Bowling Back Lane Primitive Methodist chapel
Back Lane, Bowling
There were chapels in Bowling before the magnificent Primitive Methodist chapel was opened in 1878 on Bowling Old Lane. The Primitive Methodist magazine of May 1854 gives an account by R Davies of the opening of a Primitive Methodist chapel on March 5th and 12th 1854. This could have been the chapel in Back Lane (Pen Street) listed by JG Terry in his PhD thesis. Pen Street was in an area of terraced housing just east of where Bowling Back Lane joins Wakefield Road
The society had grown to 50 members and a Sunday school of 100 when the meeting room they rented was demolished to make way for the new railway between Leeds and Bradford. In response they built a chapel 12 yards square which would accommodate 100.
Opening sermons were preached by C Rhodes (Bradford), J Reynard (Leeds), T Butcher (Manchester) and Rev Collins (Wesleyan). Times were hard. “The collections amounted to £15/8/6 which is not amiss, considering the state of trade here at present, the dearness of provisions and the poverty of the society.”
Terry says that the Back Lane society moved to New Hey Road in 1882. On Ordnance Survey maps it is still labelled as a chapel in Pen Street in 1893 but by 1908 although the building appears to be there, it is no longer labelled as a chapel.
1999 Terry J G The Causes and effects of the divisions within Methodism 1796 – 1853 PhD thesis, University of Huddersfield accessed online October 17th 2016 at http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/4607/1/300547.pdf: sets out the story of the development of Primitive Methodism in Bradford and District
Primitive Methodist magazine May 1854 p307