The Littleport Button Tree
The Littleport Button Tree project
Field Theatre Group
Click on 'About the Project' to view all stories and site contents
Question: Who am I?
What am I?
Answer: I am a black button and this is my story. I do not know where or when I was made. My first memory is of being in a big box with a lot of other buttons just like me.
One day someone came and took some of us out of the box and we were sewn onto a dark blue ladies’ coat. Eventually the coat we were sewn onto found its way into a large shop. It was not long before a nice lady bought me and I was taken into her home and put in a large cupboard.
A few days later she took out the coat and put it on. It was then that I realised that the lady was wearing a uniform. Later that day the coat I was on was hanging on a peg, and I could see that we were in a Salvation Army church (or Hall) as people refer to it. There was singing, and a band playing, and I soon found out that this was a ‘service.’
Later in the day the lady put me on again and I saw that she was with other people from the Salvation Army. They were having a service outside. When it was finished, the band and those with them, marched back to the hall. I was so proud to be on the coat of one of those ladies in the march.
This was the pattern of my life for many years. Occasionally, one or two of the other buttons came loose or fell off and had to be sewn back onto the coat. My stitching held me fast which made me feel special. Eventually the lady found she was unable to go out as often as she would like, and she gave the coat to a friend. I was pleased, because her friend also went to the Salvation Army. But the times I was worn were a lot more than I was used to.
The young lady would go out on Saturday nights taking tea and soup to the homeless on the streets of London. I saw many a sorry sight, people who were drug addicts or alcoholics, or young people who had come to London to make their fortune, but only found unhappiness.
Many times, as the young lady served the soup or the tea the sleeves would get soup or tea on them. One night, a man who was drunk fell against the lady and pushed her onto the soup urn. It was very hot pressed against the urn so I was pleased when the lady was able to move away from it. Every Monday morning, I was taken to the cleaners, and because the coat was by this time quite old I would worry in case I came loose or fell off the coat.
After a few years the lady moved to East Anglia, and as the coat was by this time very shabby, the lady wore it when she did gardening. And she still uses it!
I feel very privileged to have been sewn onto that dark blue coat. I have of course now been taken off the coat and sewn onto the Button Tree for everyone to see.
Because the coat was used by a Salvation Army lady, I feel I can say that ‘I am a Salvation Army button.’
Why do I say this?
Well, I was sewn tightly onto the dark blue coat that both ladies wore at different times when they marched behind the Salvation Army flag. I was privileged to see the type of work that the Salvation Army does, in this country and in many others.
Maureen (Mo) Caddy
A Special ‘Army’ Button