Posted on 16 January 2021
Hotwells is an area of Bristol and the adult school was held at Hope Chapel.
The chapel was founded by Lady Henrietta Hope in 1784 as a community church. Although the chapel was most likely Methodist and not a Quaker Meeting House, Quakers and Methodists often co-operated together in establishing adult schools. This was due to both being Nonconformists that shared values in improving the lives of the working class and the more practical reason of sharing resources.
In this instance, what probably happened is that the Methodists owned the building and the Quakers ran the classes. What makes me 99% certain the badge is from the Quakers and not the Methodists is the use of the shaking hands and the wording ‘Let brotherly love continue’ – very Quakerly.
If any Friends from the Bristol area have any more information on Hotwells Adult School and can confirm its Quaker connections, please leave a comment below.
The badge dates to around 1900 and has no maker’s mark.
From John Parke at the Hotwells local history group:
“Adult working class schools were common by the 1900’s and were a combination club/night school seemingly always founded by some religious body, not only to educate by also to keep men out of the pubs. The pastor of Hope Chapel (name not discovered) founded the movement. “
“The ‘school’ moved to a permanent home when a lease was secured on 2 Dowry Square at £35 pa, where following extensive alterations and refit it opened in January 1908. There was s reading room, billiards, games rooms, a skittle alley and a tea and coffee room all for members only. “
“There were 28 members at one time and they had a football team who were in the Downs Football League. I was unable to find out when it closed but suspect it would have been in 1914.”John Parke
Thanks to both John Parke at the Hotwells local history group and John Humphries – who bought the badge and helped me with research.
Image from britishlistedbuildings.co.uk