Members of the local Key family, in times past, were great supporters of our Ashley Methodist Church and for the first half of the last century, Mrs H Key was our faithful church organist for very many years.

When the foundation stones were being laid for a Sunday School in 1931, Mrs Key was invited to lay the chief stone. Some 91 years later, Mrs Key’s grandchildren, Ruth, Philip and Richard Stones, have now kindly donated to our church the silver trowel which was presented to Mrs Key to mark this significant occasion.

The trowel is engraved with the words “Presented to Mrs H. Key on the occasion of her laying The Chief Foundation Stone of the Wesleyan Sunday School, Ashley. April 23rd 1931”.

One of our many supporters, Mr Bob Johnson, a local carpenter and cabinet maker, has kindly made a wall-mounted glass case in which the silver trowel is displayed in the church porch.

At our morning’s service on 20th November 2022, our chief steward Mrs Bunty Hodgkins formally received the gift and thanked Mr Johnson’s wife, Mrs Hilary Johnson, most warmly.

Ron Lucas November 2022