Memories

As part of our Heritage project, we have been collecting and recording memories of people that have known St George’s for many years, either as a church or as a concert hall, or in some cases as both. Here are just a few examples, taken from Oral History recordings (soon to be available in our archive)…

 

Dorothea Austin – involved with St George’s from the early 1940s

[about the star, marking where an incendiary bomb fell through the roof] It was Canon Gay…it was his idea to show people how wonderful it was that St George’s was saved, for everybody to come and worship, and he had it made into a light, and I think you’ll find if you go in now, when they’ve got the music going, you’ll find that they’ve always got the light lit.’

 

Chris Barnard – member of the church congregation from 1959

[what was it like living with Canon Percy Gay?]: ‘Interesting. Busy – I mean; you never knew if you came downstairs in your dressing gown, you might meet all sorts of other people in the hall.’

‘I think it was said at his funeral that somebody had said if being a Christian made you like him then it was worth being a Christian.’

 

Sandra Perkins – involved with St George’s in the 1950s

‘We used to have film nights, Percy did those…he had a projector and would bring a film down…that was always great fun, we’d go in the hall in the school…and sit and watch a film, and that was like magic, and that was always Percy who did that.’

 

John Funnell – one of the founding Trustees of St George’s Music Trust

[Blanche Long, another founder Trustee] said “do you happen to know Harry Edwards?” and I said “he taught me when I was at school, in fact, yes I do, very well” and she said “well we really need to go and see him because he is the headmaster of QEH and they use that church quite a lot, and he is a close friend…of Canon Percy Gay” … so it all fitted together.

 

Jane Krish – the first employee of St George’s Music Trust

‘I had to do everything because I was the only person, I went out and bought a book about how to write press releases because I had to do some PR!’

‘I feel very proud of what I did, getting the children there, having the first jazz there, opening it up for rentals, opening it up to the city of Bristol.’

 

Michael Beek – Content & Engagement Manager at St George’s during the Building a Sound Future project 2015 – 2018

‘We’re learning new things every day with the project because it’s a long history, we’ve only been custodians of the building for about 40 years of an almost 200-year history, so there’s lots to tell.’

Do you have your own memories of St George’s you’d like to share?  If so, please email learning@stgeorgesbristol.co.uk