Palterton Primitive Methodist chapel was built in 1891 and opened later that year. The wooden building had an outer skin of corrugated tin and was built on its' own plot of land. Inside the chapel, there were 4 rows of bench type seating down one side, six down the other, seating a congregation of about 80. Towards the front of the chapel was a raised area and in the centre of which stood the pulpit. There was a large garden in front of the chapel.
The total debt for the chapel was £71 and it was insured for £87..10 shillings. In December 1892 it was valued at £150.
Throughout its time, the Chapel had its own crockery, that was frequently used by the congregation, after the services had ended.
|This crockery and other utensils were used on occasions such as funeral services, harvest festivals and other similar events.
A small charge was levied for their use.
|1947.||24 May. Organ repairs cost £2..0s..6d. |
|1948.||6 November. Painting
and decorating chapel cost £37..17s..7.1/2d. |
for villagers to hire the chapel crockery.|
|1954.|| Gas fittings removed, electricity
installed cost £12.10s. |
|1954.||New baptism book cost 4s..9d. |
|1956.||12 January. Final
payment of 10 shillings made to the S.M. Widows
and Orphans Fund. |
|1957.|| December. Sunday
School platform sold for £10. |
|1969.||4 January. New door mat purchased, cost 12 shillings.|
|It was a proud moment when, on "Prize Giving Day" your name was called out and you were presented with your book prize, in which your name and record of attendance had been stylishly written on an ornate label in the flyleaf.|
The annual Harvest Festival Sunday services were always well attended when villagers would give home grown produce such as fruit, flowers and vegetables as a 'thanksgiving'. Next evening, the produce was auctioned at the end of the thanksgiving.
The highlight of the Sunday school year was the anniversary time. This was annually held on Whitsuntide Sunday and repeated the following Sunday.
On Whit Sunday morning, Sunday school scholars assembled outside the chapel on Back Lane and formed a procession behind a horse and cart, upon which the chapel organ had been securely fastened. The procession then set off for nearby Hillstown, formerly known as New Palterton, about one and a half kilometers away.
Upon arrival they toured the streets, stopping every 100 metres or so to sing a hymn to the accompaniment of Mrs. Elsie Townsend on the chapel organ. She was perched precariously on a chair on the cart!
Whilst the procession was making its way along the streets, there were other chapel members with collecting boxes going from door-to-door, the proceeds going to the chapel funds.
These walkabouts around Hillstown were very exhausting, especially for the younger children and on the way back to Palterton, the very young and tired ones were given a ride on the cart. The following Sunday morning the procession walked around Palterton village in a similar manner.
Timing was of the utmost importance at these processions because everybody had to be back home for dinner and to change their clothes for the Anniversary Service that commenced promptly at 2 p.m.
Prior to 1910, the services had been held in the stone barn at Elm Tree Farm.
Since 1910, the afternoon and evening services on Anniversary Sundays were always held in the village school. The Primitive Methodist chapel was too small to accommodate congregation
The village school was an ideal building and could easily be adapted for such occasions.