Affetside Church History Affetside chapel Old entrance door on Affetside chapel The first record of the Conveyance of land for the Chapel was dated 7th  October 1835, when Messrs Ashworth and Sons, members of the Society of  Friends, gave the plot of land to Trustees for use as a School/Meeting Room. It  is recorded that miners and stonemasons of the village quarried the stone  locally and they and local carpenters, plasterers and painters gave their  services free. The simple Meeting Room was opened in 1840, being a single  large room with a small vestry to the rear. The Trustees were Joshua Knowles  of Tottington, John Heap of Tottington, Robert Hampson, Richard Walker and  Richard Butcher all of Bury. The early reports note the week-night attendance  was 100 and 50 on Sundays. "The poverty of the people - not being furnished  with suitable clothing - is given as the reason for this remarkable disproportion.  Mr. Thomas Hampton preached the Gospel and in other ways looked after the  spiritual interests of the people in this barren wilderness." Eventually failing in  health, Mr. Hampton retired to be succeeded by Mr. John Wilson of Castleton in  1876. The first burial was that of Wright Turner, aged 15 years, on December 11th 1847. A List of all the burials  in the Congregational Church Cemetery can be found here. John Wilson set out to change the spiritual outlook of the rough element at that time so rampant in the village. No excuse for not attending services would  satisfy him; if the mothers said they had to look after their children - his reply  was "bring the children"; and if the men said they had no Sunday suit -he  would say "I am going to preach for the good of your souls, not to a suit of  Sunday clothes." The outcome was that he filled the Chapel. We do not know where the earlier school was which was noted in the 1794  Survey as owned by Thomas Scowcroft but this could have continued for some  time on a fee paying basis. From the 1830's the formation of the Non-  Conformist gatherings would have been coupled with Sunday Schools for the  youngsters - in those days teaching them to read and write in order to follow  the teachings of the Scriptures. The new Chapel Meeting Room would  undoubtedly be used for this purpose on weeknights as well as Sunday  afternoons. The old cottage between the Chapel Row Cottage (Now No’s 42, 40 and 38)  and the existing Chapel, which had previously been rented for ten pence per  week, was unoccupied in 1864 on the death of the owner Betty Whittle. It was  demolished soon after to make way for the Chapel extension and yard. The Education Act of 1870 decreed that Elementary Schools be set up in areas  where school provision was insufficient. A further Act of 1876 established the  principle that all children should receive elementary education. School  attendance up to the age of 10 was made compulsory in 1880 it was decided  that the Chapel building should be used as a Day School and the first  appointment of Headmaster given to Mr. John Wilson, who opened the new Day School on June 7th 1879. The Committee or Board was made up of James  Nuttall, Absalom Ramsden, James Hamer, Peter Scholes and Thomas Hulme.  Mr. Wilson continued with his dual role of Preacher and Schoolmaster for some  years. About 1890 it became clear that the Chapel building was inadequate for  a multi-class school so it was decided to build an additional room and at the  same time raise the roof level. Money towards these extensions was raised  locally through bazaars and collections and debts incurred were cleared by the early 1900's. From the beginning of the Day School it had been customary to clear all the desks aside on Friday night and  prepare seating for the Sunday congregation. This was reversed on Sunday night in readiness for the Monday  morning school opening. This procedure continued until 2003 when the school was closed, despite having a full  pupil roll, by the Labour controlled Bury Council.  The Great War of 1914/18 affected every village and town in the Country and not least Affetside. The Roll of  Honour in Affetside Chapel records fifty-six of its young Church and School members serving in the Forces, of  whom fifteen were killed. These lads came to Affetside Chapel and School from the outlying areas of Four Lane  Ends, Tottington Road, Turton Road and Bradshaw Road, but amongst those killed from Affetside village itself  were:- George Holt of Height Top Harry Lowe of Bradshaw Head Henry Scowcroft of Top o'th Knotts  Harry Warburton of Smithy Fold  Arthur Aspinall of the Pack Horse  Harold Kay of the Short Row  George Turner of Pillings   The Chapel congregation, wishing to have a memorial to these brave boys,  started to raise funds and by 1920 they were able to buy and erect a new organ costing nearly £500. The Memorial Organ was unveiled by Mr. Frederick  Whowell, J.P., of Hawkshaw on October 16th 1920. The organ is still played in  the chapel today. Much of the village social life of the post WW 1 period was centred on the  Chapel, which continued to be well supported. The 1929 accounts give the  picture of a good local support and many varied activities. The Sunday  collections varied between five and eleven shillings and were boosted on the  special days like the annual Sermons when the collection was £35.0.2p, and the Harvest Festival's £714.1s. Celebrations were held on Whit Friday with sports,  the engagement of a band, and a tea. On 28th May 1929 the Warburton  Brothers organised a trip by charabanc to Buxton for the Choir. Peter Holt was  the Organist and John Holt the Choirmaster, A. Taylor the Organ Blower, Joe  Tebay the Caretaker and James H. Smith the Sexton. A prize presentation party  was held in February, while September saw the installation of the new Choir  Stalls by Mr. W. Knowles. A Social and Dance was held in March, September  and November, while the Annual Meeting was held in early December with a potato pie supper. The Annual Tea  Party and concert was arranged for the Saturday before Christmas and a Social and Dance on New Year's Eve,  for which 7 quarts of milk, 17 shillings worth of Ice Cream, 20 lbs of roast beef and other provisions from  Tottington Co-op were purchased. Bands were hired for the Socials and Dances. The annual income exceeded  the expenditure by £19.16.6. indicating a good financial control with a most enjoyable year.  The 1939 accounts included the cost of an electric blower for the organ and 68  yards of black cloth - blackout curtains! - while the 1945 figures include the  cost of photos for the opening of the porch fronting Watling Street and for the  cost of moving the organ from the east side on the gable-end to the present  central position. It could be seen from the accounts that many concerts,  operas and pantomimes were also put on over the years. Brass memorial plaque on Chapel organ Memorial to Robert Blinkhorn (died in Japanese captivity) and Harold Kay (shot down over Europe in the RAF) from WWII James Nuttall memorial plaque Organ Memorial Plaque Robert Blinkhorn and Harold Kay  James Nuttall memorial WWI Roll of Honour Roll of Honour WW1 Memorial organ in the chapel Memorial Organ