The reported death of Mr Evans clearly exposes his influential Huthwaite connections. A former commercial traveller before partnering here the Birkhead and Evans business. An elected Huthwaite Urban Councillor, and on the early local School Board, he and other notable members of this Evans family maintained strong association with the Wesleyan church. The following is from The Notts. Free Press 21st April 1933.
It is with regret we announce the death of Mr. Andrew Collin Evans at his residence, Market Street, Huthwaite, in the late hours of Tuesday of last week. He was within a few days of the age of 75, but had not been in the best of health during the whole of the winter. A fortnight before his passing he took to his bed, suffering from acute bronchitis.
For over half a century Mr. Evans has played a conspicuous part in the social, commercial and Christian life of the community. He was a partner in the firm of Messrs. Birkhead and Evans, and succeeded to full control after the death of Mr. T.C. Birkhead. Prior to this long association, he was a commercial traveller, and was well known in a wide area as a valued member of the business community.
While Mr. Evans, as the year of his birth shows - he was born in the year 1858 - was a link with the past, it was impossible to think of him in that sense. His essential modern outlook on life and its varied interests made him seem to all with whom he came into daily contact a man of wide culture and broad outlook, and the discipline of those far off years showed itself in everything that he undertook.
It was inevitable that his tact and susceptibility would eventually qualify him for administrative duties both in the service of Methodism, in which he was cradled, and of public affairs. These services he ably discharged. In politics he was a Liberal, and had been a dominating force in local politics, and continued to be until recent years.
For many years, he was an elected member of the Huthwaite Urban District Council, the first chairman of the newly formed School Board, and for twelve years a member of the Mansfield Board of Guardians, from which he voluntarily retired in the year 1922. Mr. Evans was associated with the development of allotments, a generous subscriber since the inauguration of the local Nursing Association in 1907, and to the Old Folks' annual treat, and he was a zealous upholder of all of its various efforts.
Nor was this his greatest contribution, Mr. Evans had other gifts, and as the years passed, he concerned himself less with politics, and gave ungrudgingly his time and services to the Methodist Church, remaining faithful throughout his life to those cherished duties. He was foremost a Christian man, and he first worshipped in the Market place when a boy. As a Sunday school teacher, he sustained that position with growing influence and acceptance for over thirty-five years in the present church, Sutton Road.
It would be difficult to over-estimate the value of his services to the church of his birth of which he was a trustee. He was a local preacher, and with the inspiration and loyalty of his brother, Mr. De Lacy Evans, occupied the pulpits of the small places, as well as those greater congregations in the wide circuits of Mansfield and of Southwell. They were untiring in their sympathies, and tender were their ministrations in the homes of the sick and the aged.
In the pulpit utterances of Mr. Collin Evans there was an effortless naturalness and the revealing of an extraordinary power of sincerity. One of the most certain laws under which the life of man is lived is that he cannot effect sincerity. With Mr. Evans that quality alone was able to give satisfaction, and his expositions were marked by distinction of sincerity and an aversion to platitude of gesture.
In the year 1928, Mr. Evans completed a half century in this distinctive service and the honour was conferred upon him by his fellow local preachers. A few months previously the brother of Mr. Evans, Mr. De Lacy had passed away, and in the circuit gathering at Mansfield Ald. J.S. Allcock, J.P. regretted that Mr. D.C. Evans was denied the joy of sharing with his brother the honour they were about to confer. The presentations were a framed certificate from "the Connexional Local Preachers' Committee on his completion of fifty years as a local preacher, with very cordial congratulations on so splendid a record of service for Methodism and for the Kingdom of God."
The presentation from the Mansfield Wesleyan Circuit Local Preachers was a wallet of notes, with which two easy chairs were provided for Mr. and Mrs. Evans. The presentations were made by Ald. J.S. Allcock, J.P., Mansfield and Mr. A.E. Hesketh, J.P., Tibshelf. In reply, speaking with deep emotion, Mr. Evans said "he believed the Methodist people to be most kind and generous. Such a tribute he did not expect. He was quite content with a 'thanks old man, help you come again' that encouraged the preacher. If they never thanked him, they went home wondering 'who hath believed our report?'"
Mr. Evans was keen on his observations, generous in his gestures, and was appreciated as devotedly by the younger generations as by his own contemporaries. The good he did by stealth will never be known, and his mediating personality, simpleness in tastes, sincerity in his desires, were features of his life. He was helped along most profoundly in all his interests by he wife he has left, and his four sons and three daughters.
The funeral took place on Friday amid many signs of high regard. The Methodist Church, Sutton Road, was filled for the funeral service, which was conducted by the Rev. H.R. Hackforth, of East Kirkby, and two esteemed friends of the family and of the Mansfield Circuit, Mr. J.W. Reynolds, J.P. and Mr. A.E. Hesketh, Tibshelf. The latter characterised the Christian service and personality of Mr. Evans in a short address of appreciation and consolation. The respective gentlemen also took part, and offered prayer at the graveside. Appropriate hymns of the deceased, "Jesus calls us o'er the tumult" and "Glorious things of Thee are spoken" were sung, Mr. William Ball was at the organ, and as the cortege left the church, he rendered "O rest in the Lord" from "Elijah" (Mendelssohn).
The gathering was representative, and amongst those present were:- Mr. Thos. Banks, J.P., East Kirkby, Mr. S.W. Pickering, J.P., Mansfield, Mr. W. Wells and Mr. W.A. Haycox, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, friends of the family and representing the Local Preachers' Fraternal.
The family mourners were:- Mrs. A.C. Evans, wife; Mr. and Mrs. J.G. Evans, son and daughter-in-law; Miss V. Evans and Mr. A.C. Evans, son and daughter; Mr. and Mrs. A.C. Evans, son and daughter-in-law; Mr. and Mrs. J.A. Tomlinson, son-in-law and daughter; Mr. F. Evans, son; Mr. and Mrs. A.A. Barnes, son-in-law and daughter; Mrs. D.C. Evans and Mrs. B. Barrows, sisters-in-law and niece; Mrs. T.A. Evans, sister-in-law; Mrs. G. Weston, niece; Rev. D.L. and Mrs. Evans, nephew and niece; Mr. and Mrs. T. Bailey, brother and sister-in-law; Mr. and Mrs. J. Hughes, brother and sister-in-law; Mrs. W. Birks, sister-in-law; Miss A. Bailey, niece; Mr. Mann and Mrs. Tomlinson, friends.
Six nephews of the family bore the deceased to his resting place. They were Mr. Collin Evans, Mr. Henry Evans, Mr. Richard Evans (Huthwaite), Mr. T. Collinson Hancock, Stanton Hill, Mr. Councillor C.A. Morley and Mr. J. Bailey, Sutton.
Floral tributes were sent by the following: In memory of a loving husband; in affectionate remembrance of dear dad, with fondest love, from Verlie and Harry; fondest love, from Andrew and Lizzie (Maltby); in loving memory, Jack, Cis and Boys, Stanton Hill; with love, from Doris, Arthur and Children, Sutton; with fondest love and in affectionate memory of dear dad, Elsie and Arthur; loving and affectionate memory, from Frank, Beatie and family, Skegness; Tom, Mima and family, Skegby; Pollie and Boys, Derby; Lizzie and John, Stanton Hill; Aunt Lizzie and family; Brother and sister, Jane and George Henshaw, Rufford; Elley's family; Sister, Brother and family, Forest Town; Alice Lacey, Olive and Connie, Manchester; Mrs. T.A. Evans and family; Chas., Mary and family, Sutton.
Mrs. E.S. Tomlinson; Elsie, Doris and Frank, West Bridgeford; May, Jack and family (niece and nephew); Olive and Albert; all at Middlebrook, Jacksdale; Mr. and Mrs. Rowe; Jim, Winnie and Tom, Skegby; Cousin T.A. Hill; Collin, Winnie and Mrs. Higginson, Stanton Hill; Mr. and Mrs. J. Farnsworth; Mr. and Mrs. A. Wilson; Mr. Highfield and Bob; Mr. and Mrs. M. Barnes; Mr. and Mrs. D. Weston; Mr. and Mrs. G.H. Allsop and family; Mrs. Palfreeman and family; Mrs. Brunt; Mr. and Mrs. A. Gunby and family; Mr and Mrs. Havenhand; Selina; Meta Brown; Mr. and Mrs. Newman; Trustees and members of Wesleyan Church; and Married Ladies, Wesleyan Church.
Written 11 May 12 Revised 11 May 12 © by Gary Elliott