Edwin Cuss gave his customary excellent presentation of postcards and photographs to an audience of about 60 members. He first showed us pictures of the sites which no longer exist – the Salvation Army Chapel by the Marlborough Arms, the Primitive Methodist Chapel in Milton Place (closed 1925) and the Ebenezer Chapel in Coronation Street (closed 1919). The latter two continued in use as secular meeting places until the mid 20th century.
The Congregational Chapel in the Croft also closed in 1919 and was used for other purposes (including the Home Guard and school dinners) until it was demolished in 1965.
Pictures were shown of the old and new Chapel at the RAF base and at the site of the Polish Hostel in Fairford Park which had also been the US Army Chapel when it was the Military Hospital during the war.
He gave us details of the complicated history of the Chapel in Milton Street and of St Thomas of Canterbury RC Church in Horcott which was more straightforward. He finished with some pictures of St Mary’s Church, one of which was his most treasured rare postcard of the windows boarded up during World War II.
After coffee about twenty members set off to visit the sites of the old chapel then meet at St Thomas’s Church where there was a guide to help answer questions and the Milton Street Chapel was also open for us to view the interior.
We then returned to the centre of town to visit the site of the Congregational Chapel in a member’s garden, this was really interesting as we could compare it with what we had seen in Edwin’s pictures.
Thanks to Edwin Cuss for yet another very interesting and informative presentation and to St Thomas’s and the Chapel for permission to visit.