A Pearl in our town

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IT was interesting to read about the old Wesleyan Church in the centre of Horbury. I know quite well the problems they have had with the upkeeping of an historical building.

Old buildings need constant care which can be expensive especially in these difficult times. It is a shame that a fine Victorian building should be destined to the scrap heap.

It must have been heart-rendering to come to the decision, to pull down a church which was a pearl in our lovely town.

A little while ago, I came across an old book, one of a few my father the late Joe Ingham had collected together with photos of old Horbury.

This book is the minute book of the rebuilding of the Methodist Church dated 1883. Prominent people were invited to form a committee named, The Horbury Wesleyan New Chapel building committee.

Some of the names are still remembered by street names. Mr Charleworth, Mr Barker, Mr Jenkin, Mr Greaves, Mr Farrand, together with well known business people like Mr Race, Mr Poppleton, Mr Harrop and J H Green.

The book states that the cost of demolishing the old church and replacing it with a new one in the centre of Horbury totalled £2,369.

The committee had site inspections as to the quality of the mortar used and the width of foundation bed specifications.

The committee resolved that contractors be authorised to use mortar containing two shovelful of ashes to one pan of lime.

The front face of the church to be built with cleaned Ashley stone and the sides in chopped faced Elland edge stone.

One important item that may interest the church members is the statement on March 12, 1884, that work had stopped on the digging of a deep drain, thinking that it may impair the stability of the east side of the building.

At least, it has stood up for 128 years! This book should be very interesting to the committee formed, to oversee the building of the new church (if it ever gets built).

I can arrange for anyone interested in viewing the book to contact Michael at the DIY shop in Queen Street.

It would be nice if the badly-worn book were put in a time capsule when the new church is built.

Bill Ingham

DIY shop

Queen Street

Horbury