Tuckingmill is a village in the civil parish of Camborne. This profile of Tuckingmill United Methodist Free Church has been compiled by Jo Lewis and Tony Mansell.
A United Methodist chapel is recorded at this location in Tuckingmill on the 1st Edition 1:2500 c1880 OS Map. On the 2nd Edition 1:2500 OS map c1907 it is annotated ‘Chapel’. On the modern OS Mastermap 2007 the chapel is not recorded and it appears that it has been demolished and the site developed. (Cornwall Heritage Gateway)
Located at the bottom of Edward Street it was the second to be built in Tuckingmill.
“Tuckingmill’s second chapel (taking them in chronological order of construction) was the Edward Street United Methodist Free Church. constructed in 1860. The building does not exist any longer and the site is occupied by flats. If one stood at the bottom of the street looking up the hill it was a very short distance up on the left. The chapel celebrated its Centenary in 1960. David Cock’s mid nineteenth century poem on Tuckingmill alludes to the chapel with the Words ‘The United Methodist Free Church, with others doth the Scriptures search’.
The United Methodist Free Church as a denomination was formed in 1857, as a result of a merger between the Wesleyan Association and the Wesleyan Reformers, both of which had broken away from the Wesleyans in recent years. The building of the Edward Street chapel at Tuckingmill took place during the 1855-1864 Free Methodist ministry at Camborne of the Revd Samuel Dunn (1798-1882). Dunn had previously served as a Wesleyan Minister at Camborne but was one of three ministers expelled by the Wesleyan Conference in 1849 following what was known as the Fly Sheets controversy and his refusal to commit to cease the publication of the Wesleyan Banner magazine which was critical of the Wesleyan establishment. He had also served as Wesleyan minister at Nottingham at the cavernous Wesleyan chapel where he had a Sunday evening working class congregation of about 1,800 people. He was therefore well versed in serving in industrial communities. One of his congregation at Nottingham was William Booth, who of course went on to found the Salvation Army. Dunn’s main chapel at Camborne was the now also vanished North Parade chapel. As a result of this split in Methodism in the period 1850-1855 about one hundred thousand members nationally left the Wesleyans to form Free Methodist chapels and Societies. Edward Street was therefore born out of this division.
The first photograph is a postcard view of the building posted in June 1905. It was a much smaller building than Tuckingmill Wesley but for many years had an active congregation and a choir, serving the streets of miners’ cottages nearby. The small forecourt is gated and railed in, containing shrubs. Note how in etching the letter ‘s’ on the glass negative in the building’s name the unknown photographer has got it the wrong way around. I do not have any older or indeed more modern images of the interior of this building in my collection so if anyone can assist by putting some up that would be very helpful indeed.
In the absence of any interior views of the chapel I am going to include what must be one of the most unusual Cornish Methodist social history postcards from my collection (pictures two and three). This is a view by Carnarthen Street photographer E J Champion of an object from a fund raising and social event in the chapel schoolroom billed as a Grand ‘Fruit from All Nations Tree’. The Methodists certainly had some ingenious ways of raising money!! The date is probably around the period 1910-1920 and the large number of Union Flags might possibly suggest a date during the Great War. The 6th February (the date on the poster) fell on a Thursday in the decade in 1913 and 1919.
The third picture is an enlargement of the poster in front of the tree and we learn from this that the event was to be opened by a Miss P Carkeek, who I believe was a formidable female Local Preacher, while other attractions included fishing ponds, a public tea, a sale of useful and fancy work, a post office and music. Quite an occasion by all accounts!! All part of the rich tapestry of vanished Cornish Methodist social history.” (David Thomas)
1859/1860: Build date. (SWChurches)
Built as a United Methodist Free Church by Mr John Mills of Camborne. (SWChurches)
January 1860: Opened.
13 Jan 1860: Copy newspaper account, opening, Edward Street Methodist Church, Tuckingmill, Camborne. From the West Briton newspaper, Friday 13 January 1860. (Kresen Kernow MRCR/56)
Part of the Redruth UMFC circuit until 1876 when a separate Camborne circuit was created. (SWChurches)
Circa 1900: The interior was remodelled. (SWChurches)
Later maps show it increased in size from the original square template of 1879.
There was also a Sunday school.
1907: The Methodist New Connexion, Bible Christians and United Methodist Free Churches amalgamated to become the United Methodist Church.
1907: Became a United Methodist Church. (SWChurches)
1910: Opening of new organ. (Cornubian and Redruth Times – Thursday 10 March 1910)
1932: The Wesleyan, Primitive Methodist and the United Methodist Church amalgamated to become the Methodist Church of Great Britain.
1932: Became Edward Street Methodist Church. (SWChurches)
1940: Seating for 190. (David Easton, Methodist Minister and historian)
1960: Programme and history, centenary celebrations, Edward Street Methodist Church, Tuckingmill, Camborne. (Kresen Kernow MRCB/932)
Circa 1970: Closure. (SWChurches)
1970s: The chapel closed, possibly after it became significantly damaged in a storm in 1978.
1975: Closure date according to David Easton, Methodist Minister and historian.
Demolished and the site developed as residential flats. (Chapel Court). (David Easton, Methodist Minister and historian)