Lancaster Nostalgia: a Wray chapel

a Sunday congregation at Roeburndale Methodist Chapel, circa 1946. Back row (left to right): Nellie Preece, William Woodhouse. Third row: Jane Mashiter, May Woodhouse, Margaret Mashiter. Second row: Helen Woodhouse with baby Derek Lord, Dorothy Preece, Mary Woodhouse with baby Tom Preece. 
Front row: Mary Lord, Jean Lord, Isaac Woodhouse, Joseph Woodhouse.
a Sunday congregation at Roeburndale Methodist Chapel, circa 1946. Back row (left to right): Nellie Preece, William Woodhouse. Third row: Jane Mashiter, May Woodhouse, Margaret Mashiter. Second row: Helen Woodhouse with baby Derek Lord, Dorothy Preece, Mary Woodhouse with baby Tom Preece. Front row: Mary Lord, Jean Lord, Isaac Woodhouse, Joseph Woodhouse.

In a collection of farming memories Wray historian David Kenyon takes us on a journey through the Roeburndale West Valley to Back Farm. This week David looks at Roeburndale Methodist Chapel.

At the point where Lower Salter Lane joins the Hornby Road stands Roeburndale Methodist Chapel. Built in 1901, the land given by Mr Francis Skirrow of Lower Salter Farm, the cost of the chapel was £180.

Mr Skirrow intended the chapel to be used as a school room during the week. This is evidenced by the fact 
that the pews have holes for inkwells. However, his 
idea never materialised owing to an inability to hire a teacher.

Just below the chapel stands a large timber hut that is used as a Sunday school and supper room. This building was originally built in 1928 as a supper room for Wray Methodist Chapel by Nicholas Newby, a joiner and undertaker at Wennington. However, in 1959 the building was sold to Roeburndale Chapel 
for £50. This building is now 88 years old, a remarkable life span for a timber building.

Inside the little chapel is a commemorative plaque to Flight Lieutenant Thomas Dirk Bayliss who lost his life on July 3 1979 when his Jet Provost trainer aircraft crashed into a field near High Salter Farm. The subsequent inquest into the crash heard that the plane came down after the pilot became disorientated in heavy mist and flew off course.

Flight Lieutenant Bayliss was born in Somerset in 1954. He had been stationed at RAF Church Fenton since April 1979.

He is buried at Kirkby Wharfe, Tadcaster, which is near the air base that he had flown from on that fateful day.

After leaving the little chapel we continue on our journey down the valley, crossing the little 17th century Barkin Bridge that spans the Roeburn Beck. We then climb up the very steep hill of Barkin towards Thornbush, a distance of half a mile.