|The Rushden Echo and Argus, 20th May 1955, transcribed by Gill Hollis
500 go to hear Billy Graham
Among the 80,000 or so people who stood in rain-swept Wembley Stadium on Saturday evening to listen to Billy Graham, were five hundred from Rushden and Wellingborough.
They travelled to London by special train. The trip was arranged by the Rushden Ministers’ Fellowship, and among the party were: The Rev. Gordon Bellamy (Independent Wesleyan Church), the Rev. E. T. Hughes (Vicar, St. Peter’s), the Rev. H. B. Morley (curate, St. Peter’s), the Rev. A. S. Arnold (Park Road Baptist), the Rev. A. Braybrooks (Highfield Baptist), the Rev. Anthony Martin (curate, St. Mary’s) and Pastor Dorling (Full Gospel).
Mr. Hughes said that the Rushden people were “tremendously impressed by the sight of all those thousands of people gathered on a cold evening for this great service, impressed by the sincerity and especially by the unemotional quality of his address.”
Mr. Bellamy agreed, “The final hymn, ‘Just as I am, without one plea,’ has a certain emotional appeal of its own,” he said, “but there was a steady stream of people going down the stands past me, in answer to the appeal, before the hymn had begun. They had been listening to cold logical reasoning in Billy Graham’s address.
“The famous Wembley turf was two-thirds covered with councillors and enquirers while two cine-cameras (in the centre of the football pitch) were completely engulfed with people.”
The Bishop of Barking, chairman of the committee organising the crusade, welcomed Dr. Graham.
On the journey home, the Rushden party sang choruses from the Billy Graham hymn books, and Mr. David Bayes, an accordionist from the Park Road Baptist Church, moved from coach to coach to accompany them.
The second Rushden party a bus load of people who either could not go on Saturday or were anxious to visit Wembley again went to the service last night.
In the picture: Some of the crowd wait for the train to London.