Lydbrook, Stone Laying new Primitive Methodist Church 1912.
The late Rev. George Lawrence writes of three strands of Methodism, the Primitive Methodists being one, the Wesleyan Methodists and Bible Christians being the others. By 1947 these had merged and are now known under the title of "The Methodist Church". The photo shows the new Primitive Methodist Chapel. A previous chapel was built on the adjacent plot in 1828. This was in fact the first Primitive Methodist Chapel in the Forest of Dean. In 1852 it was enlarged. The photo shows the new chapel being built alongside the original to the left. It is interesting to see the dignitaries some with silk top hats. The lady sitting behind the bench probably borrowed from the old chapel. The man in the background seems to be attired in his working clothes. The building went into bankruptcy soon after it was built. It was not finished until 1913. As the ground was marshy, the chapel had to be built on a "concrete float" - a technical term for a base of three to four feet of solid concrete. Mr John J Jones manager of Cannop Colliery drew up the plans. He was well ahead of his time as he had had a toilet included in the upper storey and another outside of the ground floor. At this time most of the congregation would still only have a privy at the bottom of the garden. In 1913 the building had acetylene gas lighting, electricity was installed later. The upper floor of the chapel was sloped four feet inclined from the rear to the pulpit end at the front. This helped the congregation to see over the heads of ladies with hats. The chapel closed in 1980 and still stands as an impressive building. At the date of the photo the chapel stood at the height of the lower schoolroom. In the background a group of people stand on the "Old Blue Mound". This was a waste tip, which was not levelled until the 1930's. The significance of the flags is not known. The ground for the church building had been given by Mr River Jordan, an apt name for an association with the chapel. Mr Jordan had been owner of the Jovial Colliers nearby. At the rear of the chapel is a level adit on the adjoining premises. The building to the right may have been an office for Mr E.J. Flewelling and later Mr Everall's ironmongery shop. It is now the changing room for Lydbrook Athletic club. The girl with the bike is more interested in the photographer than the stone laying. Most families at this time would have been too poor to buy bikes for their children. Many years later I bought a similar bike for half a crown (12 ½ p).
- Ken W Sollars
Thanks to Peter Young who added (Aug 2006): "The Photographer who took the photo was my great grandad George William Young. G.W.Young had his studio on Howle Hill".
Report from the Gloucester Journal of Saturday 10th August 1912.
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