Circuit Assemblies in the "Good Old Days"
fokyc2 hours ago
So true, I remember Bingley Hall, Cirencester in 1963 when I was a total idiot and decided to get baptised.
OMG--i was at Bingley hall '63. ( it was in Birmingham ). i even had a bit part on the stage--a geeky college student in sunglasses and a striped scarf.
i was on the night guard crew--a whole gang of us kids did it. a mate of mine--Jimmy " Gum"----put the Rolling Stones " its all over now " on the loudspeaker system in the night--it was hilarious !
that assembly in Bingley Hall----the CO back then was Graham Carmichael. Anyone remember him ?
Blues bro=="Anybody else have fond memories of Albert Broad, John Blaney and more lately David Carter?"
JB was our CO in the early 70's--isle of Wight. my daughter called him " Brother Blimey"
i wonder where she got that from.
My wife recalls Albert Broad, but not in any creditable way.
John Blaney was a law unto himself, dragging dozens onto the stage for completely spurious experiences. His old van was a sight to behold, often driving the wrong way up streets or in no entry roads, he told me the Bethel just paid his fines as no one there could talk sense into him. In the week of the CO visit the pioneer meeting was on Tuesday at his accommodation for week. Meeting was taken up by unloading his van, enough for an army. One suitcase full of TIES from admiring sisters over the years. He stayed in our cong with my wife's grandparent, he loved it, grandma getting his Daily Telegraph, it was a broadsheet then. He insisted she iron every page and amazingly he did. Most evenings b4 and after meetings he went to local pub with grandad. Over the years he had o be forced to move accommodation as he was so comfy at grandparents. City overseer had to ring Bethel to get their approval to Order him to move. On back Call as they then were with me, no answer, so he marched round to back door and hammered on it til an answer, that was the end of that BC. Was taken on one first call with him, with 4 of us gathering round him, I wanted the earth to open up. HH had a look of sheer terror at the sight of us!
Derek Carter was not funny nor eccentric, just a company man, no humanityon show. At Manchester Assembly Hall the first manager was also called Derek Carter, a tireless worker who performed wonders to get Hall going, after some years he was silently replaced by a grey company man for no apparent reason, gratitude from WT in spades then, cast aside with no thanks.
I really disliked the assemblies as a kid and remember getting home from school and thinking, no weekend.
With you L&F. Didn't know Albert Broad however I heard lots of stories about JB from my parents, apparently he stayed with us when he was CO/DO in Worcestershire when I was a child and all they, along with what I have witnessed of DC, have done is affirm in my head that these so called "characters" are just self obsessed, big fish in a small pond, frustrated actor types.
So what if they were entertaining? So what if they went off message? They were still spouting nonsense. Here we are nowadays laughing at the WTS putting form over function with it's glossy but shallow representation of it's message yet that's what these "characters" really were - glossing over the rubbish of message with entertaining delivery.
When you are in you love it but scratch the surface and it was the same bullshite then as it is now.
certainly do remember them, not with real fondness though, we had a beautiful old ass'embly hall in Dorking though close to a the high street, surrounded by a lovely park with a public swimming pool opposite, plus the luxury of a KFC close by frequented by the coloured brothers and sisters who couldn't stand the "honkey" food which was prepared on an industrial scale, it also included an ice cream and donuts kiosk, they sold it and built a new place, in the middle of nowhere, cold and devoid of any character then they closed the well equipped kitchen, it was never the same , I never had the privilege of attending the new format of "special day" conventions or whatever they call them now, iPads and video presentations FFS !
I remember Dorking as a child , and the walk to the park every lunchtime (as long as we weren't allocated the third sitting for lunch when we had to wait in a queue on the stairs for what seemed an eternity).
A brother in my congregation was a trained chef and often used to supervise the kitchen .
Circuit and district assemblies were looked forward to for one thing and that was checking out the girls in other congregations. Once married they were just a ballache.
Our memorable COs were, in no particular order;
Mike Reid (to young to form an opinion)
John Andrews (as above)
Ray Midgely (complete raving nutcase)
Roddy Hollyoake ( Sexy wife)
Glen McFarlane (ok but unmemorable)
George Hilton (sound as a pound - best CO by far)
Landry, John Andrews, didn't he go on to become branch overseer, or maybe it someone with same name