"Wicked Hathern" - No more. A glimpse of the past
In 1959 a local news article examined the long-standing reputation for bad conduct in the village.Maybe it was actually a group of Mormon missionaries who were really the baddies ? This news article examines in detail the uplifting influence of the Rev. E.T. Phillipps. Paragraphs are devoted to the following :-
PLAYING FIVES IN THE VESTRY. Fighting and games in the Churchyard. Throwing prayer books during a wedding service causing Rev. Phillips to lock out the miscreants.
BRUTUS BONAPARTE AND APPLE STEALING. Robberies from village gardens and orchards by journeymen and apprentices. An apprentice is flogged at request of Rev. Phillips which upsets his master nicknamed "Brute".
A POOR WAIF IN FRIENDLY HATHERN. Rev. Phillips takes under his wing a poor young girl walking from London to Manchester looking for work.
LAST DAYS OF DISHLEY CHURCH. Rev. Phillips also ministered at Dishley where his congregation was more educated.
"CAPTAIN LUDD". This was the watchword of vagabonds who terrrorised local people on the turnpike road.
FORTY MILE WALK THROUGH THE NIGHT. All in the cause of the British and Foreign Bible Society. He worked steadily for all groups - even the revivalists called "The Ranters". Feasting in the Church at the end of the Crimean War.
SCHOOLS, GARDENS, SPORTS, CHARITY. Over 400 children in his school. Rescues a village charity. Sets up a library and helps impoverished workers. Commissions the Recreation ground. Dies on Wakes Day July 12th 1859.