The Merry Comrades was run by the Mercury and Herald - the weekly
paper published by The Chronicle and Echo. The paper leader was Auntie
Dick and the object was to raise money for local hospitals and other
charities - I was a member of it when I was a child. We used to collect
ship halfpennies and when £1 had been collected you became a
captain. The reward for being a captain was to be taken to a special
showing of the pantomime at the Rep. in Northampton.
When I had my own children I started a branch in Helmdon - helped
by Noreen White. We used to organise a whist drive and the winners
went on to a grand final in Northampton. A big bazaar was held in
Northampton where all sorts of things were sold including recycled
Christmas cards. There was a big raffle and other competitions; I
have a photo somewhere of me with Joanne and Michael receiving the
prize for guessing the correct time a watch had stopped. Peter's name
was actually on the winning entry but as he was only a baby we didn't
take him to collect the prize - £20 I think.
I continued doing things until I was back teaching full time. Before
that, Auntie Dick had died - I remember going to her funeral at St
Matthew's church in Northampton. Afterwards, although someone else
took over the newspaper column, it all seemed to fizzle out.