W E Herring and his wife arrived in Brighton in 1887 to live in Roslyn Street. They had both been active members of the Fitzroy Street, St Kilda church choir. In 1937 Mr Herring recalled church life in the 1880s and 1890s. Houses were scarce and to reach the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Were Street, Brighton Beach a creek which had no bridge had “to be crossed – in winter, with the help of a hurricane lamp – and it was no uncommon thing for the preacher, if he were a stranger, to arrive late and breathless, or not at all.”
In 1907 permission was given to form a tennis club at Were Street and Mr Herring was its first president. He was also the Were street Methodist Sunday School Superintendent, the Were street Methodist church organist and a member of the church’s Trust.
“The Sunday School had a fine set of teachers. The rows of well-drilled and disciplined young life that filled the platform on Sunday School anniversaries, and sang their songs under the baton of Mr Herring, constituted a promise that was amply fulfilled as the years rolled on.”*
*”Fifty years ago : a little history of Were Street Methodist Church” : Issued in commemoration of its Jubilee by Members of the Trust 1887 – 1937.
To celebrate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee Mr Herring composed an anthem. The Brighton Southern Cross, Saturday 26 June 1897, page 2 reported:
"The diamond jubilee has been instrumental in evoking some local musical talent. Mr W. E. Herring, organist of the Were-street Wesleyan Church, not being able to find any anthem specially suitable to the jubilee services, set his musical genius to work and composed an original piece. The words are selected from the 72nd Psalm. The music is a very tuneful and well harmonised theme, which does credit to the composer's skill and taste. The anthem was rendered twice on Jubilee Sunday at the Were street Church."
Stained wood turned music baton.
- Were Street Methodist Sunday School visit from Sir Thomas Bent This is report of a prize giving at Were Street Methodist Church where Mr W E Herring was Sunday School Superintendent.