In 1999, when I first started to look at Providence as a project, I put a notice in the Rossendale Free Press for anyone who could give me any informationabout the Chapel, with very little success. The biggest help coming from Trish at Rawtenstall Library, who was and still is,most helpful and informative on local studies.
One person who did reply was Mrs A Morgan of Townsenfold, she was ninety years old then, and had recently lost her husband Cyril, and, as they both played a big part in the History of Providence Chapel, I find it only right to include Mrs Morgan’s letter to me, all those years ago, copied in type.
5th of July 1999
Dear Mr Drury
I am afraid my memories don’t go back as far as the 1914-18 war, but my late husband was very active during the 1939-45 war at Providence until it closed. Even after (it closed) he bought a circular saw and each Monday evening he would go up and saw all the wood from the school and Chapel and people queued for it at 1shilling per bag. He had his regular customers and as he came down the road he dropped off his bags at 1 shilling each. He had not much wood left and had arranged to sell the saw when someone broke in and stole it.
I remember going to help at a potato pie tea before we were married, Cyril had Quinsey’s (an abscess near the tonsils) , and he said, “You will be alright, you know Ida Heap”, she was the only one I did know.
We were married at Newchurch in 1939 and lived there 12 months, then we came to 3 Oak Street Dunnockshaw and he resumed his duties as Providence Superintendent, Sunday School Trustees Secretary, and local Preacher.
He was taking the morning service at Providence when War was announced, 11 am September the 3rd 1939. We were visiting the Hospital a few months ago when one of the sisters came up to us and said, “Do you know as a little girl what I called this man” we said “no” She said “ I called him Mr Providence, I thought it belonged to him, he was always there.”Our children were both christened there Ian and Sheila. Ian and his wife are both active at Rakefoot, he is treasurer and she in charge of the children. Sheila is active in her Church in Chorley so we have a lot to be thankful for.
I have been in touch with a man who was Church treasurer when it closed to ask if he had anything of interest to you but he said nothing. I don’t know anyone who can tell you much; it was an ageing congregation when it closed.
My husband could have perhaps have told you more but he died suddenly Jan 17 1999, we were married nearly 62 years, he would have been 88 in may. I must apologise for my writing I fell down 10 days after my husband died and injured my hand rather badly, hence the writing. Sorry I can’t help you more.
As the old Cliché goes, they certainly don’t make em like that anymore. I obtained a copy of the 1846-1946 Centenary Souvenir booklet, and both Mr and Mrs Morgan are pictured in it and I will include these below.
Mrs C.Morgan, taken from the 1946 Centenary booklet she kindly sent to me.
Mr Cyril Morgan from the same booklet.