"HISTORY OF THE WAYSIDE PULPIT"
1932 - 2016 by Ven Collins
My Grandfather, who I always referred to as Gramp, Ernie Pine, being the
Falmouth Wesley Caretaker, was responsible for the posters to be changed. The
notice board, being exposed to the elements, each poster was pasted on with a
mix of flour and water. The mix stood the test of time! The board was affixed to
the external wall adjacent Jacob's Ladder, looking up towards Killigrew Street.
As a boy, I remember an old fellow with an enormous white beard, standing
beside the Church railings on Saturday mornings selling "OLD MOORE'S
ALMANAC" for three pence in copper. Gramp always had a word with the
seller, until one day he said "Skipper as long as I stand below your posters I
know that I shall be safe". WHAT A TESTIMONY.
In the autumn of 1956 I suggested in a meeting of Trustees that the Wayside
Pulpit be re-introduced so continuing past practice. It agreed, with the proviso
that I manage everything that it entailed. I accepted, and in September 2016 I
completed 60 years in office. The Secretary to Church Council was advised of my
retirement and I promised to continue until 31 December 2016.
George Cockings, Chapel Steward and Local Preacher made the board which
was affixed in the same position as in Wesley days. This became a "one man and
his ladder", meaning I could do a poster change at my leisure. In time, David
used to help me with the change-over until music became part of his life. For the
last 3 years at Easter and Christmas, he has performed the ladder, work, as a
quick change-over was necessary.
Moving on, Roy Webber of Penryn, made a new poster board complete with
glass door and so constructed to cater for the elements.
Whilst up the ladder many comments reached my ears!! During one Holy Week
our poster read :- Good Fellowship, Good Singing, A Welcome Awaits You,
"What a load of rubbish" came my way, so I descended the ladder and invited
him to join us, but off he went shouting obscenities. I closed the glass door and
quietly sang the words of "The Crucifixion" (Stainer) - "Is it nothing to you, all
ye who pass by"?
A disruptive element broke the glass so Gerald Trenoweth and John Bennett
arranged for new glass to be bedded in.
A man from a Christian Assembly in the Midlands introduced himself, and gave
me his pen bearing the printed words: "God Bless You and Yours."
Two regular shoppers, approaching from the Killigrew Street always looked,
read and disgested with the message: Thanks again, Take Care and God Bless.
One poster proclaimed JOBN3 v16. Coming off the ladder I felt a hand on my
shoulder and heard: "AMEN TO THAT". We conversed - he was a Local
Preacher from across the Tamar. He prayed for me and for F.M.C.

We felt the weight of "H and S" - health and safety, so I and others had to
conform. My good colleague Gerald on matters property, was always available to
go up the ladder whilst I stepped same. Latterly I have solicited the help of Tony
Thomas and Keith Ferris. They are two colleagues, always ready to oblige -
weather permitting.
One day, a joker gained access and pinned up the words: ALL SEATS FREE.
We hastily fitted additional security measures.
My suppliers through the years :-
WAYSIDE PULPIT (Green and black) from Methodist Publishing House
BIBLE MESSENGER (Blue) from Bible Society
GOSPEL POSTERS (colourful and eye catching) from Sidmouth, Devon
C.P.O (Wonderful colour scheme) from Christian Publicity and Outreach,
Worthing
Catalogues are received 4 times a year. It has also introduced Modern Day
Artistes, leaving one with an excellent opportunity when choosing. The present
cost of a poster is £7.50. To keep costs low I have at times, shown some more
than once. It has been a privilege for me to care for and display the posters as
part of our outreach and I would do it all over again.
In addition to my retirement the poster display board is in a poor condition so
John has kindly consented to make a new one. Thanks John in anticipation.
I pay tribute to my wife Chris, who has been the source of immense help, wise
encouragement and understanding through the years.
Finally my thanks to Maureen for her willingness to type this fair copy from my
draft.
With every good wish to all the Church family.