moved in to demolish a chapel built 100 years ago
"The Botteslow Street Wesleyan
Methodist Chapel, Hanley, is one of the last surviving buildings in
a clearance area which has already seen more than 200 homes torn
down in recent years.
Work to demolish the building,
which was built in 1906 to replace the original chapel erected in
1880, started on Wednesday and was expected to finish today.
Local historian Angie Stevenson,
from Longton, has been documenting the demolition of buildings
across North Staffordshire for future generations and was among the
spectators yesterday. And she
has been busy ensuring parts of the chapel are retained for years to
come. She said: "It's terribly sad to see the building coming
down and I think it's important we do all we can to preserve our
history, especially when you consider the chapel is more than 100
a wooden fireplace and the workmen are also going to save me the
stone tablet at the top of the chapel, which is dated AD1906.
"I'll be putting the items in storage for the time being and
then, when a new development is put on the site, I will be
speaking to the builders to try to get them included in the new
building." Mrs Stevenson said the demolition of the chapel,
which seated congregations of up to 200, had provoked emotion in
She said: "A lot of people
have been stopping on their way past to chat and share their
memories of the building.
"I've had people tell me they
were christened inside the chapel, while others have told me they
got married there, or went to Sunday school.
"In its heyday it was a
centre-piece for the whole community."
The demolition work is part of
the wider City Waterside project, which will see the creation of
2,500 homes, including canalside apartments and family houses.
Clearance work has been carried out
around Botteslow Street and between Waterloo Street and Commercial
A Stoke-on-Trent City Council
spokesman said: "The chapel should be fully demolished
shortly. In the short-term there are plans to landscape the area,
with a view to the land later being used as part of a possible new
road system linking the city centre with Bentilee."
The £22 million bypass plan, which
has been in the pipeline for 35 years, is currently under review by
Newspaper - 23rd April 2010