|Rushden Echo, 8th June 1906, transcribed by Kay Collins
Reminiscences - The Late Rev Charles Drawbridge - A Remarkable Personality
Among the many remarkable men associated with Rushden in the past, the Rev Charles Drawbridge, for many years pastor of the Succoth Baptist Church, is in the very front rank. Many interesting facts relating to Mr Drawbridge are enshrined in the memory of men and women still living in Rushden today, and we purpose publishing in the “Rushden Echo” from time to time these reminiscences as we may be able to across them.
Mr Drawbridge was in many senses a very wonderful man. That he was eccentric in the highest degree is well-known, but it is also true that he was a real genius. Of course many of the stories told of Mr Drawbridge are absolutely apocryphal, and, as a matter of fact, have been ascribed to scores of other well-known divines.
We are anxious to secure reliable information, and shall be glad to hear from any of our readers who can recall any interesting facts relating to Mr Drawbridge.
This week we publish thee absolutely authentic anecdotes, which, we think, will interest a wide circle.
On one occasion, Mr Drawbridge, who was a stern unflinching Calvanist, was attacking Arminian doctrines, when he cried out, “I can imagine I see John Wesley standing on a stool in the bottomless pit.” “Yes” whispered one of his hearers to another, “but what is the stool standing on?”
Mr Drawbridge was at times very dramatic in his gesticulations, and frequently “suited the action to the word.”
Preaching one Sunday about the sin of laziness he told the story of a man who was on a journey. The traveller, coming to a place where the road divided, inquired the way of two men who were lazily lying down by the roadside. Without taking the trouble to reply verbally, one of the men just lifted up his foot and pointed down one of the roads. “Well,” said the traveller, “that is real laziness. If you can show anything more lazy than that, I’ll give you half-a-crown. Our readers will not be surprised to learn that Mr Drawbridge, whilst speaking of the man who raised his foot, illustrated the point by lifting his own foot over the door of the pulpit.
The New Hat
During the service at Succoth one Sunday morning a lady came into the chapel wearing a new hat.
“Make was for Mrs So-an-so,” cried Mr Drawbridge, the moment he saw her, “She’s got a chest of drawers on her head.”
The secret was that during the previous week the lady told her pastor that she had bought a new hat and that in order to pay for it she had sold a chest of drawers. Several versions of the story are afloat, one version stating that the lady was the preacher’s own wife, but we have reason to believe that the version we give is the correct one, and that the lady in question resided on the Wellingborough- road.