Mrs Becher's Diary


Stanley Bridges

Small nervous and an artist, Stanley Bridges has been organist at Tylers Green Church since 1929, coming up from Wycombe Sunday by Sunday and bringing with him a following of young men who would do anything for him. First they came by bus, and many a time I have driven them back to Wycombe when the buses did not fit in with the times of services.

Bridges was efficient and, as a rule, got what he wanted. His notices were models of neatness and his Choir was completely under his control. His touch on the organ was delicate, whimsical and entirely delightful and he never forgot that he was accompanying his choir. An artist to his finger tips, it was difficult for him always to subdue the musical to the necessity for congregational singing, for music was to him worship. He would quite frankly omit to practise a hymn that he had been particularly asked for if he thought his Choir could not render it satisfactorily. He had a wonderful way with his men and they would turn up regularly on Sundays and come on many an extra night to practise a new anthem or the oratories which he so successfully produced as a special service in Holy Week.

And now as I read in today’s Bucks Free Press of his tragic death by suicide the memory of Stanley Bridges comes vividly before me. A slight figure with the slender and nervous hands of a musician and artist. His age of 52 must have come as a surprise to many of us who saw only the spare form and the keen eyes surmounted with the youthful brown hair so carefully arranged and yet the strange stilted walk, the lined but humorous face and the quick nervous movements suggested an older man than he appeared to be.

Certainly the Church owes a great deal to Stanley Bridges, for his own personal music (of which he gave so unstintingly) and his training of our Choir gave an uplift to the Services and brought pleasure to very many who came to worship.

And now the restless little figure has gone to his long home and many of us will go on wondering at the strange personal magnetism which drew to him men of such diverse personalities. To women he was aloof and it is said that he was a woman hater, but whether it was shyness or antipathy who shall say?