The building of a Brownhills icon

Sometimes the blog connects things out of the blue and it’s rather lovely.

When I posted the set of carnival images donated by the Craddock family via Peter Booth over the weekend, Peter had said to me he had a bunch of slide images that he was cleaning up depicting the construction and opening of Silver Street Methodist Church in Brownhills.

Well, Chris Booth (who I think may be a relation) posted what I suspect is that set on Facebook on Monday evening and gave me permission to share them here. They are utterly remarkable – not just for the engrossing subject matter – the novel construction of a beautiful, modern place of worship – but for the eloquence with which they speak of the period. 

Edited 24th April 2019 8:55pm:

Turns out this isn’t the Craddock set at all – Peter is still beavering away on those. There are two: Chris Booth supplied these images taken by his Grandfather, Fred Booth.

To clear things up further, Peter is Chris’s uncle, so that makes the family connection.

Readers will know how important correct attribution is to me and the blog’s integrity so I’m all too happy to point this out and apologise for any embarrassment caused. – Bob

The people, the cars, the backgrounds. The open building site. The policeman looking on at the group before Mount Zion Chapel in the High Street. The dress and stance of the people laying the commemoration stone. The children.

The Craddock family were very much involved with the creation of this church – Roy Craddock was the Secretary of the Church Trustees at the time.

The church was built in 1967 to replace the and combine Mount Zion and the Wesleyan in Brownhills High Street which were lost to redevelopment and it has to be said, old age; latterly, the remarkable building whose design hasn’t dated at all has accepted congregations from other churches and chapels in Brownhills like Park View, Brownhills West and Coppice Side.

The Silver Street Church is busy and has an active congregation and you can find out more about it at their website here and Facebook page here.

Thanks to Chris for sharing a remarkable piece of local history.

As ever, if any members of the Church would care to drop me an email I’m happy to advertise your community events. Just drop me a line.

If you have any memories of the new Silver Street Church – or indeed, the ones it superseded – please do comment or drop me an email. BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

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8 Responses to The building of a Brownhills icon

  1. Ray Share says:

    The cradock family where involved with all the local chapels John craddock at clay hanger road with his brother frank his sons Arnott ..stan ..ira.and Sid and sister lily cook they lived in common side

  2. Chris Smith says:

    Julia Craddock was married to John Holland, a Primitive Methodist Minister from Whitchurch who used to visit the local circuit a couple of times a year and would have preached at the old chapel, I believe

  3. David Evans says:

    I believe Rev John Holland grew up locally and who as Minister, became the Secretary to the Conference before moving to Canada. He returned ti England and retired to Whitchurch, where he died during the war. I understand his son who was a Canadian Air Force fighter pilot, was given special leave ti attend hus fathers funeral. the son later lost his life in action over the Channel and is buried in a military cemettary near Ostend, being the only Canadian Air Force pilot to be bured there.
    Rev John Holland was a Sunday School scholar at Springhill chapel .

  4. David Evans says:

    From the obituaries in the Minutes of the Methodist Conference 1943.

    JOHN HOLLAND: born at Brampton Brian, Herefordshire, in 1869. Early in life, however, his parents removed to Staffordshire, and he attended Springhill Church in the Lichfield Circuit. After a period of training at Hart¬ley College, he became in 1891 junior minister in his home circuit. For forty-eight years, thirteen of them in London and twenty-two in Shropshire, he was “in labours more abundant,” and his ministry throughout the years was strenuous and successful. He was a man of strong and distinctive personality. The gift of racy and effective speech he used to great advantage, and as a preacher he found a way to the hearts of his hearers. He rejoiced in “the ministry of reconciliation.” His services as a lecturer were in great demand, and he played a part in the administrative side of the church’s life, giving of his very best. He made many friends and became a friend to many, and his pastoral work was greatly blessed. His greatest joy was in the winning of souls. In 1939 he became a Supernumerary, and continued to serve the Wem Circuit. In the early morning of March 17, 1943, this zealous servant of God passed to the higher service in the seventy-fourth year of his age and the fifty-second of his ministry.

  5. David Evans says:

    Brownhills
    A £30,000 Methodist Church was opened on Saturday by Mrs M E Wootton, representing the builders. It was dedicated by the Rev Brian S O’Gorman, chairman of the Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury Methodist district
    Birmingham Daily Post, 24 April 1967

  6. Reg Fullelove says:

    in my boyhood days we used to refer the park as holland park wasnt he also a counciller

  7. Pingback: The building of a Brownhills icon from a different point of view | BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

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