Meeting Room, School Street

 

 

Meeting Room, School Street, Loughborough – 1884 OS Map

 

 

 A Meeting Room with cottage adjoining in School Street belonged to Thomas Messenger at the time of his death. It appears to have built prior to 29th September 1877, when Thomas Messenger purchased it from George Mee. The following year, it started being used as the Gospel Brethren[1] Meeting Room.

In 1881, services were held at 10:30 and 18:15 on Sundays, with bible reading on Thursday’s at 19:30[2]. In the 1890s, the 18:15 service had moved to 18:30[3] and remained so until into the 1920s[4]. By 1939, four services were held each Sunday, at 10:45, 14:30, 15:15 and 18:30, although apparently no Thursday evening bible readings[5]. The Meeting Room fell out of use as a place of worship prior to 1979[6], when it lost its license to hold weddings that had been granted fifteen years earlier on 9th November, 1964[7].

Meeting Room, School Street, Loughborough

In 1920, it was included in the dispersal sale of some of Thomas Messenger’s properties, being described as a “well built and lofty building”. It was 50ft. 6in. long by 14ft. 6in. wide and being leased to the Plymouth Brethren at a net yearly rental of £14 1os. At the back of the site, then known as No 39 Pinfold Passage, was a small cottage with yard and outbuildings, let at a yearly rent of £5 17s. to a Mr. Leonard Jarram. At the time of the sale, there was an outstanding mortgage for £250 under an indenture dated 16th February 1891[8].

The Meeting Room was purchased, together with the cottage, for £250, on behalf of the Brethren, by Charles Lowe, the owner of the upholstery and antique business of Charles Lowe & Sons, whose shop was at No 39, Church Gate still remain. At the time of his death, aged 72, in 1927, Charles Lowe was also living at No 39, Church Gate. In his will[9], he left both the Meeting Room and the accompanying cottage to his son, Samuel Lowe. This was on the understanding that the Brethren could continue their tenancy at the same rent and terms and conditions, for “….as long as they shall desire….”.

 

Meeting Room, School Street, Loughborough

 

At the time of making his will in 1922, the property was described as having a forty-foot boundary on the north-eastern side, with a property then owned by William Moss. On the north-west, side an 86ft. long boundary with Pinfold Passage. On the southeast side, the 66ft. 6in. of the boundary was with a property owned by Henry Godkin[10]; the other 22ft. 6in boundary was against a property owned by John Hall. On the south-west side, 25ft. 8in. bounded Henry Godkin’s[11] property and 25ft. onto School Street. This apparent strange boundary, on what appears to have been a straightforward rectangular plot, is because Meeting Room property stretched from the rear of what is now No. 9 and possibly No. 10 School Street up to its northeast boundary.

Meeting Room, School Street, Loughborough

The brick built, galleried building, with a span roof and gable ends still exists, having been converted in a residential property. It is located on the northeast side of the street running back from the road alongside Pinfold Jetty. It may have been built earlier than the surrounding houses, as Charles Lowe’s will describes the property as having originally been a factory. It has a later, single storey, brick service block, separating it from the road. There are four tall round headed windows along Pinfold Jetty with a matching set on the other side; two flat-headed windows at the old cottage end; one flat headed window at the front, facing School Street. Originally, there was an entrance into the Meeting Room directly from Pinfold Jetty, which has been blocked up. There may have originally been one or more doors on the far side, of which one remains, at the far end away from School Street.

The original cottage to the rear has been demolished and its site now forms part of the garden. When the converted Meeting House was offered for sale in 2003 for £127,500[12], it was described as being open plan with two very large bedrooms and a gallery landing.

 

 

 

References:

  1. The Loughborough Echo, 16th January 1920.

  2. Wills’ Loughborough Almanac & Street Directory.

  3. Ibid.

  4. Ibid.

  5. Ibid.

  6. The London Gazette, 6th December 1979.

  7. Ibid.

  8. Leicestershire Record Office ref: DE5099-117.

  9. Leicestershire Record Office.

  10. Misspelt in the will as Goakin.

  11. Ibid.

  12. The Loughborough Echo, 30th May 2003.