Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Mural in the Hyde Park Chapel and Packing Up


Dear Family and Friends.

There is a beautiful mural in the Hyde Park Chapel that we pass every day as we come to work at the London Family History Centre.  The mural was painted by Robert Oliver Skemps for display in the Mormon Pavilion at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City.




In 1962, Elder Harold B. Lee of the Council of the Twelve was appointed Executive Director of the Mormon Pavilion and he gave the charge that a film depicting  “the three great questions of life: where we came from, our purpose and reason for being here upon the earth, and what happens to us after IMG_1893death” be produced. Many of us remember the film that was made for the fair, Man’s Search For Happiness. The mural depicts the phases of life illustrated in the film.

Visitors who came through the pavilion at the World’s IMG_1894Fair commented. One wrote, “For about a half hour after we left the theatre, we hardly spoke to each other. …“My wife broke the silence by asking: ‘Can you believe it?’ “I knew what she meant by ‘it.’ ‘It’ referred to your Gospel and the message we got from the movie. My response—‘Yes, I can believe it and it IMG_1895is a wonderful thing to believe …’

After the Fair, the mural was mounted on a wall in the Hyde Park Chapel. It has been there ever since.

According to art conservationist, Scott M. IMG_1897Haskins,  “The Hyde Park Chapel is now slated to undergo massive renovation in anticipation of the 2012 Olympics in London. This renovation will involve demolition as they install Visitor Center style displays and the mural was slated to be destroyed. One of the problems of reusing the mural is its size: IMG_1898approximately 10′ x 30′. For the last 6 months there has been a going back and forth of discussion about keeping the mural but in the end, the church headquarters decided to decline.”

“That’s when several well energized people in the IMG_1899LDS Historical Department jumped into gear with the suggestion of donating the removed mural to one of the church schools. This met with a cautious favorable nod if all the details like budgets can fall into place. But the mural, once it is be removed and conserved, will be slated for donation to Brigham Young IMG_1900University Idaho, if all is successful. It is not known yet what they will do with the mural.”



Scott Haskins has arrived in London to oversee the removal of the mural.



We are pleased that this work of art, so familiar to church members is being preserved.



Sisters Cheryl Fugal, Susan Empey and Joyce Sprouse

PS  Especially for our friends in Indiana- the art conservationist, Scott M. Haskins, is the brother of Lynn Krueger. Lynn and Larry have been called to serve in the Italy Rome Mission, working in the Center for Young Adults. They enter the MTC on 3 October 2011.

Packing Up

Saturday, 20 August 2011, was the final day for the London Family History Centre until the refurbishing of the Hyde Park building is completed. It is projected to take 6-7 months- or maybe even more. This past Monday we started to pack up the Centre and box our 60,000+ microfilms.


One of the missionary couples noticed an elderly man standing in front of our closed sign outside the building on Monday morning. He just stood staring at the sign in disbelief. We had sent emails about our closing and posted it on our website but he apparently didn’t check. He said, “I have come such a long way.” We felt so badly for him. Our patrons really appreciate what we have here at the London Family History Centre. Hopefully, many will be able to make the longer trip out to The National Archives where we will open 13 September 2011 during the refurbishment of the Hyde Park Chapel.

Packing the films and the Centre has been hard work. Many have been involved.

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We ended up packing 1900 boxes of microfilms. I ended up taking home the geraniums that were in flower boxes outside the building. Our Scottish friend and Centre volunteer, Iona, helped us transport the geraniums to our flat in her van.

It has been a huge undertaking packing up the London Family History Centre but we feel so blessed to be able to reopen at The National Archives. Next week the move takes place and then we put all 60,000+ films back in the film cabinets.

This ends a wonderful phase of our mission. We are one month shy of being half done and have so enjoyed working in such a historic building as the Hyde Park Chapel. We will miss being near the mission office, which is relocating to a rented space, and associating on a daily basis with the Empeys, Sprouses and Wells/Edwards. Hopefully we will be back together next spring. We wonder what it will be like working at The National Archives.



Ken and I celebrate our 45th wedding anniversary 31 August. We decided our gift to each other would be our 18 month visit to London!  I’m so glad that we haven’t changed a bit.

Cheryl Leigh Fulkrod and Kenneth Bryan Fugal

Our love to all!
Love, Elder and Fugal (aka Cheryl and Ken, Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa)

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Hyde Park Chapel, Family History and Buckingham Palace with Friends

Dear Family and Friends,  IMG_1831
The senior missionaries meet every other Monday evening for Family Home Evening. Because we are getting near to the closing of the Hyde Park building for refurbishing, Elder and Sister Empey, who serve in the mission office, presented a history of the building. I mentioned in a previous blog that our Hyde Park building was build where a V2 bomb was dropped during World War II.

The Empeys presented information from an article written by Clifton G. M. Kerr, who was President of the British Mission from 1955 to 1958. President Kerr wrote that when he was set apart, President David O. McKay said, “There is a great need in the center of the great city of London for a chapel, a church edifice that will be a credit to the Church, that will accommodate those who are now seeking the truth and about to join the Church, a place of worship that will indeed become an international gathering place for the Lord’s people.” President McKay gave Clifton Kerr the charge to find a site for this chapel and said that he would be guided in doing so. There were many building sites around London as a result of the Nazi bombing. About a year after his arrival in England, President Kerr found the site. He said, “As we stood on the site and looked around, we could see that the University of London, four great museums, and Royal Albert Hall were within a two block radius. Also about one half mile away was Buckingham Palace, the home of the Royal Family.”
The church acquired the property and had an architect, Sir Thomas Bennett draw up plans for the building. Because the plans included a Recreation Hall and Bishop’s Office, the London County Council did not give approval, as the area was not zoned for recreation or business. When Sir Bennett questioned church leaders about the kinds of activities that would take  place in the church, he said, “Those sound like cultural activities, don’t they?” According to President Kerr, Sir Bennett drew a line through Recreation Hall on the paper work and wrote Cultural Hall and through Bishop’s Office and wrote Bishop’s Study. The plans were approved and today everywhere in the church we use the term Cultural Hall.

The Hyde Park Building was completed and dedicated by President David O. McKay on 26 February 1961. It has, “indeed become an international gathering place for the Lord’s people”. Sunday we attended an open house for a young man from the Hyde Park Ward who has been called to serve a mission in the Irish Scottish Mission of the Church. He is of Jamaican ancestry and his mother is on the staff of our Family History Centre. 

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Elder Robertson, Elder Fugal, new missionary Omar and his mother, Sharon.

Family History
The other day I was helping a gentleman do a scan of some parish records from Wybunbury in the county of Cheshire. The parish register was very old and the language then was qimageuite different from what it is now. Someone had written the alphabet used in the register on the cover page. The first page of the register had some  ‘doodling’ that would have been done by the clerk. I did some research on the church and found a picture showing all that remains is the tower of the church of St Chad. These parish records began in 1588 and our Family History Centre has them on microfilm.
The column on the left shows the capital letters. Notice how the capital F is written ff. The middle column shows lower case letters and the column on the right shows how they wrote numerals.
Even though this is the register of a Anglican church, the doodling, according to the patron I was assisting, is Celtic and pagan.

We have all of the membership records of early LDS in England on microfilm. Ken and I decided that we would try to find his 2nd great-grandfather’s member ship record. First we looked in the Minnie Margetts File, which is an index of membership records of early English branch records for the years of 1839-1913. After we found Andrew Ferguson and the time and place of his baptism on the index, we went to our London Family History Centre website and searched the catalogue to find the microfilm number for Rutherglen, Scotland Branch records. This is what we found:
Andrew Ferguson was the first person listed on this page and under him was his wife Catherine. Andrew was baptized  22 September 1844 by Peter Moffet and confirmed 1 October 1844 by Matthew Carruthers. Catherine was baptized 16 September 1844 and confirmed 1 October 1844 by the same individuals as her husband. A sad note follows the entry for Catherine. She died 4 January 1849. She was 30 years old and left several small children. Ken’s line comes through Elizabeth, Andrew’s second wife.
As I have said before, these records tell us the stories of the people who went before us and as we search them, the stories unfold.
Buckingham Palace
Elder Devon and Sister Judy Tufts came to stay with us last weekend. They are serving a CES mission in Birmingham, England, and work with college age young adults. Devon and I worked together at Timberline Middle School in Alpine and retired at the same time. It was so fun to have them visit, share mission experiences and reminisce about the good times and some of the interesting students we had at Timberline. We spent Saturday showing them some of the wonderful places in London. We went to Buckingham Palace in the morning,visited the Churchill War Rooms in the afternoon and played banana scrabble in the evening. The Tufts came with us to the North London Ward on Sunday. We had such a wonderful time with them!

Buckingham Palace was amazing. On the outside I have always considered it rather plain but the inside is very beautiful. There is a wonderful collection of art  by Rembrandt, Rubens, Poussin and Canaletto.

White Drawing Room

Blue Drawing Room
Majestic appeal ... one of the 19 State Rooms in Buckingham Palace.
Throne Room
The State Rooms, used for official entertaining, are the only parts of the palace that are open to the public and this only happens in August and September of each year when the Queen is in Scotland at Balmoral Estate. During this summer opening the wedding dress of the Duchess of Cambridge(Kate Middleton) is displayed.
Kate's Wedding Dress Goes on Display! | Kate Middleton

The Fugals and Tufts in the garden at Buckingham Palace.
What fun to see London in the company of old friends!
Happy school days to all of our sweet grandchildren who start school this week. Bryan and Nick are now 7th graders, Kayleigh and Joseph are in the 8th grade and Josh in 9th. I taught 7th grade to some of their parents, my own children. In elementary are Avery, Matthew, Emily, Elizabeth, Spencer, April, Ryan, Abby and Drew. Carter in in preschool.
Happy 7th Birthday to sweet Avery!

Our love to all!
Love, Elder and Fugal (aka Cheryl and Ken, Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Family History, Cambridge and Carrying On


Dear Family and Friends,

It’s always interesting to talk to the patrons about their research. A couple of days ago I was doing a scan from the microfilm of a parish register. I asked the patron if it was someone in heimager family and she explain that she was doing a family history for a friend and the record was the marriage of her friend’s great-grandmother. She was planning to give the family history to her friend on her birthday. What a wonderful gift!

I love to see the excitement and watch the faces of patrons when they find a precious record. One lady who had found her great-grandfather on a census was so excited. She asked if people were always as excited as she was. I told her that the day before we heard this loud pounding and it turned out to be one of our patrons who had found a Jamaican record he had been searching for quite some time. He was so excited he started pounding on the table.

Yartz mariage certificate 2

I experienced that same kind of excitement when our daughter Molly sent me a scan of the marriage certificate of my great- grandparents, Frank Henry Yartz  and Eva Ruppert. In one of our previous blogs I explained how Barbara Robertson showed me an index to German marriages in Brooklyn, New York. There was a film number for Frank and Eva’s marriage on the index so Molly ordered it into the Riverton FamilySearch Library. From the film we were able to see the names of 4 of my second great-grandparents.    



Yartz marriage certificate

I think that every time we learn something about our family we learn more about ourself. It enriches our lives to know the names and stories of those who came before us. So now I know the names of my German second great-grandparents, Franz, Louise, Johan and Anna.


Cambridge University

Last Monday on our P-day we took the train to Cambridge with Elder and Sister Sprouse. They are from San Antonio, Texas and recently arrived to work as missionaries in the employment centre. On the train to Cambridge, we were talking about what we wanted to see and a gentleman across the aisle asked if we minded if he joined our conversation. He was a Cambridge professor and very helpful in answering our questions. Cambridge University is made up of 31 colleges, some of which were founded as long ago as the 1300’s. Students usually apply to the individual colleges. Most of the  colleges have a full course of study but there are differences in accommodations, architecture, location and sports. We visited Trinity College, King’s College and Christ College.


Punting the Cam

The River Cam runs through Cambridge. The word Cambridge literally means the bridge over the Cam. A punt is a flat bottomed boat that is propelled through shallow water by pushing against the river bottom with a pole. So punting refers to boating in a punt.Punting

King’s College and the Bridge of Sighs

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King’s College Chapel was amazing. Above the altar hangs Adoration of the Magi by Peter Paul Rubens. I asked one of the college porters if most of the students attended chapel, as each of the colleges has one. He said many of them do and that male students make up the choirs.


Ken ‘minding the steps in King’s College Chapel:


One highlight was visiting the Wren Library in Trinity College. It holds manuscripts and rare books. We were able to see an 8th century copy of the Epistles of St Paul, Isaac Newton’s first edition copy of Principia Mathematics, and A.A. Milne’s original manuscript of Winnie-the-Pooh. Christopher Robin Milne and his father A.A. Milne attended Trinity College as did Isaac Newton, Niels Bohr, Lord Byron, and Alfred Tennyson. We walked down the cloister of Nevile Court where Newton experimented and measured the speed of sound.

Trinity College and Wren Library:

Courtyard by Wren Library, Trinity College, where Newton measured the speed of sound


Christ’s College:


My favorite was Christ’s College with its beautiful courtyards and pathways. Christ's College was established in 1437 to clip_image001train grammar school masters. After the Reformation, it became one of the leading Puritan colleges. In 1625, John Milton, who was a Puritan leader during of the English Civil War and one of the great English poets, attended. The picture of Elder and Sister Sprouse is taken in the Fellow’s Garden. In the garden is a brass plate with the inscription,


The garden was once planted with 300 mulberry trees on order of King James I to establish the silk industry in England. It failed because the wrong kind of mulberry tree was planted and the silk worms didn’t flourish. One mulberry called Milton’s Mulberry because it was planted the year Milton was born, still survives and bears fruit.




Charles Darwin lived in the First   Court, which is where our picture was taken and that of the beautiful window boxes. Darwin developed his interest in botany and geology at Cambridge.







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clip_image006 Christ’s College Heraldic Shield


Souvent me Souvient
Old French, "Often I am reminded")


There is so much history in every place we visit.


We just wanted to say a word about the riots that London and other parts of England have been experiencing. We have not been affected other than our concern for those people who have been misplaced from their homes or who have had their property damaged. We are located in an area of London that has not had any problems and our work at the Family History Centre carries on.

We are about to start our last week of work in the Hyde Park building before we close for refurbishment. We hope to soon open at The National Archives at Kew.


Our love to all!
Love, Elder and Sister Fugal (aka Cheryl and Ken, Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa)