Friday, 4 January 2019

Methodist Worship in Arksey

Arksey Methodist Sunday School, 1950's

Arksey Wesleyan Methodist Chapel

Having recently written about non-conformist churches in Bentley (see 'A Place of Worship'), it seems fitting to extend the subject to cover Arksey. However, whereas Bentley had a number of different denominations represented in the village, Arksey only provided for the Anglican church and Wesleyan Methodists. In this article we take a look at the Arksey Wesleyans and their chapels.

Early Wesleyan Meetings

An Anglican church had been established in Arksey for centuries before the need arose to provide for alternative religious expression. With All Saints Church (originally 'All Hallows') the centre of the parish for generations of Arksey and Bentley folk, there was little need for change. However, with the introduction of Methodism in the 1700's by John Wesley, an alternative way of worshipping rose from the traditional Church of England's teachings. 

Wesleyan Methodism first arrived in Bentley in 1790, and by the early 1800's its popularity had reached Arksey. As was the tradition, early services were held in the open air, however, by 1843 prayer services were being held on alternate Sunday evenings at 'Revors', this was presumably someone's house, although no-one of that name can be traced in Arksey.

The services at Arksey were conducted by the Doncaster Priory Place Circuit until 1956, when the Doncaster District Coalfields Mission took over.

The First Chapel

Although a definite date cannot be pinned down, it seems that sometime between 1843 and 1891 a Mission Room was set up in a portion of the smithy at Arksey. 

The smithy, just off a small lane on High Street, opposite the north west corner of All Saints Church, was in the ownership of the Trout family from the 1720's. A succession of Trout blacksmiths worked out of the long, low building for generations. In 1894 Thomas Trout, the last blacksmith of the family, died. Without a permanent blacksmith, the smithy was probably visited by travelling blacksmiths for years after.

The old smithy which doubled up as a chapel, now fallen into disrepair. Photo from 2009.

The tiny chapel in the smithy was host to various events and speakers. One such lecture is recorded in the diary of Ernest Goodridge (See 'When Bentley Stars Shine'), a young man from Bentley, a keen participant in the Wesleyan Church who was sadly killed in action at The Somme in 1916. 

Ernest Goodridge

In November 1909 Ernest recalls how he hurried home from work and went to Arksey to hear Mr Albert G. Hood give a description of the ship, the Mauritania. Hailing from Newcastle, Albert Hood founded The Shipbuilder and Marine Engine Builder, shipping journal and became a close friend to Ernest. While in the area Hood gave two lectures, one at Arksey and another at Bentley, presumably at Bentley's Wesleyan Chapel.

Mrs Beverley

One notable and very active participant of the Wesleyan Society was Mrs Mary Hannah Beverley. She and her husband John Henry, an Afghan war veteran, kept the Marsh Lane Gatehouse during the first decade of the twentieth century. When John died in 1909 Mary moved into Arksey Almshouses, and it was in her tiny home that she held many week-night Class Meetings and evening services. 

Mary Hannah Beverley in 1913

Ernest Goodridge and his brother held the Beverley's in very high esteem, their devotion to Mrs Beverley akin to that of a much loved Grandmother.

In 1916 Mrs Beverley chose the poems to be recited at the anniversary service in the smithy chapel, although she was not well enough to attend in person. Mrs Beverley died at the age of 72 in April 1917, just six months after her dear friend Ernest was killed at The Somme. Arksey Chapel recorded these words about her;
'She greatly loved the children and it was a joy to do what lay in her power for the Sunday School. she lived to prove the grandeur of the truth, that those who live in faith - at eventide there shall be light.'

A New Chapel

Services in the smithy chapel were held up to 1921, when the congregation moved to a rented room. This was a temporary move however, as a new, purpose built chapel was planned for the village. The new chapel was built beside the old cemetery on Station Road. 

The cost of the new wooden building was £230, this was partially met through fund raising, gifts and collections. 

Some items from the old chapel were saved and reused in the new building, such as the screen at the back of the communion rail, the platform, the organ, a screen at the back of the building and the seating forms.

New items gifted to the chapel included:
  • A hymn board and numbers from Mr A Cawood,
  • A pulpit bible from Mr and Mrs Ogley,
  • A pulpit hymn book, service book, 12 small books and an organ tune book from Miss C Marsh,
  • A communion table from Messrs Eric and Bert Whittington,
  • Communion and pulpit chairs from Mrs Jenkinson,
  • A silver plate for the communion table from Mr A Hope,
  • A runner for the communion table from Mrs Whittington,
  • A cover for the reading desk from Mr Strawson,
  • A cover for the inside communion rail from Mr May,
  • The font from Mr and Mrs P Deaville,
  • A lino and door mat from Mr and Mrs C Deaville.
  • A clock from the Sunday School,
  • A collection plate from Miss Stokoe.

The opening ceremony of the new chapel took place on the 20th of August 1931, taking part in proceedings were Rev. Alfred Easton of Leeds, Rev. W Hunt Soper and Rev. T H Gregson of Bentley. Rev. A B Cannon of Sheffield, who preached the opening service, and Mr T G Whittington (circuit steward) who presented the door key to Miss T C Smith of Adwick, she was also given a souvenir key. 

Mr Whittington presenting Miss Smith with the key to the chapel. Also pictured are 
Mr T C Smith, Re. T H Gregson and Mr C H Theobald (circuit steward). 
From a newspaper cutting of 1931. 

In her speech Miss Smith said that on this happy occasion, they were there to rejoice with the people of Arksey on the completion of the new place of worship, after spending many years in the old building. She hoped many, in and around Arksey would find it a real spiritual home and she had much pleasure in declaring it open. Miss Smith was presented with a bouquet of flowers by Miss Brenda Deaville.

The day continued with a short service followed by tea in the Church Hall by kind permission of the vicar of all Saints, Rev. J Pierce Price. Rounding off events, a meeting was held in the evening presided over by Mr M L Gleghorn.

Sixty Years of Arksey Chapel

Over the course of the following sixty years Arksey Wesleyan Chapel thrived. As well as serving the spiritual needs of the congregation, it also fulfilled a role in the community. 

A Sunday School provided a meeting place for local children and events were held annually such as a 'treat'. In 1932 it is recorded that 73 children and 45 adults were entertained to a tea outside the chapel, followed by games in a nearby field. The Sunday School anniversary event took place in the summer months and consisted of the children presenting a programme of songs and recitations as they travelled around Bentley. In 1969 the anniversary consisted of a parade around Arksey singing hymns, followed by an evening service. The Sunday School Superintendent was Mr Chambers.

In 1967 a 'Wives and Mothers Group' was set up which met once a fortnight. Elected officials were Mrs Thompson (secretary), Mrs Topham (treasurer), Mrs Walters (vice-president), Mrs Drury and Mrs Colbeck.  

The Final Years

By 1990 the chapel was showing signs of age and efforts were made to try to raise funds for repairs. Two events hosted by Mrs Margaret Tarren raised over £250, and by the close of the year the final bank balance stood at just over £1,090. It was not sufficient to save the building and with a dwindling congregation, the decision to close the chapel and join with Bentley Central Methodist Church was taken the following year.

A final 'Service of Thanksgiving' was held on Sunday September the 29th 1991. Conducted by Rev. Mavis Bruce, the preacher was Rev. W Ronald Waine (Superintendent Minister, Doncaster Circuit). The organist was Mrs Pat Wigmore and the soloist was Mrs Olive Wall (of Thorne). 

Service sheet from the final Thanksgiving Service 
kindly donated by Mrs Margaret Tarren.

The chapel was sold in 1993 for £35,000, the contents of which had already been donated to other Methodist churches. The building was demolished and four houses were built on the plot. 

So ended over 150 years of Methodism in Arksey. Today, the only denomination served in the village is that of the Anglican church at All Saints. However, there are plenty of Arksey and ex-Arksey folk who have fond memories of the little wooden chapel, especially those married or Christened there. I hope this article helps to keeps those memories alive for many years to come.


At the time of writing I do not have a photo of the Station Road chapel, however I do hope to add one to this article as soon as possible.

Much of the chapel information is taken from the book '200 Years of Methodism in Bentley', available to buy at Bentley Library.

Information and photographs on Ernest Goodridge and Mary Hannah Beverley is taken with permission from the book 'The Same Stars Shine', by Ernest N. Goodridge and John A. Goodridge.

For more on the subject of Methodism and Bentley non-conformist churches see the article - 'A Place of Worship', on sister site, Bentley Village, A History.

Alison Vainlo 2019

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Armistice - One Hundred Years

2018 marks one hundred years since the end of The Great War. It is a time for reflection and for commemoration. Like many other communities up and down the land Arksey and Bentley did not remain untouched by tragedy. Our war dead are remembered on various church memorials and in our cemeteries. This special post has been put together to remember all those from the Arksey and Bentley area who fought for our country, and those who paid the ultimate price. 

This post contains information from various war memorials and graves. Photos from the Bentley Armistice Remembrance Parade on 11th November 2018, and a special section of submissions remembering those from the Bentley area who fought and died or survived the Great War 1914 - 1918. 

WW1 Memorials in Arksey Old/New Cemeteries

BAKER, Henry (367311)

Labour Corps, Private
24 January 1920, age 43
Old Cemy


BRYAN, Thomas (22040)

Northumberland Fusiliers, Lance Corporal V.C.
13 October 1945, age 63
New Cemy, Section J, Plot 237

Thomas Bryan

J 237, Thomas Bryan

Click here for more on Thomas Bryan V.C.

COCKIN, George (99374)

Royal Engineers, Corporal
25 December 1916, age 47

Also added to this memorial:


Royal Navy, Able Seaman
19 (?) October 1940, age 23
Killed in action.
Old Cemy.

E 123 Cockin

CRANIDGE, Harold Dixon (332794)

Highland Light Infantry, Private
19 June 1917, age 20
Old Cemy.


ELTON, George Albert (106688)

Royal Engineers, Pioneer
19 February 1916, age 22
Old Cemy.


HARRIS, Sarah Lizzie (14909)

Queen Mary's Army Auxilliary Corps, Worker
26 February 1919, age 26
Old Cemy.


MARTIN, Ernest James (136)

Australian Army Medical Corps, Private
28 April 1917, age 27
Old Cemy.


SCREEN, Alfred (166447)

Royal Garrison Artillery, Bombardier
23 July 1919, age 23
Old Cemy.


STONES, Frederick Wilford (17173)

York and Lancaster Regt. Private

29 January 1917, age 20
Old Cemy.


WHITE, Thomas Henry (75039)

Royal Garrison Artillery, Corporal

13 December 1918, age 22
Old Cemy



WW1 Memorial Plaque, All Saints Church, Arksey

WW1 Memorial

To the Glory of God
Two bells were added to
the six bells in this tower.
By public subscription,
the 2nd bell commemorating 
peace after victory 1919.
The treble bell in memory of 
the men from this parish
who gave their lives during
The Great War 1914 - 19, whose
names we gratefully record.
Herbert Hopper
Jim Locking
George Leadbeater
Albert Leadbeater
Charles Leadbeater
Charles Webster
Robert Norris
Charles Arrand
Harry Frost
John William Dawson
George Arthur Stanley Hirst
Henry Severn.


Underneath the Brass Plaque

Memorial vase situated within the church.

In loving memory of Jim LOCKING, died from wounds and buried at Pernes British Cemetery, 17 - 6 - 18, aged 26. Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 


Bentley War Memorial, St Philip and St James Church, Victoria Road, Bentley.

Bentley War Memorial, photo courtesy of Keith Wilburn



1914 - 1918

A - Z of Names

Allen, H; Anderson, J W; Andrews, J W; Ashford, W. 

Barker, G; Brown, H; Brown, J W; Burgin, S.
Chambers, C; Clifton, R; Connell, S H; Connell, T J; Cooke, C; Cooke, T; Cope, W; Cox, H; Crich, J; Crowcroft, J.
Deacon, F; Deakin, T H; Dobson, W; Don, K; Dunstan, E.
Ellis, C; Elsey, L; Evison, E.
Fletcher, W; Foster, H.
Geary, B; Grant, F; Gregory, F.
Hall, A; Hardy, A; Harrison, T E; Hatfield, J; Havenhand, E; Havenhand, J; Hickling, H; Huckaby, A; Hunt, W.
Jackson, B; Jackson, J; James, O; Jinks, D.
Kirkham, H.
Lane, D L.
Machin, D; Maddison, J; Markman, R; Marshall, Marshall, W; M R; Martin, A A; Moore, E; Morton, S.
Norris, I.
Parker, A; Parrot, W; Pease, L; Pester, A; Platts, E: Portman, J; Price, L; Priest, P.
Rooke, J E; Rose, J H; Rowland, J; Rowland, T.
Screen, A; Sheldon, C; Shin, G F; Spencer, M; Stevenson, G.
Trickett, A.
Warman, G; Woolley, A; Woolley, W; Wright, S.
Yates, J.


St Peter's Church WW1 Memorial

Photo courtesy of Paul Gleadall


Servers at the Altar
Atkinson-Jowett. J. Leiut.
Ball. D. Corp.

Bell Ringers
Bell. G. L' Corp.
Cranidge. H. Pte.
Elton. C. A. Pte.
Tuplin. G.H. Sapr.

Harrison. B. A.B.
White. T.H. Corp. Sig.

Sunday School Teacher
Evans. S. Pte.

Anderson. W. Pte. Binch. J.L. Pte. Carr. P. Sapr. Cockin. G. Corp. Clark. A.W. Pte. Crump. H.B. Pte. Duke. H. Gunner. Edwards. A. Lieut. Gilbourne. C. Corp. Gascoyne. A.H. Corp. Goodridge. E. Corp. Hunt. H. Pte. Hope. J.H. Pte. Kitching. H.P. L'Corp. Kitchen. H. Pte. Law. R. Pte. Leech. C. Pte. Mason. E. Capt. Mason. C.W. Corp. Peel. G.A. Pte. Pickup. R. Pte. Pickup. E. Pte. Pickup. A. Pte. Poucher. W. Pte. Ryder. E.J. Sapr. Roberts. L. Sergt. Rippon. A. Sergt. Scales. J. Corp. Smith. A. Gunner. Stafford. J.C. Pte. Stones. A. Sgt. Stones. F. Pte. Stones. R. Pte. Stocks. J.H. A.B. White. E. Pte. Walker. G.W. Pte. Yates. H. Sergt. Yates. W. Pte.



Bentley Wesleyan Church
(now demolished)

The Roll Of Heroes
Pro Patria
The Names Of Those Who Have Been
Connected With
Bentley Wesleyan Church
Who Have Given Their Lives For Their Country

Leonard Peace. K.O.Y.L.I. June 1915
John H. Hope. K.O.Y.L.I. July 1915
John Y. Ogley. K.O.Y.L.I. September 1915
Ernest Goodridge. K.R.R. October 1916*
William H. Long. K.R.R. October 1916
Bernard Seaton. K.O.Y.L.I. 1916
Edgar C. Lambert. R. [?.?] December 1917
Albert Windle. M.O.C. April 1918
Sidney Burgin. R.A.D.
George Grayshon. Y.L.I.
Allan O. Honeyphone.
Leonard Durrow. October 1918
Arnold Peace. October 1918

*Also remembered on the Memorial Plaque in St Peter's Church, Bentley.


A Hero in the Family

This section of the post is given over to those who kindly submitted details and photos of their own family members who fought and died or survived The Great War.

ABBOTT, George Henry 

Royal Munster Fusiliers, after 1918 Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.
Born 9th February 1893. Survived the war.
Awarded the Military Medal in 1918.

George Henry Abbott

Submitted by Terry Braithwaite.

ASHWORTH, James (22881)

York and Lancaster Regiment, 2nd Bn, Private.
15th September 1916, age 19.
Commemorated at Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, Picardy, France.

James Ashworth

Submitted by Dennis Lowe.

BELL, George (203198)

Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, Lance Corporal.
25th July 1917, age 22.
Buried Mont Huon Military Cemetery, Treport, France.
Remembered on the Memorial plaque in St Peter's Church, Bentley.

BELL, John Henry 

11 July 1914, age 31.
No further details available.

George and John Henry Bell were brothers.

Submitted by Christine Naylor.

COOKE, Thomas (95036)

Royal Fusiliers, Company Serjeant Major. MC. DCM. MM.*
26 August 1918, age 31.
Buried at Bonfay Farm Military Cemetery, Bray sur Somme, Picardy, France.
Remembered on the War Memorial, St Philip & St James Church, Victoria Road, Bentley.

Thomas Cooke
Mary Jane Cooke (mother of Thomas)
shown wearing Thomas's medals

*MC - Military Cross, DCM - Distinguished Conduct Medal, MM - Military Medal.

Submitted by Tom Booth.

EDEN, Arthur (12255)

West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales Own), 10th Bn. Lance Corporal.
3 March 1916, age 20, defending an area of land called The Bluff.
Commemorated at Ypres (Menin Gate) memorial.
Awarded 14/15 Star, War and Victory (held along with his death plaque at Doncaster Museum).

Arthur Eden

Submitted by Barbara Dickinson.

GOODRIDGE, Ernest (7868)

King's Royal Rifle Corps, 18th Bn. Corporal.
10 October 1916, age 24.
Commemorated at Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, Picardy, France.
Remembered on the Memorial plaque in St Peter's Church, Bentley. Also at Bentley Wesleyan Church (now demolished).

Ernest Goodridge

Taken from the article - When Bentley Stars Shine.

JAMES, Oliver (17388)

York and Lancaster Regiment 1st/4th Bn. Private.
13 October 1918, age 31.
Buried at York Cemetery, Haspres, Nord, France.
Remembered on the War Memorial, St Philip & St James Church, Victoria Road, Bentley.

Oliver James


Bible belonging to Oliver James

Submitted by Sue Lister.

LONGSTAFF, Arthur Welford (aka Geordie) 

Royal Horse Artillery.
Survived the war and lived on Arthur Street, Bentley New Village.
Born 11 April 1892, Bishop Auckland, Co Durham, died March 1960, Doncaster.

Arthur Longstaff (right) in later years

Submitted by John Hufton.

PICKUP, Albert (204883)

Northumberland Fusiliers 20th (Tyneside Scottish) Bn. Private.
16 October 1917, age 39.
Commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium. 
Remembered on the Memorial plaque in St Peter's Church, Bentley.

A Pickup

PICKUP, Ernest (40262)

Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), 10th Bn. Private.
17 October 1916, age 21.
Commemorated at Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, Picardy, France.
Remembered on the Memorial plaque in St Peter's Church, Bentley.

Ernest Pickup, 3rd from left

E Pickup

PICKUP, Robert (17558)

King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry 10th Bn. Private.
1 July 1916, age 26.
Commemorated at Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, Picardy, France.

Remembered on the Memorial plaque in St Peter's Church, Bentley.

R Pickup

Thiepval Memorial, France

Albert, Ernest and Robert Pickup were all brothers born in Bentley. They worked as brickyard labourers before the war.

Submitted by Paul Gleadall.

PRITCHARD, Gibert (L/16661)

4th Royal Fusiliers, Private
Served in France 1915 - 1917. Gunshot wounds to face and knee.
Awarded Silver War badge for wounded soldiers.


Emigrated to Australia 1912.
Australian Light Railways Operating Company. Sapper.
Served in France 1915 - 1919. Survived without physical injury.


No military information. Photo (below) shows him wearing a hospital issue jacket, presumably he was wounded.

Back L to R. Thomas, Gilbert and Walter Pritchard

Gilbert, Thomas and Walter were all brothers, part of a large family who lived in Bentley between 1916 and 1919. Most of them emigrated to Australia.

Submitted by Barbara Dickinson.

SMITH, Wilfred Gordon (20017)

Durham Light Infantry 13th Bn. Private.
17 July 1916, age 29.
Commemorated at Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, Picardy, France.

Wilfred Gordon Smith

Wilfred's Granddaughter at the Thiepval Memorial

Originally from Sunderland, Wilfred's widow remarried and moved to Royston Avenue, Bentley.

Submitted by Christine Pemberton.

WARMAN, George (22500)

Worcestershire Regiment, Private.
23 April 1917, age 31.
Buried at Windmill British Cemetery, Monchy-le-Preux, France.
Remembered on the War Memorial, St Philip & St James Church, Victoria Road, Bentley.

George Warman


Warman memorial with medals and
poppies displayed.

Submitted by Helen McCluskie.

YATES, John (9625)

Grenadier Guards, 2nd Bn. Private.
2 August 1915, age 31.
Buried at Guards Cemetery, Windy Corner, Cuinchy, Pas de Calais, France.
Remembered on the War Memorial, St Philip & St James Church, Victoria Road, Bentley.


Submitted by Helen McCluskie.

Further posts pending for this section.


Armistice - One Hundred Years

Bentley Remembrance Parade
11th November 2018

Many thanks to Keith Wilburn for kind permission to use these photos.

If you have a soldier you would like to see remembered on this page, please submit details and any photos to me at:

Many thanks to all contributors of this page.

Alison Vainlo 11th November 2018