Craster Community Website

Craster Methodist Chapel - '100 Years On'


Craster Methodist Chapel
St Peter the Fisherman C of E Church
St Aidan's & St Paul's


Childhood Memories

Like Miss Trotter, Miss Eva Archbold, of Craster, for 65 years a chapel member, has memories of it going back over 70 years.

"Among my earliest memories of the chapel are that of Jim Stephenson keeping an ever-watchful eye on the big hanging oil lamps," she writes. " The wicks had to be dead straight, and if a tail dared show itself, instantly out would come Jim's step-ladder so that he could reach the lamp to re-trim it.

"Highlights for us children were the Christmas party and the Sunday School anniversary. We said our pieces and sang our hymns, then as we grew older, after having first attended Sunday School, we went on to morning service in chapel.

" I so well remember coming down Chapel Row and smelling the Sunday joints being roasted. Annie Scott, the butcher's daughter, would say, `You cannot beat Scott's roast beef.' Sometimes we were given a slice of bread dipped in the roasting tin, and didn't we enjoy it !

"On Sunday afternoons we used to walk up to Dunstan to go to the C. of E. Sunday School, and in the evenings it was back to the chapel. How thrilled I was to join the choir and, at the age of 14, to become a chapel member.

"At Whitsuntide there was always a fruit and vegetable stall in aid of chapel funds at Pidah's Corner, now Dunstan­burgh Road.

"Craster had no reliable street lighting in those days, and the moon's phases decided the dates of any special ser­vices planned for the dark nights. Flash-lights were in their infancy, and to light our way in the dark we usually made do with a candle in a jam jar."

No outdoors need for a jam jar candle nowadays, the village brightly lit-up at night time - but in the not-so-distant past the dark nights stayed dark, and because of the dark the date of the annual Methodist soiree, recently replaced by the harvest supper, was generally fixed for the night nearest the November full moon. Miss Archbold, having taken part in the Jubilee celebrations, is now looking forward to those for the centenary.

John Taylor Stanton, local preacher, long-term trust secre­tary, and for over 51 years a trustee, died, aged 80, at Craster in 1932, less than two years after the Jubilee; and the death of 75-year-old Charles Archbold, of Seahouses, last of the original trustees, occurred in 1936. They are not forgotten.

William ("Bill") Seager was the new trust secretary, and other officials at the turn of the church half-century were J. A. Stephenson, treasurer; T. S. Grey, chapel steward; and R. A. Smailes, representative to the quarterly meeting. All four were also trustees, and others appointed to trustee vacancies were Luke Robson, James Renton Smailes, Matthew Stephenson, William Martin Archbold, Wilson Nelson, Richard D. Dawson, James Hin­son, Richard Dawson, Richard Young, William S. Stanton, and George J. McLaren.

Circuit and chapel were the poorer by the death in 1936 of Mr. Hinson, of Peppermoor, formerly of Warenford, from where, probably by horse and trap, he first came to preach at Craster in 1893.

In the same year - 1936 - Miss Maggie McLaren (Mrs. S. Wilson) was appointed an assistant organist, as at a later date was Miss Margaret Norris (Mrs. W. Hetherington).

'100 Years On'

The Centenary Story

Old Craster

Decision to Build

Stone Laying

First Wedding

60 Years Organist


Childhood Memories

Exit Oil Lamps

Last Trustees

Act of Faith

Seahouses Circuit Ministers
1880 to 1980

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