War-time and after.

The years of war dragged on, and more of the men went away. For Mr. Bottoms the way was not easy, and we find that in 1917 he was given permission by the deacons to work in a munitions factory. Later, he was given 12 months' leave of absence to undertake canteen work with the Y.M.C.A. He was soon in France, and it was from there, after the war, that he sent his resignation in to Edgeside. When the war ended, several men had given their lives. The names, as inscribed on the Memorial Tablet erected to their memory, were :—

John Wm. Mitchell Frank Ashworth Abraham Cropper
Andrew D. Dyer Wilfred S. Gregory Fred Crisp
James E. Law Harry Wadsworth Robinson Whittaker

On October 6th, 1917, a memorial tablet to the memory of Mr. Thos. Sutcliffe, who passed away on January 1st of that year, at the age of 74, was unveiled by Mr. L. H. Haworth, and Rev. Bottoms presided. Born in 1842, Tom Sutcliffe came into contact with the church in 1855, when almost 14 years of age. He gave over 60 years of devoted service to the Church and Sunday School at Edgeside. He joined the church while still in his 'teens, and helped to dig his own baptistery in the clough on the North-West side of the chapel. He was soon made a deacon, and remained on the diaconate till his death. He was one of the original trustees, and on old documents the name " Thomas Sutcliffe and others," was always inscribed. His children tell of the times when the snow was deep. They would set off for chapel on a Sunday morning, with Father in the lead. He would force a way through, and turn to tell his children plodding on behind, " Put your feet in my footsteps, childer." This his children, and children's children are still trying faith­fully to do in their daily lives, and in their service for the Church. His eldest son, Joe Sutcliffe, who has given over 50 years' service to Edgeside, and over 50 as a Sunday School teacher, is a life deacon.

After Rev. J. E. Bottoms left, there was a period of three years when there was no minister. Then came Rev. G. C. Fraser Campbell, from Millom, with his wife and family. They soon endeared themselves very greatly to the people of the district, and the story of his ministry is well-known to many of the present congregation. His nine years' ministry was during the difficult days of trade depression, and on more than one occasion the church and congregation were called together to discuss and devise ways and means of raising money to keep going. Morning collections were begun. Help to the extent of £90 a. year was received from the Sustentation Fund, and the minute books of the Ladies' Guild and the Men's Class show the many ingenious efforts planned, and the wonderful way the people rallied round to make these efforts a success. 1 he Ladies' Guild did not change its name to Ladies' Aid until 1930, but long before this, the women's meeting was always aiding the church in what­ever way they could. They seemed to turn every activity into profit for church funds. They even made profit on outings, discounts on food purchases, collections, etc., all helping the church. In 1921 the Ladies' Effort raised £45, and rarely did they hand over to the Church Treasurer less than £35. In 1920 the annual concert brought in (with donations) £47 6s. 0d., of which £35 went to Church Funds, and £12 "for the purchase of a new slop-stone." The story of the Ladies' Aid is a grand record of service to the Church. The ladies must have been very energetically-minded, for on one occasion in 1928 when the speaker was taken ill, the members ' went for a short ramble over the hills." Though the minutes of the meeting do not record it, we can assume that they got back in time for the cup of tea!

The cost of installing electric light, and latterly the fluorescent lighting in the hall, the replenishing of the crockery cupboard from time to time, a new sink in the kitchen, and many other items large and small have all been met by the ladies. And when it comes to catering, they can always be relied upon to help, whether in gifts or labour. All the ministers' wives have served as presidents, namely, Mrs. Bottoms, Mrs. Campbell, Mrs. Evans, Mrs. Lorkin? and now Mrs. Davey. In the periods when there was no minister, the ladies were served by Mrs. J. W. Ashworth, Mrs. J. H. Driver and Mrs. D. Roundell.

The Girls' Auxiliary was formed during the ministry of the Rev. G. C. F. Campbell. Mrs. Campbell was the first president, and under her leadership the members found much encouragement to try to live out the motto of the G.A., " Ready to do whatsoever my Lord the King shall appoint." G.A. at Edgeside proved a very strong and healthy auxiliary, and had a fine reputation for efficiency both in the district and in the Group. Two of the members, Miss Nellie Ashworth and Miss Lily Booker each served for periods as Group secretary for all Lancashire, and two others, Mrs. L. Holt and Miss Margaret Sutcliffe became Lancashire Presidents. The G.A. has a three-fold aim, that of Thought, Prayer and Service, and through these channels many girls found their need of Christ, and were led to give their hearts and lives to Him that His Kingdom may be established at home and abroad. On February 16th, 1946, the Rossendale District G.A. celebrated its 21st birthday, one of the celebrations being a dedication and communion service at Edgeside, when many past and present district officers took part.

In April 1928, Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Ashworth and family, for health reasons, moved to St. Annes. Through­out the years the Ashworths had been staunch supporters of the work at Edgeside, and on the occasion of their going, the Church minutes record : " Each of them will be remembered with gratitude as a. gift of God to the cause at Edgeside." It was they who donated the Communion furniture, in memory of their parents Emily and George Shaw Ashworth, in September 1930. This year, 1930, the Chapel was redecorated soon afterwards, and an electric blower was installed for the organ. Mr. and Mrs. Josiah Gregory donated the pulpit chairs at this time also, in memory of both their parents, James and Alice Gregory, and Thomas and Mary Sutcliffe.

Mr. Campbell resigned in 1932 and moved to the pastorate of a group of churches at Haslington, Cheshire, and the church was without a minister for almost seven years. During Mr. and Mrs. Campbell's stay at Edgeside, their son Oswald, who had grown up in the Sunday School, on leaving Leeds University where he took his B.A. degree, accepted the call to the historic Fuller Church, Kettering. From there he went to Purley in Surrey and in 1939 became a Chaplain to the Royal Air Force, and at present is serving in Germany. On three occasions he has been back to Edgeside to conduct Sunday School Anniversaries.

At the end of 1938 Mr. Josiah Gregory retired from the Church Secretaryship, after holding that office for thirty years. His years of office included the first World War and the difficult, struggling years that followed, and those years when the church was without a. minister had meant a heavy burden on his shoulders. Those who have the compiling of this history are grateful to him for the perfect neatness and regularity of his handwriting which has made the various church records a. pleasure to peruse. His place was taken by his nephew, Robert Holt, who has ably carried on these duties to the present day.

This year also saw a change of treasurership. Mr. Arthur Pickup, who had been treasurer for seventeen years, removed to Buxton. His place was taken by W. E. Hardman, who after eight years in this exacting position had through ill-health to relinquish it. Mr. W. Schofield then took over in 1947, and has quietly and efficiently carried out these duties to the present day.

Towards the end of 1938 the church gave a unanimous call to the Pastorate to Mr. E. D. Evans, a young student of Bangor Baptist College. The Rev. E. D. Evans began his ministry in 1939. His recognition and ordination services were held on January 14th. Prof. J. W. Hughes, M.A., B.D., Principal of Bangor Baptist College, and Rev. S. G. Thomas, minister of his home church at Cwyrtnewyth took part, and the ordination was conducted by Rev. H. Brindley, of Ebenezer, Bacup.

The outbreak of World War II, did not have such a crippling effect on the work at Edgeside as the 1914-18 War did. Some of the men were called up, but many were reserved for war service in local factories. The black-out meant that the evening service was changed to the after­noon each Harvest Sunday end continued thus throughout the winter, changing back to 6 p.m. service on the second Sunday in March.

Mr. Evans was a keen worker among the boys of the Chapel, and soon formed a Boys' Brigade Company which thrived for a number of years. One attempt to take the boys to camp ended with a return to the School and the tents being erected there ! The " advance party" had proceeded to a field in the Whalley district to prepare the site for the camp. It rained continually, and after one of the B.B. officers had fallen in a stream, they returned in a bedraggled condition to Edgeside. Rather than disappoint the boys, who had been looking forward to camp for weeks, they decided to camp in the Chapel bottom, and their camp-fire was in the kitchen grate ! Owing to war service, the Sunday School cricket team was unfortunately unable to keep going. The field on the hill above the chapel which had been used as a cricket ground was ploughed up to help the country's food effort, and the hut, used as a pavilion, was sold in 1941 for £13 and the proceeds given to the Primary. A new start was made last year, 1952, and there are high hopes that the new Sunday School Cricket team will be as popular and successful as its predecessor.

In 1942 the Church decided to do away with the old Pew Rents system, and introduced a quarterly gift envelope scheme in its place. This scheme has now been running very successfully for ten years. Towards the end of 1944, Mr. Evans resigned, and moved to Queens Paik Baptist Church in Manchester. Before he went, however, he began plans for an extension of the chapel premises. A Building and Renovation Fund was started, and a committee formed which was to play a big part in the work of the Church in the next few years.