Barking Primitive Methodist Chapel, Essex.

Memories of Sid Wade

When I was writing a dissertation on Methodist Chapels for my Building Conservation Diploma in early 1987, I contacted a then elderly and now long deceased friend, Sid Wade of Barking, Essex, who offered the following memories of the Primitive Methodist Chapel in Linton Road, Barking, Essex (now the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham).

I quote verbatim from his letter which I still have.
“As I recall it, it was a paint starved old building and its architecture was about as distinguished as a chicken’s run in a slum backyard. It stood on the west side of Linton Road about 50 yards from Queens Road in the middle of a drab row of old cottages.
The church, which had a frontage of about 20 feet (my guess) , stood roughly 10 feet behind a set of spiked railing that had once been painted green. An iron gate gave entrance to the space between pavement and church which contained a notice board, a quantity of debris that had been blown there by the wind and grey-green grass and other flora of long neglect.

It was detached from the cottages by a narrow passage about 2 feet wide on each side and a cracked, concrete path that served as an approach to the door. This was in the centre of the church front with a small window glazed with green glass on each side of it.
The building was a yellow brick, gospel hall type with a steep gabled slate roof that sloped to schoolboy reaching height at the edges. Inside rows of wooden forms faced a small platform on a well worn floor and a large Biblical text embellished the wall behind it, I recall that the walls were painted dark brown and grained and varnished – it must have given the Prims the feeling of worshiping inside a cheap coffin” .

Sid Wade was something of a local historian, an amusing raconteur, had an excellent memory and wrote historical articles for the local newspaper, The Barking Advertiser, for some years. Linton Road and Queens Road both still exist although much changed.

Comments about this page

  • The April 1888 Primitive Methodist magazine (page 251) contains a note of the laying of foundation stones for Barking Primitive Methodist chapel in the Canning Town circuit. The previous chapel had become too small for the growing congregation. They hoped to have raised the full cost of the chapel by the time of the opening – which was a better position than many Prim chapels.

    By Christopher Hill (31/08/2020)

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