty. Mr Johnson and Mrs Millburn were always ready to help them in anything which was for the good of the Village. She (the speaker) had children of her own and she realised the great need there was for a place which the little ones could call their own. That day their long felt want had been realised and all were very thankful. She asked them to open their hearts and their purses on behalf of the children and send their subscriptions along to the Chairman of the Parish Council. With very great pleasure she declared the field open and hoped it would be a place of happiness for the children.
A vote of thanks was proposed to Mrs Theophilus by Mr Herbert Johnson who said they were indebted to her for opening the ground and for initiating the movement. Thanks to her efforts they had been able to get the ground and had been able to pay for it. He mentioned others who had generously helped including Mrs Millburn, Mrs Barker-Hill, Brigadier General Price, the Parish Council etc. The children now had the ground forever and he proposed a vote of thanks on behalf of the Parish of King’s Somborne to all who had helped to obtain the children’s playground.
Mr Cecil Baker was the seconder.
Apologies from Brigadier General Price, Sir F and Lady Bathurst, Mr Elliott Lockhart and Mrs Keith Murray were read by Mr Emmence, the Chairman of the Parish Council who presided.
Mr Arnold Tebbett who spoke next said he was speaking to the children and humorously remarked that if their names were not Matthew, Mark, Luke or John, you must take care of the field you play on. Those who had procured the field for them would get pleasure because there was a way of getting pleasure by giving pleasure. He also told them to come up and play.
Sir Stuart Fraser told the assembled that his association when giving grants gave preference to the people who helped themselves and Mr Tebbett had said a grant for the upkeep would be forthcoming. Since the ground was vested in the Parish Council its upkeep was assured.
The Vicar expressed his thanks to the speaker and said it was a great thing to have them at their backs. Years ago Mr Emmence and later Mr Johnson and Mrs Theophilus had brought forward the matter of a children’s playing field and Mrs Theophilus had taken it up. They were promised £60 from the Carnegie Fund. They had already spent £146 and when they had had spent £30 more they would get the grant. He looked forward to the day when the ground would be extended and Mr Johnson had said that no merchant prince should acquire the other ground near. He thanked Mr Roger Martin for putting up the flags and spoke of the excellent work of their clerk (Mr Reginald Martin). What they wanted was a sand pit, swings, a shelter, etc and he made a suggestion that the British Legion, Women’s Institute, and other societies could perhaps help. He hoped the playground would be of inestimable use to the Village and thought the mothers would be glad to have the ground and to come down and watch the children in their play.. He thanked Sir Stuart Fraser, Mr Tebbett and the other speakers.
Cllr W E Russell seconded.
Mr C Emmence thanked the assemblage for their attention to the speeches and said he would do all he could for the benefit of the boys and girls and appealed for a generous response for the collection on behalf of the Michelmersh Band to help pay their expenses.
‘God Save the King’ was then played by the Band and Mr Martin called for hearty cheers for Mr Johnson. Mrs Theophilus and others which were heartedly given.