Archdeacon Colley was rector of Stockton from 1901-1912 and a splendid eccentric who produced the unique children’s Speak Pipe. Locals mention that Rectory Close used to be called ‘The Radical’ after him and that he founded allotments in the village for the benefit of local residents.
A glass-topped coffin
Archdeacon Colley had a glass topped coffin made; at one Sunday evening service, he startled his congregation by climbing into his coffin in all his robes and was carried around the church. The reason for this was to demonstrate that he was not afraid of dying. The coffin was kept in his study and those who attended confirmation classes had to sit on it.
Another radical Stockton clergyman
There was another rather ‘Radical Parson’ minister at Stockton, Rev. Tuckwell, and a footpath in the village is named after him.
Does anyone know why Archdeacon Colley is carrying a trumpet in the photo?