A researcher was in our searchroom recently, working on a book of trustees’ minutes from Bethel Methodist Chapel, Brimington, and came across this letter, pasted into the volume:
The full thing reads:
On behalf of Mrs Dunn and myself, I have pleasure in acknowledging the splendid Bible with which you so kindly favoured us upon the occasion of our recent marriage, and we beg to assure you how deeply we appreciate the gift, commemorating as it does, the first marriage solemnized within the walls of the Chapel of which we are both members, and we trust that our lives may be ruled by its message.
Again thanking you gentlemen, I am,
If an excuse is needed for posting this, I’ll say that thank-you letters are always topical in January. If that sounds a bit thin, let’s just say it was a heart-warming thing to encounter, ergo worth sharing. And another thing…
- You can tell this letter was meaningful to the trustees because the clerk pasted it into the volume so that it could be preserved. However, I will bring this volume to the attention of our conservators; I’m confident they will tell me that the glue holding the letter in place isn’t helping its long-term future, and it will need to come out at some point. We will then need to put a note on the catalogue saying which pages it was found between, because That Sort of Thing can be important. For that reason, if you do ever come across an additional leaf in a volume in our archives, whether it is pasted, sellotaped, stapled or just left loose, do let a staff member know – but leave the page where it is until we get a chance to deal with it.
- The last marriage to be solemnized in the chapel was in 1965, when it closed. At that point, the church amalgamated with Brimington Trinity Methodist Chapel and moved to a new building on Hall Road. The building was erected on the site where once had stood the Zion United Methodist Free Church, and the amalgamated body was called simply Brimington Methodist Church. And it is still going today.
- If you browse the catalogue for Bethel Methodist Chapel, Brimington, you may notice that the marriage registers are not actually included. That’s because they are part of a rather large artificial collection of records from various Methodist churches, D1820. I would direct you to the catalogue entry for the collection, but the list attached to it is incomplete – that means a little more work for the FindersKeepers project, I fear.