Historical chapel’s demolition

RUBBLE: The Methodist Church, at the top of Union Street, which was demolished in 1982.
RUBBLE: The Methodist Church, at the top of Union Street, which was demolished in 1982.

In 1982 a familiar building in Heckmondwike began to disappear.

I knew the building well as I grew up directly behind the former Westgate Chapel on the corner of Westgate and Union Street.

It once had steep stairs at the front entrance, which had now come crashing to the ground in a heap of stonework, wooden beams and dust.

The chapel outlived its partner by many years, as on the opposite side of the road another Methodist chapel had once stood.

Now the Westgate Chapel had come under the “demolition of man’s hammer”...to be replaced by, amongst other things, a take-away!

I remember going into the old building from time to time to jumble sales with my mum, or using the back wall to play tennis against.

One Saturday when the team demolishing the building had gone home for the weekend, the butcher from the top of the street knocked at our door.

He said: “The big tree near your house has caught on fire from the demolition work”.

The fire brigade soon came and saved the old tree and our house.

I have no idea how my brother Stephen worked the nightshift, after trying to sleep through this.

We soon moved.