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Saturday Night Club

The Harrison Home Circle, and the trance
mediumship of Minnie Harrison

Saturday Night Club

Tom writes:

"Saturday evenings were sacrosanct, an evening for socialising; for us, a chance to spend the evening with Sydney and Gladys Shipman in their very friendly home adjacent to their bakery and general dealer's shop in Burlam Road, Middlesbrough. Throughout the war, while I was away in the army, my mother and father with Doris would go for their weekly Saturday visit and whenever I was home on leave, I would also join them. If I happened to be in the UK with my Unit, I would make every effort to get to a telephone box to ring Syd and Gladys, who because of the shop had a telephone, and be able to talk to Doris and my parents keeping a very important link between the six of us.

Our Saturday evenings were always enjoyable, with musical duets by Sydney on his violin and Gladys, an accomplished pianist. Unknown to us however there was a far more important purpose to that weekly get-together.

One Saturday in March 1946, about three weeks after I had been demobbed, Sydney suggested we had a 'Home Circle' – with which we all heartily agreed, never realising what remarkable results we would be privileged to receive over the next few years! 

Minnie Harrison - Saturday Night ClubOur expectations were, at best, to make contact with our Spirit friends through the trance mediumship of my mother, something very special, which could not just be 'turned on' like a tap. Little did we know that Albert's statement at Helen Duncan's sitting almost nine years previously about the 'physical phenomena energy' would come true. My mother's mediumship amazed and astounded us all, not only by the rapidity of its development but in its unexpected quality and rarity. Some months later Aunt Agg told us that our rapid progress was due, in no small measure, to the 'energy bank', which had been built up in Sydney and Gladys' room during those five years of meeting there during the war.

So, quite unknowingly, the six of us had made a very strong bond, which proved so important.  Five of us had been brought up in Spiritualism and Gladys, a Methodist, was very interested. My mother, now just 51 and as I have already said a 'natural' medium, had developed into a good 'deep trance control' medium like one of her elder sisters, Agnes – known to us as Aunt Agg – who had passed over 4 years before. Aunt Agg was able to control my mother remarkably smoothly, and within a minute or two would be talking to us, although my mother was unaware of what was happening and afterwards remembered nothing of Aunt Agg's visit. She simply 'went to sleep' in the knowledge that she would be protected by the empathy between them. It was a unique, loving relationship, which continued throughout her life, and in the comfort of our own home, sitting around the fireplace, we were often the delighted recipients of such treasured moments.

Thus, on 6th April 1946 our unique 'Saturday Night Club' was born. It was dedicated to a weekly meeting between us and our friends in Spirit and that was the way it remained throughout our years of sitting – at the express desire of our Spirit helpers and guides.

On Saturday 20th April we had no sitting, because about 8.15 pm as we were preparing to sit, a knock on the door heralded the unexpected arrival of two of Gladys' cousins who were passing through Middlesbrough and decided to make a  surprise call. It certainly took us all by surprise and the word was quickly spread around not to visit Sydney and Gladys' on a Saturday evening as they had some regular visitors – little did they know who!  However there was a very interesting happening that evening. 

Sydney had an electric clock on the mantelpiece that he tended regularly – his special interest was horology and he repaired watches and clocks for friends.  This clock never stopped unless he was working on it, but much later during this particular evening someone noticed it had stopped at exactly 8.30 pm – the time we would have been starting. Co-incidence? We think not.

We were sure that our Spirit friends were indicating they were still there irrespective of the visitors. We had no more unexpected visitors from that Saturday onwards and as far as I know the clock has never stopped unexpectedly since.”

*The full story of the ‘Saturday Night Club’ is told in Tom’s book Life After Death: Living Proof.


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