Ryde Social Heritage Group research the social history of the citizens of Ryde, Isle of Wight. Documenting their lives, businesses and burial transcriptions.
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Lying the Foundation Stone, Primitive Methodist Chapel


It was stated in the local press that the Primitive Methodists, finding their present chapel too small, had bought the land at the top of High Street, at the corner of Well Street, upon which they intended erecting a new chapel and school room.

Building used as Ryde Youth Club

May 1901
The foundations of the new Primitive Chapel was making employment for a good number of men, and it was said that while the city fathers were straining every nerve to conserve water, the contractor for the new Primitive Methodist Chapel at the top of High Street was troubled with a super-abundance of it.  That was not to be wondered at when it would be remembered that the old Tub Well was formerly on the site.

The ceremony of lying the foundation stone of the new Primitive Methodist Chapel at the junction of Well Street and High Street took place on Thursday 4th July, 1901. A platform had been constructed on the partially constructed building, and this was gaily decorated with bunting.  Among those present were the Mayor and Mayoress (Mr and Mrs Michael Maybrick).  The proceedings commenced with the singing of a hymn, after which the Rev. G. Boggis offered a prayer

The Rev. T. C. Showell welcomed the Mayor and Mayoress and the members of the Corporation.  They were delighted to see them there, and recognised the Mayor’s catholicity in attending the ceremony. He felt the erection of a church in that part of the town would be a public improvement.  It was hoped in the course of a few months the chapel would be erected and opened and the unsightly hoardings taken away.  The speaker went on to say that for a long time they had contemplated the erection of this building, and this was a great and important day in their history. Their premises in Star Street were very unsuitable and many people probably refused to go on that account.

The building would cost them, apart from the land, some £2,400.  The general missionary committee would promise them £800, on condition that they raised another £800 locally.  It was hoped the building would be erected without accident to life and limb.  Up to then they had had splendid weather and got on remarkably well.  Credit was due to the builder, Mr. E. James, of Binstead, for getting on with the work so well.

The Mayoress was presented with a lovely bouquet by the pastor’s daughter, little Miss Winifred Showell.  The Mayor then laid the first stone, declaring it “Well and truly laid, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.”  Further stones were laid on behalf of other people and organisations.

(Full report of the laying the foundation stone can be found in the IW Observer 6 July 1901)

December 1901
The new Primitive Methodist Chapel at the top of High Street was such a handsome building that members of another religious community in the town were sincerely considering the advisability of coming more to the front if possible, and so following a good example.  There were now in Ryde no less than four buildings once known as places of worship, which have been discarded, in three cases for temples of a more pretentious character and more prominent position.

 Sources: WI Observer & RSHG Archive
Old Image: by Cyril Linden (photographer), Roy Brinton Collection
New Image: RSHG
Article: Ann Barrett