Gateshead Carr Hill Primitive Methodist meeting house

Return from Gateshead Carr's Hill Primitive Methodist preaching place in the 1851 Census of Places of Public Religious Worship
transcribed by David Tonks 2020

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  • The Wesleyans were the first to open a Methodist meeting room in Carr’s Hill around 1839 according to Circuit Schedules. The cause was not successful and closed around 1842.

    The Primitive Methodists began meeting in Thorn Cottage around 1844 (Durham University records) but it was not until 1859 that the first chapel was opened.

    The first Trustees of the chapel were Joseph Kennedy, George Edward Almond (his wife was the grand-daughter of Mary Porteous), John Rickaby, Robert Allinson, Benjamin Haswell, Thomas Urwin, John Edward Gowland, William Carr, Edward J Fairbairn, Thomas Clark, William John Anderson, Adam Cook, Henry Henderson, William Hamilton, Matthew Thew, James McNaughton and William Curry Rickaby.

    There are few surviving records for this chapel. In the County Record office we have deposited the Trust Accounts from when the chapel opened and various Minute books from the 1920s through to when the chapel closed. From other sources we learn that the internal condition of the building was in an advanced state of decay by 1934. The Carr’s Hill Boys’ Brigade, faced with the problem that the form seating would probably collapse if they continued to hold their meetings there opted to move elsewhere instead. There were many broken windows and, with no proper heating in the building, it was often cold and damp.

    In early 1939, the Trustees received a letter from Gateshead Corporation stating that the chapel site was included in the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) scheme. The Corporation stated that they wished to widen the road and offered the Trustees £25 for the site which they refused. Even though the number of members had trickled to a handful and financing the chapel was an issue, the Trustees held their ground and wrangled with the Corporation who increased their offer to £30.

    The Sunday School, once accommodating 75 children, was merged with the ex WM chapel at Ellison Villas and the ex MNC chapel at Fife Street. The final service was on Good Friday 1937 and the day ended with a concert and tea led by Mark Robinson of the Durham Road church and William McKie from Windy Nook chapel at the organ.

    The site of the chapel was later occupied by a health centre which itself has since been demolished. As of August 2020, the site is still vacant.

    By Richard Jennings (29/08/2020)
  • Joseph Proud was a ‘Ranter’ preacher who (through the Holy Spirit) founded this chapel. One of his children, Mary Ann Proud, famously married Benjamin John Sutherland of Newcastle. Sutherland was a grain importer (from the USA and Canada), a coal exporter, a steam ship owner and sometime Sheriff of Newcastle. The contrast between the two could not have been greater. They were married at the Brunswick Wesleyan Chapel in Newcastle. One of their children became Sir Arthur Munro Sutherland known as “The Legend of Newcastle”. Sir Arthur always retained a most positive attitude to the Primitive Methodist trade unions of his day, reflective of his mother’s faith origins.

    By Nigel McMurray. (24/05/2020)

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