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Walpole St Andrew Church open day visitors include font cover builder



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Walpole St Andrew Church was open for people to call in and have a look around on Saturday, writes Irene Hunter.

There was a steady trickle of people: one man remembered being at his uncle's wedding, many were just curious to see inside after moving into the village and wondering why such a lovely old building was closed and unused. Some local people popped in and had a coffee and some cake, some bought a few of the books that are on sale for a donation.

Surprise visitor of the day was Mr Barry English, he had come to see the font cover that he had made when working for a local builder.

Walpole St Andrew Church open morning. Barry English with the font cover he made in the early 1970s to commemorate Mr Alfred Wiskin, choirboy and church warden of St Andrew’s Church.
Walpole St Andrew Church open morning. Barry English with the font cover he made in the early 1970s to commemorate Mr Alfred Wiskin, choirboy and church warden of St Andrew’s Church.

Mr English lives in Tilney All Saints and remembered that Mr Alfred Wiskin (1897-1966) had left money to the church in his will and this was used to commission the font cover.

There is a photograph in a book written by Alfred’s son Eric showing Alfred William Wiskin's wife Elsie on the day the font cover was put in place. Made from solid oak it is extremely heavy. It was designed by architect Mr Neil Birdsall.

Mr English remembered asking a colleague at the college to turn the ball for the top and was very pleased to see that it was all still in excellent condition. He said he still had the original design papers and it might be possible to track them down even though it is almost 50 years since it was made.

Alfred Wiskin was a church warden from 1938 to his death and choirboy in St Andrew’s Church from 1907. He had a special book stand so that he could turn the pages of his hymn book and prayer book since he had lost his right arm during the Second World War. Alfred was also the village postmaster and lived a stone's throw from the church.

The church is open on Wednesday mornings for anyone to pop in and then on the first Saturday morning of every month. The next fundraiser is the Teddy Bears picnic on Saturday, June 4 at 12.30 – please remember to bring your picnic and a teddy. There will be some stalls with various items for sale, come and have a look and find out more.

This picture shows Barry English with the font cover he made in the early 1970s to commemorate Mr Alfred Wiskin, choirboy and church warden of St Andrew’s Church.



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