April 1855 the opening service was held and conducted by the Revds.
William Spencer of Rochdale, David Jones of Booth and Amos Blackburn
of Eastwood. The total cost, including the boundary wall was near
to £560 and there remained a debt of £240 after the
1856, when Mr. Holroyd left, until 1858, a variety of ministers
preached at the Chapel, and the affairs of the Church and the giving
of the "Lord's Supper" were once again undertaken by Revd. Amos
was in October 1858 that Mr. Thomas Edwards became the Pastor. He
had often preached here and as such was no stranger to the place.
He took up his duties in November of that year, but he wasn't ordained
to the Pastoral office until Monday 25th September 1861, when the
Revds, Amos Blackburn, Thomas Lawson, Edward Potter and Samuel Sugden
officiated. He originally came from Somerset and he was just 32
when he took the office at Cloughfoot. He was living at Bank House,
Edwards was to remain at Clough Foot for nearly three years and
his time there was one of peace and harmony, and as proof of his
popularity, eighteen new members were added to the Church. The burial
ground was drained, enlarged and enclosed and it was through the
efforts of the congregation and friends that funds were raised,
which not only paid for this work, but also reduced the debt of
the Church to £160. Sadly, domestic circumstances forced Mr.
Edwards in to retirement from Clough Foot and he preached for the
last time from Acts XX, verse 32. He went on to become the Pastor
at Northlead in Gloucestershire at the Independent Chapel in the
March 1859, a meeting was held in the church and a resolution was
passed that a harmonium was to be purchased. John and Abraham Sutcliffe
were appointed to collect subscriptions towards the cost of it and
by Good Friday of that year the harmonium was opened to the public
with great ceremony and a public tea was given.
1860 more land was needed to enlarge the graveyard and Mr. Taylor
and Mr. Dearden were approached for the lease of more ground, with
the outcome that land on the north and west was given, again only
£1 a year was requested as the rent.
the January of 1860, it was decided by the deacons and ministers,
that the debt of the chapel needed to be reduced to no more than
£100 by the end of the year. To this end, the money from the
graves was to be used and help to alleviate the debt. A
committee was formed in an effort to clear the chapel debt. At the
meeting, which was held for this purpose, £20 was promised
on the night as a start. Also decided at the meeting was a plan
to drain the Chapel yard and to enclose the burial ground with a
good substantial wall.
1865, Rev. A. Miers was offered the ministry of the chapel and he
accepted. He was ordained on Good Friday April 19th 1866 with the
Revds. Peter Howarth, T. Bottomley of Sowerby, R. Moffatt or Sowerby
Bridge and E. Potter of Patmos, Todmorden present at the service.
January of 1868 more ground was needed for burial purposes and another
deputation was sent to Mr. Taylor. At this time the chapel had a
debt of £145 and in February of 1868, it was decided by Rev.
Miers and his deacons, Mr. John and Abraham Sutcliffe, that all
possible efforts would be made to clear this debt. By October this
had been accomplished and was celebrated with a tea meeting in the
was a memorable year in the chapel's history. Extensive improvements
were made; the entrance to the chapel was improved and the singing
pew was enlarged. Sixty sittings were put into the body of the chapel
and a communion table was fixed, costing £75.14s.10d (plus
a halfpenny). It was a reflection on the good work that Rev Miers
was doing. He was well liked and attendance at chapel was always
good. He had the power to reach his congregation and they became
committed to the chapel and to the Rev. Miers. It
came as a blow when, in 1871, after six years, he was called to
serve at Middleton in Derbyshire. Every effort was made to keep
him at Cloughfoot and by the entreaties of his congregation, he
stayed on for another 18 months. He served all together at Cloughfoot
for 7 years and 7 months and in that time the Sunday School collections
more than doubled and went from £16 to£35 a year. He
left to go to Dudley Port, Staffordshire in 1872. After
his departure, Mr. Banks was the minister for a length of time.
1874, eight more names were added to the original list of trustees,
Farrer, Owler Carr
Dearden Jun. Todmorden
Earnshaw, Owler Carr
R. Banks, minister, Hollin Green
Clegg, Owler Carr
new trustees along with the old ones were fired with enthusiasm
and it was resolved that a great effort should be made to pay off
the debts that had once again accumulated. Mr. Banks, the minister,
made the sacrifice of foregoing his salary for some months, which
served as an example to the other chapel members.
4th October 1875 the school was transferred to the Board from the
former trustees and was opened as a Board School, being the first
in the district. A far cry from the days when meetings were held
in the cottage at the bottom of Sourhall Road.
road to the chapel was in dire need of repair and in 1876, it was
mended and asphalted at a cost of £10. The heating apparatus
was fixed, which cost a further £50 and in the October of
that same year, a list of 28 names were submitted at a meeting,
to choose more trustees from. A year later, the chapel was cleaned
and painted, which cost £60, but some of the committee had
collected £30 which went towards the cost of this.
Mr. Banks left Cloughfoot Chapel, no minister was appointed for
quite a while and ministers from the surrounding chapels took the
services. In 1879 it was agreed with the Rev. J. Constance of Patmos,
that he should preach at Cloughfoot once or twice a month for six
months and also attend the Church meetings. This was undertaken
and at the end of the six months it was extended to a further six
months, no preacher having been found to take up the position on
a regular basis.
the end of 1884 even more land was needed to extend the graveyard
once again and Mr. Mellor was approached for permission to purchase
the land that was needed. He gave a plot of 600 square yards for
the cost of £60. The deal was finalised on June 6th 1885.
The total cost came to near on £100 after the boundary wall
and other sundry expenses had been met. The new burial ground was
formally opened with a special service on October 25th , when a
very large congregation gathered to hear the Rev. John Wilson of
Eastwood preach the sermon. A special collection was made towards
the cost of the newly acquired graveyard plot and quite a bit of
money was raised.
first person to be buried in the new graveyard extension was a Mr.
Edwin Stansfield who had at one time been the landlord of the Hare
and Hounds in Todmorden. At the time of his death he had moved to
Rochdale to take over the premises of the Railway Hotel near the
station. He died there on September 5th 1885 having been there for
only 8 months. At 40 he was in the prime of life, which made it
all the harder for his family to come to terms with. He was the
eldest son of Mr. John Stansfield of Cloughfoot and he had been
brought up in the area and had attended the school and chapel. His
body was brought from Rochdale and interred in a new vault in the
new portion of the graveyard.
1891 a new preacher had been found for Cloughfoot and one who was
to leave a deep impression on the place and the people. He was the
Rev. James A Smith and he was born in 1867 at Hallfold, Whitworth,
the son of James and Elizabeth Smith. His father was a weaver as
was James when he was in his teens. He was inducted into the service
of the chapel on 4th April 1891 and in November of that same year
he married Betty Uttley of Facit. Until his marriage he lodged with
Widow Farrow at Hollin Green. He immediately involved himself in
affairs of the chapel and was always present at the many fund raising
events and various meetings.
1893 the chapel underwent some renovation at a cost £30. To
try and pay this debt, an unusual "jumble sale" was held in the
Board School by Mr. James Mitchell. It raised £78.1s. There
were many events held for raising money, as it was always needed
for improvements and alterations that needed to be done. The hiring
out of the school was a good way of making money and adding to the
funds. There were miners tea meetings, reunions, and sale of works,
some lasting two or more days. The
congregation showed its appreciation of James Smith's unstinting
work and devotion over the last five years when in 1896 at the annual
Congregational tea party, he was presented with a testimonial enclosed
in an oak frame on behalf of the Church, Sunday School and friends. In
December of 1898 a Christmas tree and sale of work aimed to raise
at least £30 to pay off debts at the chapel. Mrs. Starkie
of Watty House opened it and it was carried on the following Monday.
In all it raised a total of £70. In most cases the money raised
would exceed what was needed, such was the generosity of the people
and their support of the church was without question.
events took place and one was the presentation in August 1900, by
40 friends, all with connections to Cloughfoot Congregational School,
of a black ebony and a meerschaum pipe and tobacco to Mr. Barker
Stansfield. He had played the harmonium for 22 years.
year 1900 saw the Rev. Smith elected as president of the Todmorden
Sunday School Union. Another ceremony in January 1901 was the presentation
by Rev. Smith of the Royal Humane Society's award to Mr. Robert
Hollinrake for bravery in rescuing Albert Dixon from drowning in
a reservoir at Dulesgate on 31 st July 1900.
weather couldn't deter the reunions that were held at regular intervals,
such was the feeling for the old school. In December 1901, in horrendous
conditions, over 200 old teachers and scholars attended a tea in
the school and an evening meeting in the chapel led by Rev. Smith.
saw the Golden Jubilee of the chapel, which was celebrated with
a tea party held in the school, and on the Sunday, special services
of thanksgiving and jubilation were held for the occasion.
next year, 1905, saw the Rev. Smith enter his fifteenth year as
pastor of Cloughfoot. In that time he had conducted over 190 funerals,
80 marriages and 200 baptisms.
1906 the burial ground needed enlarging again and to that end a
three-day bazaar for the church funds was held at Patmos Congregational
School. £330 was needed for this and also for some more repairs.
£400 was raised, again showing the generosity and popularity
of this chapel. Maybe some of this money went towards the new organ
that was installed in November 1906. It was a great event and the
celebrations lasted for two days. Mr. Charles Arthur Suthers who
was the organist at Shore Baptist presided over the first day's
proceedings and on the Sunday afternoon, Mr. Albion Barker, organist
at the Todmorden Unitarian Church took over.
of the trustees of the chapel in 1910 was William Ormerod of Kershaw
House, Luddendenfoot, and along with the other trustees he was involved
in the conveyance of land at Cloughfoot from Miss Lucy Margaret
Cecil and Charles Cecil of Bournemouth. This was still under the
same terms as in the original indenture of 1854.
13th April 1912 great celebrations took place. It was 21 years since
the Reverend Smith took office as pastor of the chapel. As proof
of his popularity over 400 people attended the occasion.
Greenwood who grew up at Cloughfoot remembers Reverend Smith and
left an account of her early life with the following lines:
the whole family would go to Cloughfoot Chapel. They are all buried
there except my father and mother. At the Anniversary service
or the Harvest Festival there was always a full congregation,
sometimes a band. The singing was lusty, the atmosphere much more
lively that St. Mary's where I went every Sunday. Curiously and
conversely the inside of the chapel was very bare. Parson
Smith lived in a house across the road and he was a friend of
the family. He was always a bit shabby, I suppose he was not paid
much. He was a great visitor to parishioners as well as friends
and he always stayed for tea where he ate most heartily.
was near and a favourite place for a good meal. Funnily enough,
although in some ways he was regarded as a figure of fun he had
some social standing and the best lace edged tablecloth and finest
china were brought out when he came to tea."
is a photograph of the pupils and teachers c1895 at Cloughfoot School
with some that have been identified.