Church’s Furnace from Hell

The Warming Apparatus at Skegness Church
The furnaces for heating the church have not been entirely successful in operation.
The fire was put in them one Saturday morning, and on Sunday the smoke was so dense that nobody in the Church could see the clergyman.
The workmen had unfortunately left an opening in the wrong place in the flue.
Next Saturday night the fires were lighten but on Sunday morning only the air immediately under the roof was warm and the congregation were nearly frozen to death, the hymn ”From Greenlands Icy Mountains” which was sung being singularly appropriate.
The sexton was then instructed to make the fire on Thursday in order to give the church a chance to become thoroughly heated. He did so, and early on Sunday morning the furnaces were so choked up with ashes that the fires went out and again the thermometer in the front pew marked zero.
Then the sexton received orders to make the fire on Friday and to watch it carefully until church time on the following sabbath. He did so, and both furnaces were in full blast at the appointed time.
That was the only warm Sunday we had last winter. The mercury was up to eighty degrees out of doors while everybody in church was in a profuse perspiration and the organist fainted twice.
The next Sundaythe sexton tried to keep fires low by pushing in the damper and consequently the church was filled with coal-gas and the choir couldn’t sing, nor could the minister preach without coughing between his sentances.
Subsequently the sexton removed one of the cast iron registers in the floor near the door for the purpose of examining the furnace. He left the hole open while he went into the vestry for a moment and just then Old Timbertoes came in to hunt for his gloves which he thought he had left in his pew, and of course walked directly into the opening, broke his new
wooden leg, and was dragged out in a condition of asphixia.
That very day the furnace burst and nearly fired the church and the demand for a warming apparatus of another kind seemed to be imperative.The architect was called in and having made sundry suggestions, we are calmly waiting to see if things will be better in future.
Source: Boston Guardian 26 March 1881

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