A Funeral Near Swinton

I was the new curate at Swinton, Manchester, in 1938, and had to take a funeral at a neighbouring parish. All went well until, on the way to the crematorium, the engine of my little car failed to restart after stalling at a crossroads.

I tried to attract the attention of the slow-moving cortège ahead of me and got out to catch it up on foot. Soon it stopped outside a large building and I walked on to join it, as fast as I could with dignity.

But it then moved on and I gave up hope of catching it, and rang up to ask the crematorium to ask the next vicar to take my service. This was duly done: but there was an undue delay, as the cortège had waited some time out of sight of the office in the vain hope that I would catch them up.

I also learnt later that there was a local custom of funeral processions to pause for a while outside the home of the deceased. This time however it happened that the Liberal Club was regarded as being his spiritual home. So they had paused there!