Palterton Primitive Methodist Chapel, Part One

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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.

A Palterton Primitive Methodist Chapel plate 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.
1949. Becoming prevalent 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.

Some of the main chapel folk during its existence were Mr. Norman Townsend and his wife Ida, Mrs. Elsie Townsend, Mr. R. H. Marsden, Mr. C. Candlin, Mr. Goucher, Mr. Jacob Richards and his son Mark, Mrs. M. Floyd.

From 1891 to around 1950, most of the village children attended the chapel twice on Sundays.  It was a nice friendly place to sing and listen to biblical stories.

Sunday school scholars were issued with an attendance card that was marked with a star each time you attended.  Provided you had sufficient stars on your card at the end of the year, you qualified for an award.  Annual book prizes were given to encourage children to attend regularly.

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. Palterton Primitive Methodist Chapel Logo
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.

Palterton Village School

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
and scholars.

The village school was an ideal building and could easily be adapted for such occasions.

Palterton Primitive Methodist Chapel, Part One


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Created 2 December 2001
Last updated: 1 February 2004