Conversions at Coxhoe

From ‘Northern Primitive Methodism’ by W. M. Patterson, first published in 1909

When the colliery first opened there, the Primitives very soon got a cottage to preach in, and started a society. A noted sinner went into the service one Sunday morning. The man, unwashed, unkempt, seated himself behind the door, became serious during the service, and lingered behind the congregation at the close. “We are going to hold a class-meeting, will ye stop?” This from the leader to the prodigal, who answered, “Aa think aa will.” Before the members the man declared that he intended henceforth to serve God; and when he went home he went straight to a drawer, drew out a pack of cards, and cast them into the fire. Not a word he had spoken to his wife, who, when she saw what her husband did, instantly threw a shovelful of coals onto the fire, burying the cards, and exclaimed: “Aye, man,; hoo's this come te pass?” He told her he had been at the ‘Ranter's meeting,’ and that he was going back again. She went with him in the evening, and in the fellowship meeting she said: “The Lord bless ye for what ye've done for ma canny man.” The conversion of the couple made a stir in the village, for the man was the leader of a company of sword-dancers. His mates went to the chapel, most of them were converted, and numbers more were brought to the Lord. The swords used for dancing were sold (to be converted into ‘gully’ knives) for the purpose of purchasing bibles and hymn books.