The Primitive Methodist magazine contains reports of chapel building at Willington.
The March 1880 Primitive Methodist magazine (page 187) records the laying of memorial stones for new chapels at a number of places – including Willington. No detail is given, other than to name J Pease as the person who laid the stone.
The May 1887 Primitive Methodist magazine (page 316) records the opening of a “new and commodious place of worship” at Willington “with every prospect of success”. ” We note with some pleasure that the vicar readily afforded the friends the use of the schoolroom for the tea meeting. If vicars generally would show more sympathy with our people it would be none the worse for their parishes”
The problem is that there are several places called Willington – in Bedfordshire, County Durham, Derbyshire, Flintshire, Kent and Warwickshire. but which one do they relate to? Furthermore, given the dates. it is quite possible that these two accounts relate to two different Willingtons!
It’s quite a detective story! Follow it through in the comments below, starting from the bottom up.
We started by ruling out the Willington it wasn’t: David Young points out that the accounts are not about Willington chapel in Flintshire , Anne Langley ruled out Warwickshire and Howard Richter ruled out Derbyshire, Bedfordshire and Kent.
Then David Tonks, Howard Richter and Richard Jennings looked at the positive evidence for County Durham from local sources such as newspapers and Ordnance Survey maps, weighing the significance of the name J Pease and the dates.
That then left the issue of there being two accounts of chapel openings, seven years apart. Howard Richter suggests an explanation for that. All we need to do now is resolve which chapel is which.