The fact that last Saturday was the 50th anniversary of
the laying of the foundation stones of the old Bar
Chapel Sunday School, Cowling, will stir up memories
among the older generation. There are ten stones, and of
the ten people whose names figure on the there is but
one survivor (1936) - the Rev. James Whitaker, Ph.D., of
San Jose, California. Dr. Whitaker is a native of
Cowling and has many friends in the district. His work
in California has been outstanding. A preacher of
considerable ability, he was for a period honoured by
appointment as chaplain of the Californian Senate, and
gave a series of wireless sermons broadcast from the San
Jose wireless station. Well known in Methodist circles
throughout California, he has been pastor of many
important churches, including the influential church at
PRESENT DAY LINKS
Another name well known locally is that of the late Mr.
James Bailey, uncle to the present Mr. James Bailey, a
member of the Parish Council. The late Mr. Bailey,
intimately connected with Bar Chapel, was for many years
a Sunday School Superintendent.
Another stone bears the name of Mr. John Binns, son of
the late Mr. John Binns, founder of John Binns & Sons
Ltd., Croft & Carr Mills, Cowling. He also was a Sunday
School Superintendent for a period. His brother Mr.
Thomas Binns is also represented. He, too, was a keen
worker for Methodism. Of temperate habits, he was a
staunch supporter of Cowling Temperance Society, being
for many years vice president.
Another well remembered name is that of the late Mr.
James Emmott, who held almost every office in the Sunday
School at some period, notably as Sunday School teacher
and . superintendent. He was the father of the late Mr.
Stephen Emmott, and grandfather of Messrs. Stanley &
Raymond Emmott, present directors of the firm of John
Binns & Sons Ltd.
Then there is the late Mr. J. P. Fielden, of Rochdale,
who will not be so easily recalled. He married the then
Miss Alice Binns, sister of John & Thomas Binns - hence
his connection with the chapel.
Miss Elizabeth Hutchinson, another of the ten, was
teacher of the young women's class and her old scholars
will well recall her. On her death she left a large
legacy to the chapel trustees. Yet another name is that
of the late Mr. Benjamin Snowden, of Preston, who was
brother of Mr. William Snowden of Keighley, father of
the well known author, Keighley Snowden. He was a native
Another name which conjures memories is that of William
Snowden senior, who was Sunday School superintendent for
a considerable period. He is said to have been the first
man in Cowling to manufacture gas, which he did while
working at John Binns & Sons. He has many descendants in
the village, including Mr. Wright
Snowden, a well known Methodist worker, and Chairman of
the Cowling Parish Council. The last of the ten names is
that of the late Mr. William Snowden, of Keighley. He
was the brother of the late Mr. Ben Snowden of Preston.
Their father is said to be the original of that well
known character "Binnie Driver" portrayed in "The Web of
an Old Weaver", written by the author J. Keighley