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Helmdon Historical Articles

Merry Comrades In Helmdon

a note by Ann Smith

The badge of the Merry Comrades.
The badge of the
Merry Comrades.
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.
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