Remembering life at Trinity Chapel

Trinity Chapel - Thornhill Briggs - 1927
Trinity Chapel - Thornhill Briggs - 1927

Some of you may remember the Trinity Chapel, which was where the small housing development was built in Trinity Grove, behind what is now the Thaal Indian restaurant which, of course, was originally the Martins Nest public house.

It was built a Mission Chapel by the congregation at Bethel Chapel and, although the Memorial stone laying ceremony was in 1896, it wasn’t offically opened until the following year.

According to the Chapel’s Sunday School teachers’ attendance book, which was discovered between the floor boards as the chapel was being demolished, the first Superintendent was Mr T Rider, who lived at nearby Cross Street.

Trinity was built for a growing local populace and, looking through the attendance book, by 1907 there were Messrs J Naylor; F Dewhirst; A Cocker; H Dickinson and H S Shaw just to teach the males.

Females were taught by Mr A Dyson; Mrs Wadsworth; Miss Sutcliffe; Miss Crowther; Miss Collins; Mrs Salmons and Miss Robinson.

There is no indication of how many pupils there were but with twelve teachers the numbers must have been considerable.

One of the last entries in the book is dated June 1923 when the teachers included Messrs George Wood; R Barker; Mr T Rider; Misses A Holt; E Spence; G Barker; Mrs Broomhead; Mrs Ogden and Miss Nellie Armitage. By this time there was a senior and intermediate section for pupils.

Recently I was shown an 1885 list of all the Sunday Schools in the Brighouse area and the number of students each had.

Collectively the sixteen Sunday Schools (which did not include Trinity because it had not yet been opened) operating at that time had a total of 4,655 students and 626 teachers.

Trinity, as with all local chapels, would have had Summer Treat outings to Sunny Vale taking all the Sunday School students, no doubt walking what would have been considered a short distance in its early years and pre- tram days of 1904.

This photograph shows a happy lot from Trinity in 1927 on one of those summer outings. Just who these day trippers are remains a mystery unless you can identify any of your relatives.

Gradually, as numbers decreased and running costs increased, Trinity Chapel was forced to close its doors for the last time in 1982.

Outline planning permission was granted later that year, with planning permission to build four pairs of semi-detached houses being passed in 1984.