Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Seth Sykes (1892 - 1950) - unique artefacts discovered!

Some of you will know of Seth Sykes, a Glasgow tram conductor and evangelist. He and his wife Bessie travelled the British Isles and spent much time in Ulster during the 1930s and 1940s at places like the Shankill Road Mission and the various Christian Workers Union halls, especially the one in Lisburn which is still going today. I have met many folk here who met the Sykes and remember them fondly. The rare booklet "Seth Sykes - a Great Little Man" tells his life story and gives a number of accounts of Seth and Bessie's time on this side of the water.

One of their methods was to go to public places, like Market Square in Lisburn, where they used 'magic lantern' shows (glass slides beamed from an enormous projector) to project large images onto the exterior walls of public buildings or onto temporary screens - all to attract a crowd and to then present the Gospel message to them through pictures, stories and songs. And we think Powerpoint is innovative? Try getting an outdoor electrical supply in post-war Ulster!

Amazingly, a man contacted me a few weeks ago (thanks to finding previous blogs posts here which mentioned the Sykes') to say that he had just unwittingly obtained what turned out to be the Sykes' projector and glass slides collection at an auction in Yorkshire. I have now acquired them from the man and they should arrive with me later this week. More info to follow...