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Article from the Rushden Echo 20th May, 1898 transcribed by Jim Hollis


Plans of the proposed new chapel

Shall two chapels be built at once

  The rapid growth of Rushden has its effect upon the churches of the town, and various religious communities are exerting themselves to provide seating accommodation for the population. No church has shown greater enterprise locally of late years than has the Independent Wesleyan cause. Plans have been prepared for the proposed new chapel to take the place of the present structure in High-street. Messrs. Preston and Wilson of Rushden are the architects, and they have designed a handsome and commodious edifice, to seat about 710 people. Tenders are now being sent in, and it is probable that the work will be put in hand very soon.

Drawing of the front elevation of the proposed new chapel. Drawing of the ground plan of the proposed new chapel.
Front elevation and ground plan of the proposed new chapel

By the courtesy of Messrs. Preston and Wilson, we are enabled to roughly reproduce the front elevation and the plan of the new chapel. A gallery will run round the chapel on three sides.  The organ chamber will be on a level with the gallery, and will be situated at the back of the pulpit.  Under the organ chambers is to be the minister’s vestry.  The whole of the arrangements, internally and externally, are most complete.  There is to be an ornamental front, facing High-street, of bricks with stone dressings.  As regards lighting, plenty of windows are arranged for.  The laws of


have been carefully studied in designing structure, and we believe, judging from the plans, that there will be no difficulty on the part of the worshippers in either seeing or hearing the preacher.  The front of the chapel will be slightly nearer the street than is the case in the present building which it is to supersede.

  An important question is now exercising the minds of the trustees. The Station-road branch of the church has developed so much of late that the present temporary iron erection is far too small for the requirements of the Sunday school and the accommodation of the regular worshippers, a new chapel will have to be built at no distant date. A piece of land has already been secured fronting the Wellingboro’-road, a part of the town which is now becoming


and a suggestion has been made that the two chapel building schemes should be amalgamated into one big concern and both places of worship erected simultaneously.  Up to the present, of course, nothing definite has been decided upon, and the matter will undoubtedly have the earnest consideration of those most intimately concerned.

  We congratulate the trustees on their enterprise and if there is one point upon which we should like to offer a word of gentle criticism it is regarding the size of the new chapel in High-st.  Is it really worth while to limit the seating accommodation to 710?  In a town like Rushden, which is growing at the rate of a thousand souls a year, surely there would be no difficulty in filling a much larger place.  Accommodation for 1,000 people might be provided at this juncture at a comparatively insignificant additional sum of money.

The Rushden Echo, 17th June 1898, transcribed by Kay Collins

New Chapel for Rushden - The Tenders

We recently published plans of the proposed Independent Wesleyan chapel in High-street, Rushden. The estimate of the cost as prepared by the architects was £2,360, including an allowance for the present chapel on the site, and the following tenders have been sent in to the trustees:—

G. Henson Wellingborough
J. Dykes Kettering
H. Sparrow Rushden
T. Willmott jun  
A. Trayaner Thrapston
C. E. Bayes Rushden
Whittington &Tomlin Rushden
T. & C. Berrill Irchester
T. Swindall Rushden
Hacksley Bros Wellingborough
Freeman & Son Thrapston
Bradshaw & Cooper Thrapston
R. Marriott Rushden
Dickens Bros. Rushden
The Rushden Echo, 24th June 1898, transcribed by Kay Collins

THE NEW CHAPEL—The trustees of the Rushden Independent Wesleyan chapel have accepted the tender of Messrs. Dickens Bros., of Rushden, for the erection of a new chapel in High-street. Their tender, which was the lowest, was for £2,166.

The Rushden Echo, 12th August 1898, transcribed by Kay Collins

Curious Hoax at Rushden Twenty-Five Years Ago - Just Come To Light

A common custom when memorial stones of new place of worship or public building of any description are laid is that a large bottle should be put in a hole left in the masonry, and that the bottle, properly sealed, should contain official memoranda of the event, current newspapers, and coins of the various values each bearing on its face the year of the occurrence. This course was adopted when the memorial stones of the Independent Wesleyan chapel in High-street, Rushden, were laid in 1873. This chapel, as most of our readers know, is now being demolished to make room for a more commodious structure. A few days ago members of the Building Committee assembled to witness the removal of the old memorial stones and to secure the papers, coins. &c., which had been placed there 25 years before.

A Surprise

awaited them, however, for it was found that the bottle was missing, and that, instead of the papers and coins, there was a rough piece of date on which had been scratched a message to the effect that the work of building had been very dry and hinting pretty plainly that the writers had appropriated the bright new coins for refreshment of a liquid character. That the coins had been placed there 25 years back was within the recollection of some of the committee so that after the stone-laying the workmen must have raised the stones, extracted the bottle, and then covered up their little trick.

The message on the slate was as follows:-

"Oehkes" [? Hoax] to the poor foundation stone. We had no beer, and that made us all feel very queer." This was alleged to be signed by four or five of the men employed on the building.

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