HAYLANDS INDEPENDENT CHAPEL
On Wednesday 15th May 1850, the foundation stone of the new chapel, in connection with the Independents of Ryde, was laid at Haylands, a village in the suburbs of the town. The new building was to be situated on the east side of Upton Road.
Regular social tea meetings took place at the chapel, when a good tea was heartily partaken of. In the evening a public meeting was held and addresses were delivered by Ministers and friends. The children who attended the chapel would sing several school pieces in a creditable manner between the addresses and at the close of the meetings.
An annual treat was given to the Sunday School children on New-Year’s-day at the chapel. A public meeting was held afterwards when addresses were delivered by various speakers and numerous suitable pieces were sung by the scholars in praiseworthy style.
The children of the Independent Sunday school would also be given an annual summer treat. In August 1863 the treat was in a field at Pell. The only noticeable feature that caused it to stand out from the ordinary course of such galas was that the little children, as well as getting wet inside, likewise obtained a thorough external wetting, which, however, damped their clothes much more than their spirits. The sports were continued with great gusto until dark. The eatables were plentiful, good in quality, and were served out in a large tent. The sports were cricket, football, rounders, races, scrambling, swings, drop handkerchief, and that at which over-pious people’s noses rise at, kiss-in-the-ring.
Also annually was a meeting of the ministers of Independent chapels and churches, when a report was published of their findings. The January 1864 report concerning the Sabbath Schools stated that at “Haylands the refreshing breezes of love and unity had left, and the chill of unprosperity had set in. The New Year had, however, opened better by the visits of friends from Ryde, and they hoped that more parental visits would be paid them. There were 120 on the books, the average attendance being about 90.”
The chapel was licensed for marriages in January 1946 until its closure in December 1974.
Building of the new church on the old Beechgrove site on the corner of Corbett and Upton roads was due to start April 1974 and reach completion October that year. In the three years leading up to the commencement of building a hard-working group of ladies held a sale at the little chapel every other Wednesday and raised £1,000 towards the new church. They sold anything they were given, books, china, furniture, prams, clothing, flowers and vegetables, they also served tea and coffee. Another sum of £60 was raised from the sale of knitting wool.
In the later years the 2nd Ryde Girls Brigade would meet at the chapel as their headquarters, until they moved to the newly built United Reformed Church in Haylands. The old chapel building was later converted to living accommodation.
Source: IW Observer and RSHG Archive
Images: Roy Brinton Collection & Hassocks wikimedia Commons
Article: Ann Barrett