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North Mymms - Parish and People
by Dorothy Colville

Chapter 25 - Getting About His Parish

The vicars of the present day quarter their parishes in motorcars. From the comfort of a front seat they can see their flocks going about their lawful business, but it is doubtful if their flocks see them, for it is very difficult to recognise a waving hand.

Some of us remember the two tall, athletic parsons who rode what to our youthful eyes were the tallest bicycles in the world and we recall "So that I can see and be seen" given as the reason for continuing to use a bicycle even after acquiring a car.

The picture of a cleric in sombre black-and-white habit perambulating his parish on a plump, steady old mare would probably be a true one for Georgian and early Victorian days. The vicars Meyer and Latter certainly visited on horseback.

The last of the Victorian parsons of our parish, however, went around in a little pony-trap, accompanied always by a groom-gardener-handyman. He had had a succession of men after the death of an old and loved family retainer, Sprusen, and at length one Paternoster, a merry wight by all accounts, filled the post. He sat beside his master as they visited the outlying parts of the parish and he walked the pony up and down while his master made his calls.

He told with much relish how, on going first to Hawkshead, he had been surprised, when at the bottom of the little hill, the vicar stopped as was his wont and in a solemn voice said "Now a little prayer, Pasternoster."

Dorothy Colville, 1971

Chapter 26 - The Story of the Local Railway
Index - North Mymms Parish and People

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