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Heather at MOT
Hello!

I don't suppose anybody remembers a woman named Bessie Sykes who was a famous Evangelical lecturer? Apparently she lectured in Glasgow using magic lantern slides. She was co-author of the famous Christian hymn "Thank you, Lord". She lived from 1905 until 1982. Did anybody attend one of her lectures? I'm really interested to know as much as possible about her!

What I know so far:

In 1889, the preachers and pastors of the Railway Mission had been working among the railwaymen of Springburn for two years but did not have a permanent meeting-place, and were meeting instead above a 'cooking depot'.
A new hall was finally built in Vulcan Street in 1892, although on the opening day its wooden benches were not yet installed. One of its most famous pastors was Seth Sykes, a tramway worker who, with his wife Bessie, worked as an evangelist and wrote many well-known gospel hymns.

Any information you have would be greatly appreciated!!!!

Thanks! biggrin.gif

Heather
GG
Hi Heather,

You probably know this, bit I'll post for other members, from the CDLR site:

QUOTE
Just around the corner in Vulcan Street is the Springburn Masonic Lodge, opened in 1909, succeeding an earlier building. Vulcan Street is now cut in half by the link road to the Expressway at the point where the Railway Mission once stood. The famous Glasgow evangelists Seth and Bessie Sykes were based here.


Here's how it looked according to the elevations from the 19th century:


http://gdl.cdlr.strath.ac.uk/springburn/sp...springher03.htm

Here's how it looks today:

Click to view attachment

http://www.glasgowguide.co.uk/springburn%2...uir%20Lodge.htm

Hopefully you'll get a bit of info from visitors.

Also, an email from the rootsweb site mentions the evangelitical pair:

QUOTE
From: "John Duncan" <sunset23@bigpond.com>
Subject: SEVEN HILLS OF SPRINGBURN - BARNHILL.
Date: Fri, 2 Jun 2006 15:21:51 +1000

BARNHILL gave its name to the Poorhouse which was built there in 1853.

In the year 1810 a mental asylum had been built in Parliament Road, and in 1843 was transferred to its present site at Gartnavel.

The vacated building in Parliamentary Road was, in the same year, taken over as a the City Poorhouse which in turn was transferred and amalgamated with Barnhill Poorhouse in 1905.

Strict discipline was observed in Barnhill. Able bodied inmates were required to make up 350 bundles of firewood per day and stonebreakers were expected to break up 5 cwt. of whin metal per day.
Any inmate not producing the stated amount was put on a bread and water diet in solitary confinement for 12 hours.

Disorderly conduct, such as swearing or breaking of rules, resulted in being put on a diet, excluding milk and buttermilk, for a period of three days.

In 1945 Barnhill was renamed Foresthall House and Hospital, and the place can be aptly described as a village within a city.It occupies just over 33 acres of great natural beauty. Wide, well attended lawns add a fine setting to the Rowan, Laburnum, Hawthorn and Sorbus trees and their blossoms in season, mingled with the Snowdrops, Crocuses and Daffodils, add an intricate pattern of colour against the green background of the lawns

The grey lines of the buildings speak of an age of Victorian grandeur although they have a slightly military appearance.

Foresthall underwent many improvements in the 1960's, but later it was demolished.

Father Sydney McEwan, the world famous tenor, whose recordings are still available today under the label of World Famous Tenors, was born in 1908 in Keppochhill Road, before his parents moved to 248 Gourley Street, before moving to Knightswood.

He stopped making recordings in 1973 and then wrote his autobiography, "On The High C's".

He wrote of his life as a parish priest at St. Margaret's in Lochgilphead and at Kingussie, also his boyhood in Springburn and his tours to New Zealand and Canada.

The Evangelists Seth & Bessie Sykes were well-known in Springburn, the U.K, and even in the United States. In 1929 Seth, who was a tram conductor, resigned in 1929, and both of them travelled to mission churches throughout the length an breadth of Britain with a barrel organ, singing, preaching the gospel and retelling stories from the Bible with lantern slides.

As far away as the USA, the Sykes are remembered for their songs, some of which have been adopted by Evangelical churches.
The choruses of which many Glasgow families learned whilst sitting on the seaside sands, "Doon the Clyde" at seaside missions, sung with appropriate hand and arm movements. Some of these were:-

"Running over, running over, my heart's full and running over,
Since the Lord saved me, I'm as happy as I can be,
My hearts full and running over."

and,

"Wide, wide as the ocean, high as the heavens above,
Deep, deep as the deepest sea, is my Saviour's love."

Several authors have wrote of their childhood life in Springburn, Molly Weir of stage and radio fame in Scotland wrote "Shoes Were For Sunday", telling of her adventures in Paddy Oak's Park behind Hydepark School, hunting for "baggie minnows" with a little hand-net, eating sugarally straps, sucking sherbet beds, and "chittering bites", after a visit to the baths in Kay Street.

Molly's brother, Tom Weir MBE a broadcaster and writer, also left a record of his boyhood in an article printed by the Springburn Museum, entitled "A Springburn Boy Looks Back." where he recalls racing up to Springburn Park on a clear day to see his beloved mountain peaks.
...................................to be continued.

John Duncan, Melbourne, Australia.


GG.
Heather at MOT
Hi GG,

Thanks so much! I had seen the stuff about Springburn but the I hadn't yet come across the last article. It's fascinating! I really appreciate you looking it up for me! As I find out new information I'll post some of the more interesting stuff up here just in case anybody's read the post and has become interested.

Thanks again!!!!! biggrin.gif

Heather
David McNair
Heather,
My grandparents and parents went to the Springburn Railway Mission Hall in Vulcan Street and knew Seth and Bessie Sykes well. I believe they have a daughter, Eva (married name Campbell) who lives in Bishopbriggs and a son, Seth a doctor and pharmacist in England.
Heather at MOT
Hi!

Thanks so much for replying to my message. I would absolutely love to speak to your parents and/or grandparents. I hope to collect oral histories from anybody who knew the Sykes or who attended one of the meetings or lantern slide lectures.

I can be contacted at: The Museum of Transport, 1 Bunhouse Road, Glasgow, G3 8DP. Telephone: 0141 287 2748. Email: heathercls.robertson@csglasgow.org.

If they would prefer not to be interviewed orally I can put to together a list of questions that they can answer in writing. I find that taped conversations produce the most interesting memories and recollections. I am working on a research project for Glasgow Museums and I will be focusing on Seth and Bessie Sykes with a view to writing about them and the possibility that it will be published at some point in the future. We hold a large amount of material realting to them in our stores including thousands of magic lantern slides.

If you feel you can help me out with memories about these two remarkable people please get in touch!

Thanks again!

Heather biggrin.gif
Ruth Millar
I am remember the Sykes very well. I lived in Guernsey Channel islands and I remember them coming twice in 1935 and 1937. I am now 76 years old and can still hear Mrs Bessie Sykes powerful voice singing "There were Ninety-and-nine" and "[The Land where the Roses never fade". Both my parents and some of their friends were saved under their ministry in 1935, and I was saved in 1937. They were wonderful days with we little ones singing "Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful love" also "Thank You Lord for Saving my Soul" The Lantern Slides which they showed as Bessie sang were very real and moving.
Heather at MOT
Hi Ruth biggrin.gif

I would really like to find out more about your memories of the Sykes. Could I possibly send you some questions and pictures of some of the slides they used? It's so great that they had such a profound impact on the lives of your parents and you! It's important to me that I get real life accounts of the Sykes as I want my research to be truly representative of their lives and work.

I can be contacted at: heathercls.robertson@csglasgow.org

Riverside Museum Project
Museum of Transport
1 Bunhouse Road
Kelvinhall
Glasgow
G3 8DP

Thanks so much for getting in touch!

Heather Robertson
Heather at MOT
Hi there,

I've now spoken with a family member and have found that a great deal of the information to be found about the Sykes on the internet is inaccurate. First of all, they wrote many well known songs but the ones normally listed are incorrect. Apparently they did not write "Wide Wide as the Ocean" and many others that have been linked to them. Also, it has been mentioned that Seth and Bessie Sykes travlled with a barrel organ. This is also inaccurate. Bessie Sykes was an accomplished organist (but not the barrel organ). They travelled only as far as Guernsey. However, the true history behind the pair is extremely fascinating and I am enjoying delving deeper into the story of these two evangelists who touched the lives of so many Glaswegians. Many thanks for your emails. I'd love to hear from anybody else who remembers Seth and/or Bessie Sykes as I'd like to collect as many real life accounts as possible.

Thanks again,

Heather
Heather at MOT
If anybody is interested in finding out more you can read a biography written by Bessie Sykes and her son about Seth Sykes. It is held at The Mitchell Library in the Glasgow Collection. It's really very interesting and well worth a look. biggrin.gif
Jessie76
Hi Heather,

I have just discovered your correspondence by email. I was born in Springburn, and lived up the same 'close' as Molly Weir's mother. We knew Mrs Weir quite well, and she was so proud of her daughter, Molly. I also played in Paddy's Park and jumped the 'midins'
For many years I was a Gospel singer and was a member of the Garngad Foundry Boys, where my father was treasurer for 40 years (William Robertson). At seveteen I joined the Springburn Gospel Hall.
I sang many of Seth and Bessie Sykes songs, and listened to some of her lantern talks, sorry I can't remember any of them now.
They were a most remarkable couple, and have left a legacy of Christian music.
The Duke of Drumch
QUOTE (Heather at MOT @ 4th Oct 2007, 01:17pm) *
Hello!

I don't suppose anybody remembers a woman named Bessie Sykes who was a famous Evangelical lecturer? Apparently she lectured in Glasgow using magic lantern slides. She was co-author of the famous Christian hymn "Thank you, Lord". She lived from 1905 until 1982. Did anybody attend one of her lectures? I'm really interested to know as much as possible about her!

What I know so far:

In 1889, the preachers and pastors of the Railway Mission had been working among the railwaymen of Springburn for two years but did not have a permanent meeting-place, and were meeting instead above a 'cooking depot'.
A new hall was finally built in Vulcan Street in 1892, although on the opening day its wooden benches were not yet installed. One of its most famous pastors was Seth Sykes, a tramway worker who, with his wife Bessie, worked as an evangelist and wrote many well-known gospel hymns.

Any information you have would be greatly appreciated!!!!

Thanks! biggrin.gif

Heather


see link http://www.flickr.com/photos/robertpool/36...57612926689817/
ewanmclean
Seth Sykes was actually my great grandfather, but he passed away long before I was born.
sandhaven96
I Have a (45 Extended play) Recording of Mrs Bessie Sykes singing four songs written by she and her husband Seth- including "Thank you Lord for saving my Soul"
I assisted in the making of this recording which was issued on the"Evangelical" label.
If anyone is interested I would be pepared to let you listen to this recording if you contact me .
We had a great time with her during the recording session - she was a lovely christian lady- and as far as i am aware this is the only recording that was ever released into the public domain.
GlasgowBorn
Well, Heather I guess you got a pretty good answer then!
Heather at MOT
Hi Sandhaven,

That's wonderful! I'd love to hear the recording! I wonder - would it be possible to copy or allow us to copy the recording to put in our research file along with the lantern slides and brochures? This would be a fantastic addition to an already fascinating collection.

Many thanks and kind regards,

Heather
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