This page results from Jonathan Clewley sharing information about Caleb Appleby (1838-1912), a Master Locksmith, one of his Great-Grandfathers. Caleb married Susannah Squire (1838-1918) on April 8th 1861 at the Wesleyan Chapel, Willenhall. He and Susannah were involved in Wesleyan Methodism.
An article in the Wolverhampton Express and Star, 10th November 1881 tells of Caleb presiding at a Foreign Missions service at the Wesleyan chapel in Shortheath:
“WESLEYAN CHAPEL, SHORT HEATH.
On Sunday last the annual sermons on behalf of the Wesleyan Foreign Missions were preached in the above place of worship by Mr. W. Davenport, of Walsall. On Monday evening a public missionary meeting was held in the chapel, when Mr. Caleb Appleby presided, and addresses were delivered by the Rev. W. Jackson; Messrs. Foster, Griffiths, and Squire. Collections were made on behalf of the society after each service.”
Shortheath Wesleyan chapel, located in Wesley Road, Willenhall WV12 5QT is still active as Shortheath Methodist church in 2023. The Circuit website tells us that “Methodism entered Short Heath by way of Bentley Colliery. A Walsall man named Wilkes who was employed at the colliery came to live in the village and began a Methodist witness by opening his cottage for Methodist services. The earliest record we have dates from 1826 – a Sunday School treasurers book reports that the ‘Sabbath Sermons’ collections amounted to £8 1s 0d. A church had been built in Coltham Road with the help of Jimmy George, an agent for the Earl of Lichfield. In 1833 another chapel with a gallery was built in Coltham Road in order to accommodate a growing congregation. Then, in 1881, a third church was built, the present one on the corner of Coltham Road and Wesley Road. The 1833 church was used as a Sunday School until 1958”.
Brownhills and Willenhall Methodist Circuit website accessed 16th May 2023 at https://brownhillsandwillenhallmethodistcircuit.org.uk/churches/short-heath/