The darker mornings and evenings of autumn are approaching rapidly. The first person to arrive at the chapel on a Sunday, usually puts on the lights and heaters by flicking a few switches, but it wasn’t always as simple as that. For the first 70 years after the chapel was built, heating was provided by a single cast-iron “Tortoise” stove, which required some skill to ignite and coax up to temperature. Lighting was provided by 6 large oil lamps suspended from hooks on the ceiling. These had to be raised and lowered for cleaning, refilling, trimming, lighting and extinguishing using chains or cords tethered to the walls.
When electricity was installed in the early 1950’s the lamps were taken down and thrown away, probably with considerable relief for those who had the job of dealing with them!
Fortunately, one lamp (shown below) was “rescued” before it was destroyed and remains in the village. I say “fortunately” because the brass lamp, glass shade and cast-iron supporting basket were beautifully constructed in typical Victorian style.
It is good to preserve those things of the past which are beautiful. More important than our physical or cultural heritage though, is our spiritual heritage that gives us hope for the future (Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.).