SUNDAY SCHOOL DEMOS
The first Whitsuntide Gathering or 'Sunday Schools Demonstration' was held in 1891 in the Stripes Field at the back of the Church School (now known as St. Wilfrids School). The first speaker was Mr. A. H. Higginbottom, Headmaster of the British Schools (Arnold). The Calverton Brass Band headed the procession and Mr Charles Watson conducted the singing, his son Harry, a very capable musician, transposed the music for the band.​​

In the following year the band was assisted by a drum and fife band under the leadership of Mr Robert Tongue. The speaker was Mr Fred Adamson from Epperstone. These first meetings were held in the middle of the week. After the gathering a tea for workers took place and the money received was assessed at the rate of 2s.6d. per 25 scholars. The procession order was established from the very first demonstration the first school taking the last position the following year. After tea in the various schools and churches, a stall was erected for the sale of sweets and minerals, and sports followed organised by Mr William Stafford.

Whit Monday soon became the best day of the year for Calverton people all due to the talents and devotion of the original organising committee which comprised the following members: 

(Ex. W. ) Mr Richard Hallam, Mr Fred Martin,
Mr W.H. Fisher.
(Ex. P.) Mr John Orange, Mr John Smith, Mr G.B. Smith.
(Ex. U.M.) Mr William Blood, Mr Sam Blood, Mr William Collyer, Mr George Turton.(Baptist) Mr John Binch, Mr Harry Lee, Mr John Spencer.
Mr William Fisher was the first secretary, followed by Mr H. Lee, Mr B. H. Meads, Mr Nelson Binch, Mr B.S. Hunt, and Mr Stanley Blood.

The first treasurer was Mr William Collyer, followed by Mr C.E. Collyer and Mr G.W. Collyer. All these men rendered solid service.

In the year 1933, through the influence of the then Vicar, Rev. J.H. Taylor and the support of his churchwardens, the Church of England Sunday School finally joined what was now a complete union of Sunday Schools. By 1941 the 'United' Sunday Schools Demonstration Committee could boast fifty years of almost unbroken Whit Monday witness. With two exceptions during the 1914-1918 war, the Sunday School Demonstrations had taken place each year without fail . The 'Jubilee' demonstration of 1941 was headed by the conrnittee comprising;-

Mr C.E. Collyer, J. P. (President), Mr John Orange (Chairman), Mr S. Harrison B.A. (Treasurer), Mr Eric Binch (Secretary), Mrs S. Binch, Mrs Burrows, Mrs Spencer, Mrs F. Knight, Rev. J.H. Taylor, Mrs Wood,Mr W. S. Belt, Mr Nelson Binch, Mr P. Herring, Mr W. Porter, Mr W. Hind

Above left, 1941: Three members of the 1891 committee. They are Mr John Orange, Mr Fred Martin and Mr Sam Blood. Above right, The 1941 committee: They are E. Binch, N. Binch, P. Herring, W. Porter, W. Hind, W.S Belt, Mrs S. Binch, J. Orange, C.E. Collyer, Rev. J.H. Taylor, Mrs Burrows.

The Jubilee comrnemorative meeting took place on a Thursday evening with speclal singing by Sunday School Scholars from the five Sunday Schools ('Sunday Schools Are England's Glory' and 'Stand Up! Stand Up For Jesus!' featured), The speakers were The Right Rev. Bishop Talbot, Rev. Taytor, Rev. G.R. Trussell and the Rev. J.W. Almond. In the souvenir programrne the Rev. Taylor exclaimed, "l am but a recruit amongst the veterans who have seen this great work commenced and continued. What this Annual Demonstration has meant to the spiritual life of Calverton cannot be estimated . . . " 

Mr C.E. Collyer wrote of the 'Enormous influence for good' that had been accomplished down the years, and how the Whit Monday celebrations were still the outstanding day of the year 'Inspite of all counter attractions'. The 'veterans' to whom the Rev. Taylor refered were of course the three members of the original committee active still, in 194I, Mr Sam Blood, Fred Martin and Mr John Orange. They were then aged 83, 81 and 76 respectively. Bishop Talbot in his speech, congratulated the village on its faithful , persistent work over such a number of years, and said Calverton was showing a much needed 'united Christian Front'. The evening paper of the time recorded;

'With such a long sustained and challenging record of denominational unity, linked to an expanding population and the promise of progressive material development in local affairs, Calverton may not unreasonably regard it self as one of the happiest and most historically interesting villages in the county.'

Random Recollections: Whitsun and Wakes

'When I was a child the Whit Monday Demonstration met in the field behind the C of E National School. We went up there with horses and carts the littleuns rode on the drays, decorated with flowers. When you got to about 8 year old you didnt get a rider you had to walk so we walked round then. All our relations used to come that day, and people from outside, and lde used to sing 'From Year to Year in Love we meet, From Year to Year in Love we part . ..'We stopped to sing hymns on Burnor Pool, The Gleaners Inn, the Nook, Admiral Rodney, 'Top of the Town', Top Buildings, then back to the Top of the Town where we sang the Doxology. We often had two Bands. Then we broke up and walked down to our own Chapels for tea. The sports were held down Crookdole Lane on the recreation ground. In later years a field was kindly lent by Mrs Charlie Wright. After some years the demonstrations started to meet on Burnor Pool. of course, through the years we had many different speakers. Harry Taylor used to give the address sometimes and Mr Ted Collyer. : Thats where we went me duck. I can remember it just like yesterday. It's all gone now.'  

Mrs Ullyatt, Calverton.

'The Feast . . . it were in Martin's where the doctor's is. Ashley's come there every year, Staples come wi' them like, running stalls. They were a good do, they done well. They stopped one weekend extra in nineteen, about Twenty Five. It were very strong then. There were all sorts, there were Ashley's horses always, the main attraction. They'd come about Thursday and go back Monday. Friday night and Saturday night... sometimes, they'd have Monday. We'd get off early from school for Friday night. They used to do Oxton and Woodborough in July. They retired to Cropwell Bishop. There's only about one daughter left. But its gone, like, along with the times. 'The Sunday School demonsrations . . . There were United Methodists, Primitive Methodists, Wesleyans and Baptist church didn't have much to do with it. - They went round the village . . . till the new estate, and chapels kept falling away. They finished in about '50, they didn't do much good after the war were over. Nobody took an interest in them, when folks started going holidaying and that. They fell away that bad there weren't half a dozen one time.' [John at 82 can remember the best of the demonstrations held at a time convenient to village life, preceeding, as aforementioned, the busy time of harvest when, "they were all in it, Iike . They were at Calverton!" . . .] 'One Demonstration about 1930, there were buses running till midnight, to Arnold and Nottingham, taking folks. It were alright while it were on, a good tea, sports and races, and band, playing. Running for prizes. There were a pig in a raffle! Motor cars done it . And when folks started holidaying, they wanted money for holidays. That done it!"  

John Binch in conversation July 1990.