The Church Building Today
The external shell is of twelve inch brickwork with part timber part plaster internal finish. The original entrance was by a door at the side of the chapel front, this gave way to a small porch (see above two photographs). On the left front side of the porch a staircase led up to a small room (this being known as the "Box Class" for Sunday School use) and opened into a balcony inside the chapel. On the ground floor, swing doors led from the porch to the chapel which was fitted with bench type wooden seats. A dais housed a sunken baptistery (still in use) and a raised pulpit, above which (on the balcony) was a pipe organ. The sides and ceiling of the chapel were covered with match board.
The 1854 schoolroom is to the rear of the chapel itself, and was match boarded half way up the upper part of the walls being plaster.
Added in 1868, a balcony ran round the inside of the chapel - some idea as to its size and area can be seen from the bracket covers still on the chapel walls; these were fitted to hide steel beams needed to support the balcony. The balcony was fitted with bench type seats of the same type as used on the ground floor.
Over the schoolroom to the rear of the chapel was a wall which housed the console of the pipe organ, and at either side of this were the choir stalls.
From 1839 to 1910, heating was either non-existent or by an open hearth. In 1910, it was decided to install heating provided by the Beeston Boiler Company, using their new idea of heating a large area by steam. A sunken boiler house was built at the side of the chapel, part of which can still be seen along with the chimney stack. Pipes led from the boiler house around the inside of the chapel
Lighting in the church was initially by candles. There is a record on the twelfth of November 1856 referring to "candlesticks to be purchased for the season and that Mr Wilson be asked to get them". In July 1868 gas lighting was installed. Brothers Wilson and Brown were asked to purchase gas fittings, there is also a minute in the church records for the sixth of January 1900 stating that "Bros R.Morton, W.T.Clarke and J.Morton arrange for the improvement of light in the chapel, with a light at the corner of the schoolroom outside to complete the work" In July 1948 a note was sent to the Notts and Derby Power Company asking them to connect the church to their power supply. Electric light was used for the first time in the chapel on Christmas Day 1949. It appears that electric heating was not in use until 1967 as there is a minute to the effect that "due to the high cost of electric heating for the last year we hold our evening services in the schoolroom during the winter months" made in July 1969.
Structural alterations and improvements to the building have been carried out throughout the life of the chapel and schoolroom. The first alteration being in 1926 when an extension was built onto the rear of the chapel consisting of, on the ground floor, a vestry and staircase leading to a Ladies Parlour on the upper floor. Major alterations were made to the chapel in 1962, when the balcony was removed, the pipe organ disposed of and the ceiling lowered. The upper room formed had a boarded floor which is used as additional school room space and for social and recreational use. Part of the old schoolroom on the ground floor was incorporated in the church forming a recess on the same level as the baptistery dais. The stage was fronted with an oak rail and wrought iron balustrade.
The church entrance was also altered in 1962 to extend the width of the original chapel, with double doors facing the road , toilets and cloaks to the left and stone staircase to the first floor. Another major extension was made in 1982, comprising a large side meeting room and with a separate fitted kitchen.
Items of Interest
The Memorial Scroll to the dead of the 1914-18 war was mounted on the wall inside the chapel during 1919.
A deacons' meeting and choir practice were brought to an abrupt halt on the thirty first of January 1916 by a Zeppelin raid, resulting in the lights going out when gas was cut off at the mains, plunging the whole of Langley Mill into darkness.
The safe used to house the Marriage Register was purchased from a Mr Upchurch of Eastwood in March 1917.
The leaded windows in the church have been donated by relatives of past members and were fitted by Messrs Pope and Parr of Nottingham. The leaded windows in the first floor room were fitted by local joiner and church member Mr Stanley Turton in May 1951.
The electrical system in the baptistery was installed by Lee Electrical Services in 1960.
The floor of the church was originally timber, but due to dry rot was replaced by concrete, this work was carried out by church members in 1980. The floor in the ground floor Sunday School deteriorated in similar fashion and was replaced, in concrete, by a visiting pastor from New Zealand in September 1984.
The railings and wall at the front of the church were erected in 1951. The frontage was set back some ten feet to conform with the Urban Council's building line. The expense was met by the Notts. and Derby Tram Company who had previously taken a section of the road.
We are grateful to the Deacons of the Langley Mill Baptist Church for allowing us to publish the text of a history compiled in 1985 by Ken Smith and Alfred Wood. Also to Monty Wood for obtaining the item on behalf of the Society
Last modified on 29 September 2013 12:49