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The Chapel

Michael Gardner writes on 24 Apr 2020:

The Chapel wasn’t Methodist but Bretheren.  It was looked after, in my time, by Sally Dickenson, prior to that the Caretaker lived in Rose Cottage, Miss Maude Dando.

It was funded by a Landowner/Farmer from Leighterton Mr Joseph Clark.  He also arranged the speakers/preachers — and looked after Leighterton Chapel finances.

The Preachers came from all around, including Tetbury, Stroud, Nailsworth, Dursley and Avening — the huge Victorian Bible was famously brought over from Avening on the back of a bicycle.

Sally helped liaise and organize the various preachers and do the the rota.  Some were more popular than others.  I went every Sunday — Church in the morning and Chapel at 6pm., up until mid-teens.

I must admit I enjoyed the informality of the services and the old Sacred Songs and Solos hymn book was much more up beat than the Church hymnal book.

Mrs Baker played the organ which often only left her husband Les, Sally and Jack Dickenson and ” Old” Mr Boulton and myself in the congregation, so the “Where two or three are gathered together” was often the start of the sermon.

We had some wonderful Cotswold Characters who preached.  I could write a book!

When it was Harvest festival Leighterton would join us and vice-versa.  Mr Coates the Baker from Hillesley always donated a huge sheaf of wheat shaped loaf of bread.

Around 1967 Mr C.Woodward from Cam ran “Friday Nighters” club and we sang choruses – many I still remember.  He would tell Bible stories with felt figures on a ‘sticky’ board, and played his squeezebox for the music.  We also had competitions and Christmas parties there.  He would bring his Wife and two children to the services, which boosted numbers.  Mr Butler from Ingelstone Common, brought his Son who had a gospel rock band – that was a bit revolutionary for Tresham Chapel but always went down well.

Sally’ s daughter Jane also played the Organ as did her Sister-in-Law Olive – who played for Harvest festivals.

In 1962/63 winter the Chapel was half buried in the drifting snow and I was small enough to be put up into the loft area as a 9 year old to get the snow out of the roof space, passing a bucket up and down to Dad and Uncle Jack there were eventually seven wheelbarrows full which would otherwise have thawed throughout ceiling!

Of course at one time, like the Church, Sundays would have found the Chapel with a full congregation; Mum has said in the past that it would cause quite a stir if somebody was missing.

In the early 1970s my Auntie Phyl sold Rose Cottage to Mr and Mrs Le Mare and shortly after the Chapel closed due to lack of attendance.  It was hoped by many that it would become a Village Hall, but it wasn’t to be and that is when the Le Mares bought it and it became part of Rose Cottage grounds.