YOUNGSTERS in costumes from the 18th century marched through the streets of Ulverston back in 1988 as public celebrations were held to mark the birth of a religious and social movement.

The Mail, on Tuesday, May 24, noted: “Ulverston Methodists began their 250th anniversary celebration with a procession of witness through the streets to the Market Cross on Saturday. “There they held a short service of celebration conducted by the Reverend George Beck, from Grange, superintendent minister for the Ulverston circuit.

“About 90 members of the Ulverston church, led by the Boys Brigade band, marched from the Neville Street schoolroom, along Chapel Street and The Ellers, before turning into Market Street which was bustling with shoppers and tourists.

“Junior members of the church walking in the procession were dressed appropriately for the occasion in costumes of John Wesley’s time.

“Among the banners carried through the town was one recently made for the Wesley celebration by more than 40 members of the church entitled Fruits of the Earth.

“At the Market Cross, marchers were joined by townsfolk and tourists as they sang hymns in traditional rousing Methodist fashion.

“Mr Black then gave a short address telling of the conversion of John Wesley and his brother Charles which led to the founding of Methodism on May 24 in 1738.

“On Sunday, the celebrations continued with junior church members putting on a special pageant during the morning service at the Neville Street church.

“And a festival of praise was attended by Methodists from all over the circuit, from as far afield as Grange and Swarthmoor.

“The church was packed and the massed choirs drawn from the various churches led the congregation in rousing and inspirational singing accompanied by organist George Walker.

“Of the 12 hymns sung during the service, eight were written by Charles Wesley.”