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In the early years of Welsh Wesleyan Methodism the town of Rhyl did not exist. The first Wesleyan to preach in the area in Welsh was John Maurice in the house of Thomas Hughes in 1802. Others who preached at the house were Edward Jones (Bathafarn) and John Hughes. Shortly afterwards a Welsh Wesleyan Society was formed. When Richard Hughes with his bride joined the Rhyl Welsh Wesleyan Society in 1820 the work increased. In 1814 a Society was meeting in a house in Rhyl. Around 1831 Rhyl was developing into a holiday resort and on 28 August 1831 the Society moved into their new chapel. When in 1853 Rhyl had become a well-established ‘watering-place’ a site was bought in Sussex Street and a large chapel was built. This was succeeded in 1872 by a larger chapel built in Brighton Road. Rhyl was in the Holywell, then Llanasa Circuit, then in the Denbigh Circuit. In 1866 Rhyl was the head of the new Rhyl (Welsh) circuit with Rev William Hugh Evans as the Superintendent. As Rhyl developed as a seaside holiday resort the English Wesleyan mission started around 1861 when the Llandudno & Rhyl (English) Circuit was established. When Rev Edward Crump visited Rhyl in September 1862, he found a small English Class under the leadership of Mr Bell meeting in the Welsh Wesleyan Chapel. He was told that the tenure would end at the end of the month. The Society then moved to Mr Astle’s upper room reached by an outside stairway from the beach road. In the Spring of 1863 the growing congregation moved to the Rhyl Town Hall which was unpopular with many residents who tried but failed to get the services stopped. The Society prospered and they opened their own chapel designed by C. O. Ellison of Liverpool in Bath Street on 28th June 1868 in Bath. The chapel was in part financed by Punshon, William Morley, LL.D's Watering Places Fund. In 1878 Mrs (Dr) Morley Punshon laid a memorial stone for the new Punshon Sunday School and Manse in August 1878. This listed building closed in December 2006 when several of the members transferred to Rhuddlan English Methodist Church meeting in the Welsh Wesleyan Chapel. Rhuddlan Welsh Wesleyan Chapel was built in Gwindy Street in 1832 and a larger chapel was built in 1910 on the same site following a fire and named it y Tabernacl. As the English-speaking population grew an English Methodist Society was formed on 1st May 1932 who continued to hold services in English in the Rhuddlan Welsh Wesleyan chapel until 1956 when they moved the Conservative Room in Parliament Street and later to the Welsh Baptist chapel before returning to y Tabernacl in 1967. In late 1990’s the Welsh Wesleyan Society closed, and the building was transferred from the Welsh Wesleyan Circuit to the English Methodist Circuit and continues to be the Methodist Church serving the Rhuddlan and Rhyl area.

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Doreen Emily Woodford was an advocate of the rights of deaf people in Britain and the developing world. She was born on the 18 February 1926 in Wandsworth, London to a deaf father and a hearing mother. Her grandfather was also deaf. She was born hearing but became deaf. Being an only child, in a deaf household her first language was deaf signing followed by speech. Doreen’s family were good caring Plymouth Brethren people who struggled on a merger income. Doreen from a young age was a determined, independent minded driven homo sapiens – wise person. From her Christian upbringing she held firmly all her life both to the teachings of the faith and its practical social concern for people. Obstacles were seen not as an unsurmountable wall but a challenge. Whilst a child she raised chickens to provide pocket money her parents couldn’t give her. In 1941 Doreen left school aged 15 and trained in childcare at Barnardo’s. During WWII many qualified teachers were conscripted into the armed forces and Doreen was persuaded to help teach deaf children. A pivotal moment came when Doreen moved to Southport and met deaf people at the Southport Deaf Club. Her plans for her future changed in 1944 when she went to teach at the Crown Street School for the Deaf, Liverpool which had been evacuated to Southport. Seeing the quality and dedication of Doreen the head teacher, Frank Denmark, in 1945 insisted that she took training and opened the way for her to go to Manchester University to study under Professor Ewing. In 1950 she became a Certificated Teacher of the Deaf. Doreen’s next appointment at the Royal School for Deaf Children in Margate was key. It was at this school that she opened the first class for teaching children with multiple disabilities. At the school there were Tanzania and India deaf children who were sent by wealthy parents. Doreen became the guardian of two Tanzanian boys. When in the late 1950s she visited their family home in city of Mtwara she became aware that children in developing countries had little opportunity to attend school and she resolved to do something about it. In 1969 she was appointed a teacher at the Alice Elliott School Liverpool. In 1975 she was became a teacher at the Summerfield School in Malvern and ended her working career as the adviser for sensory deprived children at a primary school in Haringey. Doreen who had signed even before she could speak had a constant battle as a teacher to get signing used as a teaching language. In the late 19th century signing was used as a teaching language but the Milan 1880 ‘Second International congress on the Education of the Deaf’ passed 2 condemning resolutions. The resolutions were probably influenced by the outspoken condemnation by Alexander Graham Bell who argued for a complete ban of sign language. The Conference passed two resolutions. 1. ‘The Convention, considering the incontestable superiority of articulation over signs in restoring the deaf-mute to society and giving him a fuller knowledge of language, declares that the oral method should be preferred to that of signs in the education and instruction of deaf-mutes. The second resolution underpinned the first by declaring that The Convention, considering that the simultaneous use of articulation and signs has the disadvantage of injuring articulation and lip-reading and the precision of ideas, declares that the pure oral method should be preferred. This attitude in the educational profession persisted until the 1960’s. When Doreen was awarded the ‘Mary Grace Wilkins Travelling Scholarship’ she forthrightly chose to research the place of sign language and the quality of its presentation and use in the classroom. Doreen’s extra-curricular activities included becoming the leader of Girl Guide troops for the deaf. Not only did she introduce the girls to the Guiding principles and activities she gave then an appetite for adventure and to be self-reliant. She became an active member of the Trefoil Guild and wrote Seventy-Five Remarkable Years A Record of Deaf People and the Girl Guide Movement 1910-1985. Doreen was a founding member of the British Deaf History Society and wrote several books. In 1982 Doreen was awarded the Diploma of Chaplains for the Deaf. She also took the Royal Life Saving Society training course which she passed and was awarded an Instructor’s Certificate. She was an enthusiastic member and secretary of the Shropshire Wesley Historical Society. Throughout her career Doreen campaigned for the recognition of the profession of Teachers of the Deaf, and published material for training purposes. She promoted the work and recognition of Teachers of the Deaf by having high level meetings with professionals and decision makers in Government. In 1981 Doreen became the chair of BATOD [British Association of Teachers of the Deaf] which she helped to get established. She regularly wrote articles in their magazine and was in demand as a lecturer. When Doreen had to retire in 1986 aged 60 her enthusiasm to teach, support, pastor and inspire deaf children opened new opportunities. She studied for and received in 1987 a Postgraduate Diploma in Language in the Multi-Racial Community In 1985 she helped start the ‘Initiatives for Deaf Education in Developing Countries’ This organisation with members from the UK and 20 African and Asian countries held workshops and conferences supporting the deaf. Doreen established the charitable society ‘Allah Kariem [God provides] which became better known as ‘Friends of the Holy Land Institute for the Deaf’ Its aim was to aid work with deaf and deafblind in Jordan and the Middle East. As one of four founder members Doreen was honoured to have the Woodford Foundation named after her. The Foundation has projects in parts of Tanzania, Uganda and Malawi. The Much Wenlock Methodist Church was packed to overflowing at her funeral both with her friends and many representatives of the Deaf Teaching profession and the charities she supported.

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Edward James Alexander Tull was a mixed heritage dentist in Glasgow. He was born in 1886 at 57 Walton Road, Folkestone, Kent. His paternal grandparents were William Criss and Anna who were enslaved Moravians on the Clifton Estate Barbados. They spent their spare time teaching their fellow slaves to read and write. When William and Anna were liberated William changed his name to Tull. William and Anna gave birth to Daniel (1856-1897) who trained as a carpenter and joiner. In 1876 William worked his way to England as a ship’s carpenter. Shortly after his arrival in England in 1877 Daniel wrote a journal giving an insight into his early life in Barbados and St Lucia. When he settled in Folkestone as a carpenter he joined the Grace Hill Wesleyan Methodist Chapel where he met his future wife Alice Elizabeth Palmer (c.1853-1895), a farm worker’s daughter. During their tragically short marriage they had six children, Bertha 1881 who died in infancy, William 1882, Cecelia 1884 [Cissie], Edward 1886, Walter 1888, Elsie 1891 (later Seward BEM). A year after Alice had died he married her cousin Clara Alice Susannah Palmer. They had one child Miriam (later Kingsland) who was born 11 September 1897. Three months later Daniel died of a heart attack. Miriam found it impossible to cope with looking after five step children and Miriam so it was arranged that the two youngest boys Edward and Walter to be placed in the National Children's Home (NCH) Bonner Road, Bethnal Green, London. Edward enjoyed singing and soon joined the Bethnal Green NCH choir. On several occasions the choir toured to several parts of the UK giving concerts to raise money for the home. As a devout Methodist, Edward’s love of singing would stay with him throughout his life, culminating in him leading the choir at his local church many years later. His rich baritone voice was regularly heard at concerts in Scottish concert halls and other venues. On one occasion the choir was performing in Glasgow in 1900. In the audience was Mr James Kay Warnock (1856-1914) with his wife Jennie (1863-) Jennie’s brother James Aitken was a dentist in Glasgow. Jennie and her brother James Aitken had been orphaned and were raised in a poorhouse in Kirkintilloch. James K. Warnock was a highly skilled block printer but decided to become an apprentice dentist to his brother in law James Aitken. Once trained he eventually opening his own dental practice. The minister of the Claremont Street Wesleyan Church, Glasgow described Warnock’s practice as "whose clientele is mainly among the poorer people" The Warnocks adopted Edward, changed his name to Tull-Warnock and promised to educate him and "treat him as a son". Although this meant him being separated from his brother Walter they regularly wrote to each other . In 1903 the Warnocks sent 52 shillings to Walter for the train fare to come to stay with them for a holiday. Edwards adoptive parents were eager to give him a good education so they sent him to the Allan Glen Boys’ School, Glasgow. He quickly showed an academic capacity and like his brother he showed an aptitude for football. In 1906 Edward entered the Incorporated Glasgow Dental Hospital where he became an outstanding student, and won prizes for his operative work. On leaving the hospital he went to the Glasgow Royal Infirmary to learn anaesthesia. He graduated in 1910 with LDS [Licentiate in Dental Surgery] With his graduate qualifications now granted Edward applied for a post as an assistant dentist in Birmingham. With wise awareness he sent with his application a photograph of himself. When Edward arrival at the surgery his new employer looking at the man of colour before him is reported to have said: ‘My God, you’re coloured! You’ll destroy my practice in 24 hours!’ He was not employed. Disappointed but nor undeterred Edward returned to Glasgow and joined his father’s practice. When in 1914 James K. Warnock died Edward took over the practice. Later he worked in Aberdeen where he met Elizabeth Elliot Hutchison (-1963) who he married on 30th September 1918 Edward Tull-Warnock is recognised as one of Britain’s first Black professional dentists. He qualified in 1912, and was entered onto the Dentist Register in 1913. Edward understood and promoted the importance of preventative dentistry. He was an advocate for a balanced diet. He became aware that the fad for confectionary was a dangerous factor in poor dental health. He encouraged regular dental hygiene and dental examinations. His strong support for the National Health Service came in part as he remembered, with horror, the tragic practice of some of the poorer Glaswegians who sent their young children to his surgery with 6d and a message from their parents to extract as many teeth as sixpence could pay for. Edward was a keep sportsman which included football and golf. He played football for the Ayr Parkhouse Football Club and Girvan Athletic Football Club. He was a member of the Turnberry Golf Club winning several championship trophies. Edward remained in contact with his siblings and his sister Cissie [Cecelia] came to live with him and Elizabeth. Edward and Elizabeth had one child, a daughter Jean who married Rev Duncan Finlayson (1917-2012) and had 4 children Pat, Duncan, Edward and Iona. There are at least seven members of Edward’s extended family who became dentists. Edward’s adopted cousin, Benjamina Aitken, was one of Scotland's earliest female Licentiates in Dental Surgery who graduated in 1929. At St Bartholomew’s and the London School of Medicine there is a prestigious Edward Tull-Warnock dental scholarship which is open to African/Caribbean dental or oral hygiene therapy students in the BDS or BSc Oral Health Programmes.

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John Buchanan was born in Glasgow on 14 July 1908 to John Buchanan (1877-1950) and Bertha Jane nee Hoare (1880-1966). He was frustrated by his severely disabled arms which made him become a rather wild young boy. He was born with 2 imperfectly formed fingers where his left hand should have been. His right arm ended with a stump at the elbow. Shortly after John was born his parents move to Fleet in Hampshire. With the birth of other children their mother found it increasingly difficult to give John junior the extra care and attention he needed. It was suggested that John should be placed in the care of the National Children's Home (NCH). Being so severely disabled this was not straightforward. He was examined by a Harley Street physician who did not give a very encouraging report. He concluded ‘Here is a lad who in all probability will never be able to earn his own living.’ The physician warned the NCH officials that John’s disabilities were so extensive that they may be greater than the home could deal with. However at the age of 9 John was admitted to the National Children’s Home Branch for Crippled Children at Chipping Norton. When John entered the Chipping Norton Home he was almost monosyllabic. Soon he settled into school routine and the reports showed him to be intelligent and likable. Against all expectations John learned to hold a pen and then a paintbrush in his stump and disformed 2 fingers which amazed his teachers.

When John showed, despite his great disabilities, that he had a flair for art the Chipping Norton Home arranged for him to be enrolled on the General Art Course of the Oxford School of Art. This meant that John had to get up very early and travel the 21 miles to Oxford and return to Chipping Norton around 7 30 in the evening. John soon showed that his special genius was in his exceptional sense of colour and his artistry in being able to produce superbly bordered texts which he sent to NCH Sister Lucy in London which she sold at first for 3 pence but as his artistic competence grew so did the price of the illustrations. After leaving the Chipping Norton Home at 16 he moved to London with the money he had raised by his art and set up his studio. When John was 17 Lord Montagu saw some of his work and was so impressed that he sent him a gift. This was soon followed by a commission from Lord Montagu for John to copy on stiff board extracts from the family deed going back to King John. In 1926 he attained recognition at the Royal Society of Arts when his work was displayed at the Imperial Institute South Kensington. He was awarded the Major Frank Wedgwood First Prize. He was invited by Queen Mary to paint her Christmas Cards. When Lady Lucy, the widow of Sir Henry William Lucy, J.P. was shown the copy of the Illuminated Ladies’ Association of the National Children’s Home book and heard how the NCH had nurtured John she gave them £1000 to start a scholarship fund to assist children in their care to go to university or to enter one of the major professions. When the NCH formed the ‘League of Light’ scheme they asked John to design a special collecting box. He designed what became the successful iconic lantern with the message of light in a dark world.. John’s illuminated texts were used during WW2 to raise money for the war effort. His work can be seen in many books and places including Liverpool Cathedral In January 1940 at Hendon, Middlesex, John Married Edith Jane Jones (1904-2004) a young child care worker he met whilst visiting the Alverstoke branch of the NCH. They adopted a baby girl. They lived at 10 Pasture Road, Wembley, Middlesex. John died on12 January 1953 and his funeral service was conducted by Waterhouse, John Walters, OBE the Principal of the National Children’s Home. In 1954 The John Buchanan Memorial Hall at the Chipping Norton Branch was opened by John’s widow, Edith Jane Buchanan. In 1955 the NCH opened the first NCH home in Scotland, Cathkin House, Rutherglen, Glasgow, in memory of John Buchanan and with an anonymous gift given in John’s memory

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Chemist whose contribution to the study of biochemistry and nutrition of children in the early twentieth century was of international importance. Evelyn M. Hickmans was born on 9 April 1882 to Mary Elizabeth Hickmans nee Parsons (1850-1922) and David Hickmans (1856-1928) in Coseley, a mining village, in the Staffordshire Black Country. Her father was an elementary school master who moved the family to Codsall, Staffordshire, and started a milk contracting business. Going into partnership with a member of the Trinity Wesleyan Church, Wolverhampton. the business grew and became known as Hickmans and Mould, Wolverhampton. Son Wilfred Hickmans joined the business as a milk steriliser and later became the Company secretary and director. The family became members and officers of the Penn Road, Wesleyan Chapel, Wolverhampton. On 21 May 1925 Evelyn M Hickmans laid one of the foundation stones of Beckminster Wesleyan Sunday School. Evelyn remained a member of the Methodist Church until she died and was a benefactor of the Trinity Methodist Church, Compton Road, Wolverhampton.

After receiving her early schooling probably from her father and the local schools in Coseley and Codsall, in her late teens Evelyn attended evening classes at the Wolverhampton and Staffordshire Science and Technical School in Garrick Street and in 1902 she was awarded the high accolade of ‘Chief Student’. As a result of the excellence of her matriculation subjects mathematics and chemistry she was awarded the Mander scholarship (£24 per annum) to attend Birmingham University. She was awarded a B Sc in science and chemistry in 1905 and a M Sc the following year. Even though she had her degrees and her work on the isomeric forms of methyl esters of mandelic acid published she could not find work. In 1908 she went to King’s College London to study household science which led her to investigate nutrition. The outcome of this study led to her being invited to help establish the new Department of Household Science at Toronto University. WW1 intervened and she could not take up her post as lecturer in applied chemistry and dietetics until 1920. Her time at the university was cut short by her mother’s illness and untimely death. Although she was invited back to the university she remained in England. Evelyn’s cousin and fellow Wesleyan Dr Leonard Parsons (later knighted for medical research) was the paediatrician at the Birmingham Children’s Hospital where he was researching child wasting disorders. He asked Evelyn to join him and to establish chemical tests on children. Her reputation grew and in 1925 was invited to give a lecture at the influential Annual Conference for the Teachers of Domestic Science in Bath. Her presentation was based on her research into the diets of undernourished infants. This research was rewarded by Birmingham University with a PhD. Her ground breaking work led to the founding on 15 December 1949 of the Midlands Association of Clinical Biochemists with Evelyn as the first chairman. Evelyn was a leading advocate of the national Association which was formed in 1953. In 1951 a 2 year old child called Sheila Jones was diagnosed with a rare and untreatable inherited condition Phenylketonuria (PKU) Her distressed and tenacious mother Mary would not accept that there was no treatment and put pressure of Evelyn and her team to find a remedy. Evelyn with a visiting German doctor, Dr Horst Bickel along with Dr John Gerrard showed that the disease was treatable. Sheila Jones was the first child to receive dietary treatment for PKU and lived until 1999. Evelyn’s work led to world-wide interest in the prevention of other forms of mental retardation and the world wide introduction of the screening of new-born children. Hickmans, Bickel and Gerrard were awarded the highly regarded international ‘John Scott Award’ from Philadelphia in 1962. Dr Hickmans was a Soroptimist. She was also a founder member of the Association of University Women - Wolverhampton Evelyn died on 16 January 1972 and Trinity Methodist Church, Wolverhampton was filled for her funeral.

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Politician and international socialist, born in Bristolon 15 May 1891, son of a lithographic printer. On leaving school he became a Civil Servant. A Methodist by upbringing, through the Liberal Christian League he came into contact with the Liberal Party, but his political education caused him to cease to be a Methodist member by 1912, and he ultimately became a humanist. Politically, he moved to the Independent Labour Party and was an absolutist conscientious objector in the First World War, suffering imprisonment from September 1916 to April 1919. As a result he could no longer work as a Civil Servant. His trade union activities saw his appointment as the Secretary of the National Union of Docks, Wharves and Shipping Staff, which in 1922 became a constituent part of the Transport and General Workers Union. In the same year he was elected to the London County Council as a Labour councillor for Peckham. He also became a governor of Ruskin College, Oxford. In the 1929 general election he stood unsuccessfully for Heywood and Radcliffe but was elected MP for Shipley in 1935 only to lose the seat in 1950. An acknowledged expert on colonial affairs, he served in the Colonial Office from 1945, first as parliamentary under-secretary and then as Secretary of State. He played a significant part in preparing British dependencies for political independence. In 1951 he failed to be elected for Romford in the general election, but was returned for Wakefield in a by-election in 1954, continuing in parliament until ill-health compelled his resignation ten years later. He died at Lambeth on 23 October 1964.

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Sheffield manufacturer, baptised at Masbrough, Rotherham, 12 January 1834, his parents being William Skelton (1812-1880) and Elizabeth (1812-1882). In 1855 he founded a business in Sheffield manufacturing shovels, forks, picks, and other engineering and garden tools. In 1870 a former quarry was purchased and here Sheafbank Works was built. The busines became a private limited company in 1902. In 1962 in a company merger formed Brades, Skelton & Fryzack, which in turn became part of Spearwell Tools in 1967. A Liberal in politics, he served on Sheffield council for thirty-three years, was mayor in 1894 and deputy mayor in 1896, the year he was knighted. As a Methodist New Connexion Guardian Representative, he attended the first United Methodist Conference in 1907. He was buried in Norton Cemetery, Sheffield, on 1 October 1913.

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A member of a staunch WM family of corn merchants at Poulton-le-Fylde, born on 20 May 1881, he was the son of William and Agnes Ormond Parkinson. Educated at Barnes's Grammar School, Poulton-le-Fylde and Claremont College, Blackpool. He became a Local Preachers at 20, especially in north Lancashire, and became President of the Local Preachers' Mutual Aid Association in 1928 and again in 1942. He was Vice-Presidency of the Conference in 1938. He set up in business as Parkinson & Tomlinson, corn and oatmeal millers, and seed merchants. He was seen as an expert on agricultural questions. In politics a Liberal, at 24 in 1905 he was elected to Poulton-le-Fylde Urban District Council continuing until his death, six times being its Chairman and for 30 years Chairman of the Finance Committee. In 1925 he stood unsuccessfully for Fylde, took Lancaster in a by-election in 1928 but lost the seat in 1929; he failed to regain the seat in a further attempt in 1935. Other public service included being Vice-Chairman of Fylde Water Board, Chairman of Preston, Garstang and Fylde Joint Hospital Board, membership of Lancashire County Licensing Committee and Lancashire Agricultural Wages Board. Never marrying, he died at Thurnham on 3 June 1943.

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Businessman and politician, brought up in a Bath orphanage until the age of two and then adopted by a Cornish couple, his adopted father being a butcher and fisherman, his mother a hairdresser. With a Methodist background he won a scholarship to Truro School. At fifteen his adopted father wanted him to take an apprenticeship in the Falmouth Dockyards but instead he trained as a teacher at Southlands College from 1966 to 1969. He returned for an additional year in 1970, achieving a rare first-class honours degree in the London University B.Ed. For a short time, he worked as a secondary teacher for the Inner London Education Authority at a Wandsworth girls’ school. Deciding that teaching was not for him, he turned to finance, working at the Daily Telegraph as a financial journalist and then going to Rothschilds in 1974. In 1985 he became a pension fund manager for the Gartmore Group and was chairman from 1987 to 2001. From 2001 he held a series of high-profile appointments, including chairing the Guardian Media Group, Marks & Spencer, and the board of the Tate Gallery, and serving as Chancellor of the University of Exeter. Known as a liberal outsider in the City, Myners chaired the Low Pay Commission from 2006 until 2008 and was president of the Howard League for Penal Reform from 2012. Although never a Labour Party member, in the context of the financial crisis in 2008 he was appointed Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury and given a life peerage, helping with the £400bn bank rescue. He resigned the Labour whip in 2014 on joining the board of the Cooperative Group. He died on 16 January 2022 in London.

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