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Would you have any information about the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Crooke, District of Auckland in County Durham dating back to 1911. I have distant relatives that were married there 16th October 1911. George Peace 23 to Jane Anne Atkinson 22. Any information would be appreciated. So long ago so grasping at straws.
The chapel was closed and sold off by auction, ended 23rd September 2023. Methodists from here are using the St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church, on Church Hill, under the Methodist and Anglican Ecumenical Partnership
This week in Loughborough, I attended the memorial service for Rev. Donald Morley Weekes, grandson of William Morley Powell Weekes. Donald was the fourth generation of Methodist minister in the Wilkes family; like his father and grandfather, he served for a time in Sri Lanka.
The chapel at the front was designed in the Gothic style by Ewan Harper (1853-1920) and J. Alfred Harper (1866-1952), and the foundation stones were laid on 2nd August 1901. The Harper brothers designed quite a few chapels for the Methodists.
Reference The building News 2nd August, 1901 p 137
This magnificent building was actually dersigned in 1901 by Ewan and J. Alfred Harper. It is so big that its space was measured in The Building News of 19 July 1901 in square yards: 2,766 to be precise. The ground floor consisted of fifteen shops, with the Wesleyan Central Hall (140 feet by 90, with a height of 48 feet, and seating for 2,300) and ancillary premises on the upper floors. The Harper brothers were prolific chapel designers, based in Corporation Street, Birmingham. The foundation stones for the Central Hall were laid on Tuesday 16th July, 1901. On the previous day, the stones were laid for Kings Norton Wesleyan Methodist church, and on the 2nd August, 1901, work officially began on Station Road, Erdington. Each of these three Wesleyan Methodist buildings was in a completely different style. Reference: The Building News 19 July 1901 (pp66-67) and 2 August, 1901 (p137)
Hannah’s sister Susanna is my 7th great grandmother. Susanna’s granddaughter Sarah (Philps) Stevens along with her husband John Stevens and their children sailed to America in 1850, settling in New Jersey. Descendants today all over the US, probably over 1,000.
At last! Each time I have driven through Shillingstone for the last 12 months or so, I have driven off the main road and gone through Hine Town Lane – and it has paid off. This week I found someone at numbers 17/18 and they were most helpful. The cottages are the converted (and extended?) chapel from 1853/4 and they encouraged me to take a photograph which I am submitting separately.
[editor’s note: photo duly added.]
Have you seen this list of where he was stationed in this index? https://www.mywesleyanmethodists.org.uk/content/research-resources/lists-of-wesleyan-methodist-ministers/an-alphabetical-and-chronological-arrangement-of-all-the-wesleyan-methodist-ministers-and-preachers-on-trial-1912 they certainly moved around a lot in those days, (and that’s only up to 1912!)
My wife, Caroline LeBeau is also descended from Martha Sussana Cownley and she has a small reproduction of Martha’s painting.
The Church was adjacent to a canal, with the church hall underneath the church at canal level.
The building described here burnt down in 1954, and was replaced on the site by a modern building which is still in use (see https://www.meltonmethodist.org.uk/longclawson.htm )
A photograph has come to light showing the interior of this chapel in the early Twentieth Century
A census of attendance taken on Sunday October 6th, 1907 recorded that the morning service was attended by fourteen adults and seventeen children, In the evening, thirty-three adults and eight children were in attendance.
Gill. Josiah The history of Wesleyan Methodism in Melton Mowbray and the vicinity (1909) facing p177
Arnold Unwin and Raymond Hugh were twins, Arnold was my grandfather. There is a photograph of the two and they are nearly identical. Arnold had one son and one daughter, Raymond had no children.
William entered the Wesleyan Methodist Ministry in 1903 and served in various Circuits (as you have probably seen on the censuses) Since he did not continue to serve in the Wesleyan Church in Britain, he is not listed in many of our usual resources. There is an entry in the 1912 Who’s Who https://www.mywesleyanmethodists.org.uk/content/research-resources/general-resources/methodist-whos-who-1912 and also a useful entry in the 1922 ‘Hill’s’ https://www.mywesleyanmethodists.org.uk/content/research-resources/lists-of-wesleyan-methodist-ministers/alphabetical-and-chronological-arrangement-of-the-wesleyan-methodist-ministers-and-preachers-1922 and also in the Circuits and their ministers https://d2chuymlzmhur0.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/CIRCUITS-AND-MINISTERS-1913-1923-Aberdare-Sandbach.pdf which all confirm he was in the Redruth Circuit from 1920 and went to Australia in 1922.
Would it be possible to find out if the minister at Redruth was William Henry Cheetham about 1921. He would be my great uncle married to Elizabeth. They appear to have emigrated to Australia about 1922.
In 18…a schoolroom was built and the chapel was renovated with the addition of a vestry, a pipe organ, a rostrum in place of the pulpit, and “Comfortable modern pews in place of benches”. These works cost £300. A photograph taken around 1900 shows a rectangular building. There is a pediment on one end containing a plaque probably giving the name and date of the building. Each side is divided into panels, three on the long side two on the short, framed by projecting brickwork. Most of the panels contain a round headed window whose surround and hood moulding are in a paler material. The exception is the central panel on the long side which, unusually, contains the entrance within a flat roofed porch. John Gill, The history of Wesleyan Methodism Melton Mowbray and the vicinity, Melton Mowbray, 1909 p. 100, image opposite p. 113
The foundation stone was laid on 11.9.1884 and the chapel was opened on 5.12.1884. The building had cost £942 A photograph of the building taken around 1900 shows the façade of a remarkably forward looking building. Gone are the classical and Romanesque elements to be found in most of the neighbouring chapels built at this time. In their place are hints of arts and crafts. The exposed beam and struts of the front purlins and the almost flat topped windows and entrance give the building a distinctive and forward looking appearance. Who designed this unusual building? Source John Gill, The history of Wesleyan Methodism Melton Mowbray and the vicinity, Melton Mowbray, 1909 p. 132-5 and illustration opposite p. 209
This school was in the village of Burton Lazars. According to Josiah Gill, in his ‘History of Wesleyan Methodism in Melton Mowbray and the vicinity’ (1909) , a small class existed from 1815, and by 1829 membership was 30, but they were unable to acquire land for a property. He notes (p131) that “the worship each Sunday has been for many years held in the Day Schoolroom”.
This preaching place was in the village of Burton Lazars. According to Josiah Gill, in his ‘History of Wesleyan Methodism in Melton Mowbray and the vicinity’ (1909) , a small class existed from 1815, but they were unable to acquire land for a property.
Was there a donation from the Ashcroft family to the building of the new church?
The following is copied from Fontmell Magna.net and written by Geoffrey Tapper. Bedchester was initially served by Hartgrove Chapel, but it was a long way to walk and hilly. The local grocer, James Hart, gave his garden on Bedchester crossroads to the local Methodist Society. The new chapel was built in 1878 for £130. This cause also failed in the mid 1970s, and as with Hartgrove, the remaining members went to Fontmell village chapel to worship. This chapel was too small to be a dwelling, and is now a shed. The family which provided most of the leadership in this society were several generations of the Greens from the farm at the top of St Andrews Lane, and latterly, Ivy Collins, their long serving housekeeper. When you gaze at the hamlet, it is astonishing that a Methodist chapel existed and prospered at all. But it did. The chapel housed 50 people at most, but it worked, it worked for many years.
George Kempson was my great grandfather. A favourite quote of my grandmother’s was “In my father’s house are many mansions”.
I have added a photograph of the chapel which answers some of the questions raised. Note that the site also included a chapel keeper’s house.
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