The Rev. Arnold Herbert Hurt utterly transformed the standing of St Aiden’s, the local parish Church of England at Cleethorpes. His predecessor, the Rev. Tuffin had seen congregations decline until there were sometimes only two or three people at the services. He had been old and set in his (low church) ways. His point of interest to children was that he apparently had a metal plate in his skull from a First World War injury, but he was old and tired. His successor, the Rev. Hurt was a man of great energy, and more comfortable with high church ways. The church was spruced up, more candles were added, incense crept into the services and there were more processionals with the choir going round the inside of the church. Attendances climbed steadily, and sermons livened up, with scattered and entertaining stories about the vicar's last parish at Shirebrook.
I was in the choir, even though I was not by any means a good singer, and used to attend choir practice on two evenings a week, and of course Sung Eucharist and Evensong on Sundays. After choir practice the vicar and his wife would sometimes invite us into the vicarage to give us lemonade and biscuits and let us loll around on cushions on his floor reading from the great piles of comics he kept. His own child would sometimes be there to play with us. That child went on to become the famous award-winning actor, John Hurt. I never met him as an adult, but I greatly admired his talent, and was proud to have had the childhood connection.