Village Web Site Forum

Michael Geoffrey Towers
Longton, Preston, Lancashire
Tuesday, November 11, 2014 18:47
Sutton Baptist Chapel Bicentenary 1711-1911
The Gallery includes the following entries:-

Sutton Baptist Chapel Bi-Centenary 1911
Added May 2008
Scans from Roger Davy of group photos taken outside the Baptist Chapel in 1911
Baptist Chapel Tercentenary 24th & 25th September 2011
Photos and notes from Alan Pickles and Rita Barsby

I have now provided Paul with scans for inclusion in the Gallery of additional documents covering the Bicentenary being: -

, a Souvenir Booklet entitled Sutton Baptist Chapel Bicentenary Souvenir 1711-1911 and
, the Sutton Baptist Chapel Grand Historical Bazaar February 1911 Handbook

The Souvenir Booklet
This scan comprises 88 pages including front and rear cover, but excluding blank pages of the inside front and rear cover and the reverse of 9 photographic plates. The Booklet was published on 30 January 1911 by Rev F Ward Pollard and printed by Dixon & Stell, Cross Hills.

The Booklet formed part of the personal papers of Mrs Maggie Wilson (nee Clough) who died on the 14 October 1985, aged 91. Maggie lived at 9 King Edward Street adjacent to my parents at No. 7, but died at Royd Hill Nursing Home. My father, Ernest Towers, together with William Lowe of Boundary Avenue, acted as Maggieís Co-Executors and my father retained the Estate and other personal papers including these documents. All are now in my possession.

The name of the Whitaker family is inscribed on the front page of the booklet as living at 1 Bridge Road and I can only assume that Maggie inherited the Booklet from Miss Jessie May Whitaker, the last surviving member of the family who, I believe, died in 1969. Maggie Wilson was a life long friend of the Whitaker family.

No 1 Bridge Road is the bottom house on the west side of Gordon Street and effectively four doors opposite and down from 9 King Edward Street. At the time of the publication of the Souvenir Booklet the Whitaker family lived at 6 Gordon Street (per 1911 Census) but by 1919 (Electoral Roll data) they had moved to 1 Bridge Road.

Roger Davyís main photo include images of two of the Whitakerís, namely Miss Margaret Ann Whitaker (1887-1968 - aka Maggie) and Miss Jessie May Whitaker (1889-1969). It is possible that their younger brother John Raymond Whitaker (1894-1961 - aka Raymond) is in the main photo as the whole family were closely linked to and involved with the Chapel throughout their lives.

Their father John William Whitaker shows as a Superintendent (page 67) and Maggie Whitaker features in the Souvenir Booklet with regard to the Sunday School (pages 32 and 65). Both the Whitakerís and the Wilsonís were well known to me as I grew up in King Edward Street. Iím sure that Brenda Whitaker has similar memories.

The Souvenir Booklet mentions many other established Sutton families (Clough, Davy, Laycock, Overend, Wilson to quote a few) and anyone connected to Sutton and the Chapel, either now or in the past, would find interest in the contents.

The Grand Historical Bazaar Handbook
This scan covers 76 pages including front and rear cover and, again, was printed by Dixon & Stell, Cross Hills.

This also came to me from Mrs Maggie Wilsonís papers but there is no indication of whether this was her personal copy or, again, formed part of the Whitaker Family papers.

The Bazaar was held on the 21st, 22nd, 23rd and 25th February 1911 with a specific objective of raising funds to meet to cost of building alterations (see page 3). Separate opening ceremonies were performed on each day by a different celebrity including Sir George W Macalpine - President of the Baptist Union - who carried out his duties on the 23rd February.

This Handbook gives us a fascinating insight into the dedication of the then officers and other participants in the daily life of the Chapel. Their detailed plans are clear for each aspect of the Bazaar including travel opportunities (see page 63) for those from afar and a ďparcelling upĒ service for purchases. What quality!

The standing by which the Chapel was held by the community both near and far is evidenced by the breadth and quality of the ďtradeĒ adverts including Brown, Muff & Co. Ltd of Bradford no less. Who doesnít remember Brown Muffs! It is interesting to see local village business details.

As with the Souvenir Booklet, many will find connections with their family and will no doubt take pride from their ancestorís activities at the time.
Brenda Whitaker
Queensland Australia
Wednesday, November 26, 2014 21:22
Hi Michael, thank you for the downloads - I have been away since 4Nov so this is my first excursion into the documents. As you say in your notes above, I have very similar memories to you regarding the Whitakers and Wilsons. We lived at No.3 King Edward Street and directly opposite Miss Maggie, Miss Jessie and Raymond. I have nothing but fond memories of them. Although Raymond worked in banking in Keighley, Miss Maggie at the Coop Drapery, Miss Jessie was at home and every child in that street, Gordon and King Edward, knew her well. Their little back yard had a low wall, and a bench seat, I hardly remember a time when it was void of children. Miss Jessie loved having them around. Every Christmas Raymond would give us newly minted pennies. The Wilsons had a television long before we even had electricity!!! Their place was full when the Coronation was shown.
The photos of the old Baptist Church are wonderful, it was a magnificent place wasn't it. After Sunday School Miss Maggie would shepherd us into the first few pews in the chapel for the first part of the service, then we would all file out and she take her place in the family pew at the back. Does anyone remember the 'Funeral Fund' - I think Fred Wilson and Raymond Whitaker were involved in running that.
Thanks again for the downloads, next week my sister Eileen will be here for a few days and I intend we pour over it together. Memories.!
Denis Marshall Pickles
Thursday, November 27, 2014 14:27
Yes Brenda, I remember the Funeral Fund though I have no idea how it was managed. My friend Sam Glynn Richards who you will no doubt recall - he was the Leader of the YPF before me - used to sit in the little room entered from the side of the Sunday School building (opposite Willi Laycock's house) and collect coppers and the odd tanner from funeral fund members. He always had someone older sitting in there with him and he seems to think it was Raymond Whittaker. He cannot remember the way the fund was operated - just that he never benefitted from it.
Brenda Whitaker
Queensland Australia
Thursday, November 27, 2014 20:33
Denis - I don't really remember, just we had pink books and blue books. Adults and children. I think that every time 4 people died we all paid 'coppers' to assist - I only know it was my job to go deliver the money and have the books stamped. and it was in that little room at the side.
That room also led into the primary Sunday school classroom too - as I recall. Fortunately I have not been a beneficiary either !!
Michael Geoffrey Towers
Longton, Preston, Lancashire
Wednesday, December 3, 2014 09:51

You are spot on with Raymond working in a bank. In fact he worked at Midland Bank, The Cross, Keighley from where he retired in about 1954 (the normal retirement age from the Bank at that time) and sadly died in 1961. Hence the new pennies.

I, too, worked at Midland, joining from sixth form in 1964 and Raymond was still fondly remembered by the senior staff especially Jack Shearing, the then Chief Cashier, who had been Raymondís deputy for a number of years.

Keep your eye open for three photos Iíve just sent Paul for the Gallery of Maggie, Jessie, Maggie Wilson and Phoebe Spencer in the back yard that will bring the memories flooding back of that little bench seat!

Regards to Eileen, hope I havenít missed her visit.

Do you remember Dorothy Midgley of 2 Gordon Street - straight across from your house?

Brenda Whitaker
Queensland Australia
Wednesday, December 3, 2014 22:57
Yes I remember her very well - she rode a bicycle and at least twice a day she would put her kettle on the handle bars and cycle down to the well in Sutton Mill to get water for her cuppa - said it was only way to have a decent brew.!! I have lots of other memorioes to go with that one.
I am looking forward to the photos - Eileen is here, she lives in Foulridge and will return on 9th December.
Michael Geoffrey Towers
Longton, Preston, Lancashire
Wednesday, December 10, 2014 16:43
For permanent safe keeping I have now lodged both documents, the Souvenir Booklet and Historical Bazaar Handbook, with the NYCC Archives at

North Yorkshire County Record Office
Malpas Road
DL7 8TB Tel: 01609 777 585

There reference is Z.1473

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