The year 1912 marked a very special milestone when prolonged discussions took place regarding the possibility of building a brand new extension. This must have taken much heart searching having regard for the fact that after twenty years the Mission was still in it’s infancy and money was scarce.
Where was the finance coming from? The Trustees of the day as now, were not attracted to the idea of raising funds by Sales of Work, Christmas or Spring Fayre’s etc., but believed that if the project was in the will of God, the answer lay in sacrificial giving by the Members – and they were right. Older Members will remember that cardboard bricks were obtained and purchased by the congregation and Sunday School scholars. The building cost £300 of which £283. 1s. 1d. was donated, leaving a small deficit of only £16.18s.ld.
Apparently all the money needed was raised and, on the 9th October there was a Grand Opening Ceremony of the new building, known as the Lady’s Walk Infant School. The Silver Band headed a procession from Wellington Street into Mile End Road then to Lady’s Walk where the Opening was performed by Mrs. Grace Clark of Gosforth who was presented with a gold chased key. A large congregation then united in singing “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name” accompanied by the Band and following a short address by Mr. J. W. Payne and a solo from Miss Daisy Thompson, the Choir rendered the Cantata “Ruth”, after which everyone gathered in the Main Hall for tea.
The l914-1918 Wars seemed in the early years to have had little affect on the life and work of the Mission to the extent that minor development continued. The Christian Endeavour Society expanded to accommodate children up to thirteen years old in a Junior Society and from thirteen years to eighteen years in an Intermediate Section and a Temperance Action Committee was also commenced. However, in 1915, due to the dark nights Children’s Services, Endeavour Meetings and Open-Air Meetings were all discontinued. For no apparent explanation all the above activities were re-commenced in February 1916 and in this respect there is a curious record regarding adequate lighting for the Band to play in the Open-Air during the winter when it was agreed to appoint Bros. Todd and Beck to be Lamp Carriers. Older folk will recall that these were lamps on a pole at each side of the rear of the Band, carried by two men. (Some years later Bandsmen used individual battery powered torches that clipped on the lapel or instrument).
There can be few people who have not heard of the Good Friday March to the Market Place, which in 1916 fell on 23rd April, but earlier in that year it was decided to obtain a new silk banner at a cost of £22.10s.0d. which was unfurled at a special gathering on 12th April, 1916. The ceremony was performed by a past Mayoress, Mrs. Usher, Alderman D. Richardson presided and Mr. T. Spencer President of the Sunday School Union was present. Solos were sung by Miss Adcock and Mr. Cook with cornet duets and solos by Bertie Peel and Fred Urwin.
However disaster struck, but let the Minutes of a later Meeting tell it’s own story, exactly as they were written :
“There was no Gathering in the Market on Good Friday owing to it being wet -therefore the School with Banner and Band missioned the Streets on Easter Sunday”.
To complete the events of 1916 there are two reports in the Minutes some readers may find quite moving and again here they are as they were written. “The Christian Endeavour reported an average attendance of 50 and 7 of our Young People professed conversion and attendances at the Sunday Evening Children’s Service now average 397”.