Gisburn Primary School

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| Rimington & Middop | Paythorne


Descendants of Robert Dodgson

The Methodists of Paythorne

The Intriguing History of Paythorne's Ribble Stepping Stones

Paythorne What's in a Name?


Quick Links To Chapters

Introduction | Church Council Membership 1979-80 | The Methodists of Paythorne and Paythorne What's in a Name? | Travelling Preachers | John Wesley in Paythorne? and Legal Documents | The Skipton and Clitheroe Circuits and The New Chapel | Sunday School Reminiscences and Village Decline | Clitheroe Circuit and Rise and Fall | George Hargreaves and Success at Last | Misleading Statistics! and High Water and Centenary Celebrations | 50 More Years | And the Future... and References |


Sunday School Reminiscences

In the early l9th century many people were becoming aware of the need for improving standards of education, they were also very concerned at how little, if any, education most people received. A few children received some education at the old established grammar schools or at private schools such as once existed in Paythorne in the Old Manor House or in the granary off the Buck Inn yard, but for most adults and children (who would be working long hours) the only hope of education was at Sunday or evening schools run by the churches. The education at these schools varied considerably, but in addition to religious subjects most schools probably taught reading, writing and perhaps arithmetic with other more practical subjects such as sewing.

There is no record of when a Sunday School was first established in Paythorne but it seems to have developed fairly successfully after 1830 as a library was soon formed and this eventually contained about 200 books. About 1850 Richard Lund was a scholar at the school (he had been born in Newsholme and later became a jeweller in Clitheroe). Many years later he wrote:

As I remember the Sunday School sermons, the players and singers were in the corner on the left of the pulpit, and an oak table nearby was brought on the back of Billy Robinson. 'Th'owd maister'. Henry Sharp, played the little fiddle; William Bullock the clarinet; and Anthony Dickinson from Wigglesworth, the bassoon. At the tea party I remember Rachel Coates singing "Millions have reached that heavenly shore, Where pain and sorrow is no more: And still there's room for millions more Will you go?"

I often admired the old pulpit and the candlesticks, to me they seemed like gold  I liked to attend the tea party too. The women of Paythorne always knew how to make a good tea; they could shame the towns in that respect.

The first superintendent I remember was Jacky Bullock: he wore a white linen jacket over his coat. The women had  bonnets of plain straw, with ribbons for strings  Jacky usually stood on the pulpit steps and started the tunes. His left leg was shorter than the right, and as he 'led off' the short leg used to go up .... It was funny, yet we dare not laugh, as Jacky could use the stick....

Once the superintendent from Skipton came to preach. Heannounced a six-eights meter (six lines) and, as the custom was, read only two lines, in order that those who had no books could sing the words. Jacky started a tune which was pitched too low, so that before proceeding to read the next two lines the minister asked Jacky to sing a little higher. "Thee mind thi preachin an we'll dolt singing" Jacky replied ''tha'll see it'll be high enough before we get through"! .... Other helpers were... John Parker and his wife; she wore a white shawl. John was a local preacher and trustee. One Sunday he was taking the service and there was none to start the tunes. The only tune that John knew was the "Old Hundred" and as he chose three long metre hymns they sang that tune to each! The Chapel was well attended. It was the custom of children from a distance to bring their dinners. Scholars rose in the classes by merit. The people cleaned the Chapel voluntarily....

About 1864 the violin and clarinet gave way to a harmonium. William Hargreaves, who afterwards was innkeeper of the Buck  and his brother, Henry, were concerned in the introduction of the 'box o'whistles' .... It was decided to form a choir and to have a 'singing pew' and as the brothers were joiners, they did the work. On the first Sunday the instrument was played by Henry, who could play by ear. Then a Holdsworth tune book was procured and the harmonium was carried from the cottage to the chapel every Sunday, and back again after the service, until William could play from music!

Village Decline

On Sunday 30th March 1851 a census was taken of attendances at the churches and chapels of England and Wales. The return for Paythorne states that there were 70 'free sittings'' available and 70 'other seats'. The attendance at the afternoon service was 65 and at the school 45.

At that time some of the local preachers came from as far away  as Draughton and Addingham in Wharfedale. They had to leave  home, possibly on a cold winter's morning at seven o'clock,  walk six miles to Skipton, ride nine miles in the daily post  conveyance which travelled from Skipton to Gisburn and was  due at Horton Four Lane Ends at 10 a.m. From there the preacher had an hour to walk the three miles for the service at 11 o'clock. The service was followed by dinner, and a further service at 2 p.m . .... a further walk of five miles to Long Preston was then entailed and after tea there was a  service. at 6.30. After the railway from Skipton to Lancaster  was opened the return journey to Skipton could be by train  and was accomplished by about 9 p.m., then the last weary six miles on foot were finished anywhere from 10.30 to11pm A journey of 39 miles in 14 hours and the conducting of  three services! Surely a strenuous day's work for the master!

In the middle of the 19th Century, it has been stated, the agrculture of Paythorne still included corn growing. Tradespeople in the village included many hand-loom weavers, two blacksmiths, two tailors, two or three grocers, a butcher, a saddler, a draper and a cornmiller  how accurate in detail this information is must be uncertain, but it definitely suggests a very active village community rather than merely a scattering of farms.

The decline of Paythorne as a village must have begun between 1851 and 1861 when 16 of the 42 dwellings in the 'township' were demolished leaving mainly the farmhouses standing  the stone from the cottages was used for roadmaking. During the period the population also decreased from 206 to 126 and over the next 20 years, whilst no more houses were demolished, the population continued to decline until only 100 people remained. The reasons for the decline were no doubt linked to national problems as agriculture and industry were still changing and many people moved to live in the towns. Of particular importance in Paythorne at this time was the almost complete elimination of the hand-loom weaving industry.

The effects of the village decline were disastrous for the Chapel. At one stage there was no Sunday School or choir and the congregation was reduced to about 6 people. In 1874 there also seems to have been other troubles as in Skipton on 29th September there was:

a long conversation or, the state of the society at Paythorne, which ended in a sort of understanding that as soon as possible the ministers and Mr. W. Mattock shall visit Paythorne with a view to correct, advise and set them straight.