Something from Charny’s more distant past… In the Leicester Chronicle of 3 July 1880 there is an account of the opening of the new Wesleyan Methodist chapel at Victoria Road, New Humberstone. The chapel was designed by the local firm of architects, Redfern and Sawday, and the builder was Joseph Mason whose business was located at 101 Charnwood Street.
The chapel was 40 ft x 27 ft 6in wide and seated 210 people. It cost £400 to build, bringing the total cost with the land (£150) and fittings (£50) to £600. At the official opening a sermon was preached by John Lythe, chairman of the Wesleyan Methodist Nottingham district, to a ‘large and attentive congregation’, and a collection made for the building fund. This was followed by a tea meeting in a marquee in the grounds – which were described as a ‘facility for future extension or for building a Sunday School’. The chapel was demolished around 1916 when alterations were made to Victoria Road.*
101 Charnwood Street was occupied by the chemist John George Kelly by 1891, one of the chemists registered to make up prescriptions from the People’s Dispensary in Rutland Street, which provided health services to working class families in return for a small weekly subscription. It is difficult to know for sure, but when the whole street was renumbered soon afterwards this may have become 167 Charnwood Street, occupied in 1899 and for some years afterwards by the chemist Josiah Jackson.
* Andrew Moore, Where Leicester Has Worshipped (Laurel House Publishing, 2008)