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Baptists in Beeston

The former Recreation Room March 2010
The former Recreation Room March 2010

In July 1855 a particular Baptist chapel, called Salem Chapel, was registered at Beeston Green by Joseph Martin of Beeston, shoemaker, who is called the proprietor. The registration was cancelled in 1895. Unbelievably, the chapel was built in front of two thatched cottages, 3 and 5 The Green, in such a way as to virtually obliterate all daylight to the front of the houses and their view out over The Green.

The building was purchased around 1889 by Harriott Anna Maria Stanhope Barnett of Beeston Grange and equipped as a recreation room for the parish. Miss Barnett died in 1898 and the room was sold, a committee of local people bought it for £42. The room was used as a venue for concerts and other functions such as hosting the village playgroup. The buildings declined and in November 1993 the decision was taken to close it. the building was purchased by a local woman in 1994 for £5,650 but remains derelict to the time of writing [2010].

Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service has no records from the Salem Chapel but has the sale particulars and conditions of sale of 1903 [Z977/1/1], minutes of the management committee from 1903 to 1994 [Z977/2/1-6] and account books from 1903 to 1955 [Z977/3/1-5].