Thursday, 10 March 2016

The story of Chorlton Good Neighbours with a background on some of its originators ........ from Tony Goulding

The prime mover in establishing Chorlton Good Neighbours* Care Group was Mrs. Edith Marian Lundy. Edith was born Edith Marian Killick, around 1924 and raised, in Chorlton, by Alban and Flora (nee. McDonald). 

She married, John Edward (Jack) Lundy who was the son of Percival Lundy (1), a civil servant, of 27, Torbay Road at High Lane Primitive Methodist Church, on 1st. June, 1946.

At this time Edith was living with her father Alban at 44, Highfield Road (since re-named Kingshill Road) Chorlton-cum-Hardy.

Their marriage record also shows John was an accounts clerk recently demobbed from the Royal Air Force, in which he held the rank of warrant officer.  Edith's occupation is given as a shorthand typist with an oil company. Edith and Jack settled down to married life on Rushton Road, Firswood.

After hearing a sermon regarding the problem of loneliness in modern life from the Methodist minister Rev. John Jackson, Edith set about organizing an initial group of 6 friends to address the issue.

This group included Mr. Philip E. Lloyd who remains an active member of the organization. In the first couple of years this band of volunteers were known as "The Social Action Group" and soon became enlarged by the addition of some of her fellow parishioners from Chorlton, Manchester Road Methodist Church.

Some of Chorlton Good Neighbours Garden Club
Later still a "merger" took place with a similar group operating under the auspices of St. Clements’s Church. The end of the 1960's was a time of great ecumenical progress and resulted in Chorlton in the formation of "The Chorlton Fellowship of Churches”.

In 1969, this led to the ad hoc co-operation existing between the various church based groups being formalized and "Chorlton Good Neighbours" was born.

During this time great encouragement was forthcoming from the incumbent Rector of St. Clements’s the Rev. David Bonser. (2)

The project continued to grow throughout the 1970's still being run by Mrs. Lundy firstly from her home, then from an office in Manchester Social Services building on Manchester Road.

After well over a decade "running the show” Edith moved away from the area (3) and reluctantly vacated the "directors chair" Two short term tenures, of the administrator's office, followed Mrs. Lundy's departure, with Mrs. Jean Hardman (the wife of Rev. Hardman, the minister of Manchester Road, Methodists)   and then Mrs. Muriel Krell taking charge for a brace of years each.

Just to show we don't sit drinking coffee and eating biscuits
Since 1983 the post of co-coordinator of the group has been filled by Mrs. Helen Hibberd.(4)

For more than three decades now Helen has been the inspirational, driving force in the development of Chorlton Good Neighbours Care Group whilst also maintaining adherence to its core aims and values.

For this work she was awarded a, richly deserved, M. B. E. in the Queen's birthday honours list of June, 2015.  The group was already the proud recipients of one of the first Queen's Golden Jubilee Awards in 2003. (5)

One of the latest initiatives has been the appointment of part time workers given the remit of promoting activities for older men who were seen as being significantly under-represented in terms of their use of the services/activities already provided.

This exercise has amongst other things seen the creation of a beautiful garden by a group of older, mostly male, volunteers of which I am pleased to say I am one. I have also, of course, now become a regular at the monthly history talks too!

© Tony Goulding 2016


Location; Chorlton-cum-Hardy

Pictures; from the collection of Tony Goulding, and St Ninian's Church, 1960, A E Landers, Landers,  m18467, courtesy of Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives, Manchester City Council,

St Ninian's, 1960, the hall where many of the activities take place
1) Perceval Lundy was born, in August, 1898, in Bridlington, East Yorkshire the first child of Charles Edward, a railway clerk, and Elizabeth (nee. Dale)  He was brought up in East Yorkshire/Humberside, marrying Susan Jaques, in York in, 1922. The couple first set-up house in York, before moving to the Manchester area in the mid 1920’s. Initially this was in Old Trafford but by 1937 was at 27, Torbay Road, Chorlton-cum-Hardy. In the Kelly's directory and on his son's marriage certificate he is described as a "civil servant".

2) One of the early enthusiastic supporters of the project, Rev. David Bonser the then Rector of St. Clements. Rev .David was born on 1st.February, 1934 in Huddersfield to George F. Bonser and Alice (nee. Roe).  He gained his initial degree at Kings College, London before studying for ordination at St. Boniface's, Missionary College, Warminster. After working as a curate in Sheffield, and Heckmondswike, Yorkshire he was appointed to the position at St. Clements’s, replacing the long-serving Rev. D. Ratledge, in 1968. Staying in Chorlton-cum-Hardy until 1972 he gave great encouragement to those involved in the early growth of the organization that was to develop into Chorlton Good Neighbors. In 1972 Rev. Bonser moved on to become a canon of Manchester Cathedral and whilst in this post obtained an M.A. degree from Manchester University.  Later he became the archdeacon for Rochdale and from 1991 till 1999 he was the Suffragan Bishop of Bolton. He died on 20th March, 2005.j

3) Edith and her husband decided to move to a bungalow in North Cheshire (with perhaps a less hectic lifestyle) would be more conducive for their health. It is pleasing to report that the "cure" seems to have worked certainly  in Edith's case as she is now well into her nineties living in Wilmslow.

4) Helen was offered the post of (in those days part-time) co-coordinator in November 1983, just a couple of months after joining Good Neighbors as a volunteer. Helen had recently completed a Speech and Language Therapy degree at Manchester University and for a time combined her role at C.G.N. with work in this field for Trafford Health Authority.  1990 saw a decision to devote more time to C.G.N. partly as being able to undertake some work from home fitted in with caring for her young family.

5) Helen has always acknowledged that the success of the group and the winning of these awards could not have been achieved without the dedication and enthusiastic effort shown by a team of co-workers, volunteers and the organizing committee.
The names of several of these contributors are recorded in a special section of Chorlton Good Neighbors website and one such is very poignantly remembered by a dedication on the organization’s office door. Mr. Douglas Cree was a volunteer and committee member for many years who sadly met an untimely and brutal end when he was murdered by a man he had befriended in 1992. (This story must wait for another time, however)

Chorlton Good Neighbours, 
Egerton Road South, Manchester Area, Manchester M21 0
Phone:0161 881 2925

No comments:

Post a Comment