WONERSH
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HISTORY SOCIETY

GEORGE WILLIAM BRETT (Contd)

Stoking the Boilers As well as running his business, George became the Church Verger in 1910 and Churchwarden in 1916. Church lighting was by candles then which George had to light before services. He was often in the Church until midnight setting up for Sundays. In the winter he went to the Church to stoke the boilers at 10 o’clock every night until oil heating was installed in 1957. Sheep used to be grazed in churchyards and were prevented from trampling on graves by sheepboards, long boards put across the graves and supported on posts at both ends. Names and dates were inscribed on the boards. By the time George became Verger most of the sheepboards had been removed but he did remember removing some in his early days as Verger. Some sheepboards were replaced by gravestones but apparently only those belonging to the ‘quality’ - ‘commoner’ graves were levelled.