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Prize bible and hymn book link to lost Ladymoor church

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: July 20, 2014

By Dan Shaw

  • Prize awarded to Marjorie Wake

  • The hymnal has been in the family since 1894

  • Marjorie Wake's 80 year old bible

  • Late Victorian Methodist hymnal

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TWO weeks ago, in the July 3 edition, we featured a Sunday School prize that had been awarded to a young Archie Gough in 1911 by the Darkhouse Chapel, Coseley.

The prize book had been brought to us by Archie's daughter Kath Bryan of Wombourne and Kath's sister Marjorie Wake, 88, of Tipton, saw the article and decided to show us her own Sunday school prize plus an old hymn book that had been in the family since Victorian times.

Back in 1935 Marjorie was awarded a pocket-sized bible by Ladymoor Methodist Church, Bilston.

"We lived opposite Ladymoor Pool," remembered Marjorie, "until just before the war, when we moved to Princes End, in May 1939.

"Dad played the organ at the church and he had a little harmonium on wheels that he pushed along and played on the anniversary walks.

"He tried playing the organ at the Primitives chapel when we moved to Princes End, but for some reason he didn't hit it off.

"He worked all his life at Perry's in Bradley; he was a roll turner and template maker."

Marjorie's bible is quite battered after almost 80 years but the Primitive Methodist Hymnal is in better condition. That is dated March 1894 and it originally belonged to Henry Thomas Gough jnr.

Ladymoor Methodist Church was one of the thousands of nonconformist churches and chapels that once flourished in the Black Country. They stood practically cheek by jowl with each other and each had a thriving congregation but they still declined in the 20th century.

Church attendance dropped after the Second World War and many chapels were forced to close or amalgamate with others, sometimes with fierce rivals.

We have been unable to find the date of the foundation of Ladymoor Methodist Church but it seems to have closed down around 1975 and was demolished in 1976. That church had been built in 1903 to replace an earlier one that had been affected by mining subsidence.

Can you tell us anything more about Ladymoor Methodist Church? Do you have a photograph of it? Contact dshaw@blackcountrybugle. co.uk, call 01384 567678 or write to 41 High Street, Cradley Heath, B64 5HL.

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