The Prescotian Webzine

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The Centenary Of the Present Building of the Prescot Parish Church Men's Institute
by former PGS Allan Richardson
 
  We are told by both psychologists and sociologists that the 'gregarious instinct' is one, which has the greatest social importance, as it moulds the form of society and groups within that society and functionally keeps members of the group together, be they a secret society, pofitical party, trade union or Church group. It also particularly and peculiarly determines our recreations. In this respect some are introduced to these and form a small group al an eariy age. probably late adolescence, others later in life, when domestic influences cause us to settle or move into an area of employment or eventually, retirement.
     
I was one who exemplifies the former case, in so far that four very adolescent boys from the Parish Church, Ray Grimshaw, Ron Preston, Richard Lawrenson and myself were encouraged to join the Parish Church Institute and then be tutored, seemingly by venerable senior members, whom we perceived always to wear flat caps, even when playing Billiards, cocooned in a fog of 'thick twist1 tobacco smoke and sometimes huddled around the solitary gas fire, because someone had forgotten to light the boiler, or the wood chips were so wet, it was impossible to ignite it. Even worse the coke had not been delivered, as the Institute is a very cold place without heating. It would seem incongruous today to witness many senior players, perpetually wearing flat caps, whilst sitting or playing Billiards or Snooker in the Institute. We four joined at the same lime over 50 years ago and still bear witness to the adage 'catch them young, keep them forever'. We are still members of the Institute to this very day.
 
It is a privilege and honour to be invited by our present Secretary Colin Taylor and the Committee to write this small book as a record and tribute to the hundreds of members who have enjoyed every minute of being a member and sharing together, common backgrounds, humour, fun, joys and sadness, whilst holding in our hands a long tapering piece of Ash timber, in a bent body position, endeavouring to caress or bash either 2 white or 1 red ball, or 15 red balls and a variety of 6 coloured balls into 6 pockets over a green baize table, under the glare of very bright lights, surrounded by inky darkness, accompanied by the slow ticking of the Institute clock as time marched ever onwards . They also say ESKIMOES have fun!!!!!!  
 
  What I have presented here is not a complete, fully documented, account of the Institute. That would be impossible, I have tried to present from the extant records, what I perceive as a tangible record of the Institute on the occasion of its Centenary. Another person would have perceived perhaps a different slory and sketched a different picture. It is therefore all too subjective, coloured by my own interests, observations and insights.
     
Printed by Colin Ball Printing [01744 889914]

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