William Berridge: lay preacher and local weatherman

19 July 2020

‘As the local weatherman, it was said on the retirement of Mr William Berridge that for more than a score of years he had never missed his daily duty at a certain hour of taking the meteorological readings and sending his recording by cypher telegram to headquarters.  He was fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society and was recognised as one of the most reliable observers connected with the office.’

‘On his death in 1904, Loughborough ceased to be the official meteorological station for the Midlands.  For some years Mr Berridge was also Secretary of the old Loughborough Town Hall Company and the Loughborough General Hospital.’

‘Mr Berridge’s death was also felt keenly in connection with the Nanpantan Mission Room.  He was a licensed lay reader whose constant devotion to the Mission had become proverbial.  It was said of him that he had conducted the services there on 900 consecutive Sundays without a break.’ 

‘”He loved the work and pursued his ministrations in the hamlet with an earnestness and zeal not surpassed by any well-paid minister of the gospel.  Although only a lay reader, he was practically the vicar of Nanpantan.”’

The little mission church on the hill and meteorological observations in Loughborough were more than hobbies or recreation to him: they were serious and very earnest duties.

Extract from ‘The Story of Loughborough: 1888 – 1914’ by W A Deakin. (Pub. Echo Press Ltd 1979

Read about Nanpantan Mission Room – now the church of St Mary in Charnwood – here.

With thanks to J Mayo for permission to use her drawing of St Mary in Charnwood church.