Building Photographs - The Baptist Chapel Great Green

This photo shows the baptist chapel, the plait school to the left and the cobblers shop to the left of that.

1924  John Lawrence, shoe mender, standing outside his workshop on Chipping Green. He was trained as a cobbler, as were many disabled solders after the First World War. He had a contract to repair the boots of policemen and firemen from Hitchin. He also mended wellingtons with big rubber patches. As a sideline, he cut people’s hair and his pet monkey Ginny would sit on customer’s shoulders.


1920s Known as the “Providence Chapel,” this Baptist building stood where the bungalow, known as Springfields, is now situated. There had been Baptists in the village since 1655 but their presence was enhanced significantly when the Vicar of St Mary’s, Henry Denne (1630-1643), joined their community. The chapel was constructed in 1848 to house the increasingly flourishing community of Strict Baptists, whose preachers of “hell-fire and eternal damnation” included Charles Handscombe (known to villagers as “Dabba”). Although no music was allowed, the congregation sang unaccompanied and joined together for an annual Celebration Tea.  The chapel just failed to reach its century. Baptists worshipped here until1944, when it was demolished following irreparable damage by one of Hitler’s “doodlebugs.”


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