I'M always delighted when a subject included in TRM leads to interesting feedback, and sometimes, as in this instance, a full-grown story.

A few weeks ago Cynthia Edwards asked where Short Lane and its Baptist connections used to be, and thanks to TRM readers, we were reminded it was at the bottom of Robert Street.

Today, I'm grateful to Margaret Price, who has kindly furnished me with this fascinating historical gen, summarising the Baptists movement in Milford Haven.

"Very early in the 1800s, a small group of Baptists met for services in an old loft in Hill Street, Hakin…which became known as The Baptist Room. (I also had a Facebook message from Richard Barnes, mentioning the same thing). Some services were also held at Priory.

“In 1814, the Dockyard moved from Milford to Pem Dock, taking its workforce with it, which decimated the Baptist congregation, leaving only three or four members. John John, and William Webb, were amongst the few remaining, and rather than give up their worshipping habits, they walked to Sandy Hill chapel every Sunday to join the services there.

“By 1823, the number of Baptists in Milford was increasing again, and once more services were being held in the old loft.

“In 1825, a number of families moved to Milford from Solva and Fishguard. By now the trustees of the old loft decided to give notice to the little church to quit the premises.

“The Baptists then hired a room in a house at 7 Robert Street, Milford, property of a Mr Geo John, and they held services on a Sunday, plus a midweek meeting (probably a prayer meeting) on Thursday evenings.

“On 9. 4.1826, two believers were baptised in the tide near Hakin Bridge. As far as is known, this was the first Christian baptismal service held in Milford. (This is baptism by total immersion, not sprinkling with water as in christening of infants.) The congregation continued to grow and they now used the Market Hall (later became the Astoria cinema). Hundreds were now attending the services every Sunday afternoon.

“It was decided to seek a plot on which to build a church to accommodate the congregation, and in 1827, George John offered a plot in his garden at Short Lane, for which the church paid 30 and 1 per annum thereafter.

“The foundation stone was laid in 1828, and the chapel on 27th August 1828. Total cost…£240…a huge sum in those days. It became known as Short Lane Chapel.

“The Rev Shem Evans, of Sandy Hill Chapel, left the pastorate of that church and came to Short Lane as its first minister.

“Such was his energy and leadership, that within four years, the debt was cleared.

“It was a very simple, typical non-conformist building, with simple whitewashed walls.

“After Shem Evans left, a succession of ministers followed, then, in 1869, David George, a Pembrokeshire man, took over.

“He was a great-great uncle to the late Dr Bill George, and was also related to the Morris family of Deemshill, Steynton. Mary Morris had been a George prior to her marriage.

“By now the congregation at Short Lane had outgrown the building, and under David George's ministry, the church decided to look for a bigger plot on which to build.

“They purchased the present plot on North Road for the sum of £180, and the present building (the chapel and the attached schoolroom at the back were erected at a cost of £3,608.) David George had travelled all around Baptist churches in South and West Wales, and the South West of England, collecting donations towards the cost of the new building.

“He organised the services for the opening in October 1878, booked preachers from various places (it was expected that the celebrations would last over several days), and had hoped to preach the opening service himself.

“Sadly, he died two weeks before the opening. After reading one account of his death, Dr Bill George felt that David had died from TB, possibly contracted by his extensive travels on horseback, in all winds and weathers, raising funds.

“The second schoolroom at North Road, which is at right angles to the chapel itself, was built later and officially is known as the Memorial Schoolroom.

“Unofficially, it's the ‘big’ schoolroom, opened in 1927.

“Don't get confused by the use of ‘Chapel’ and ‘Church’. In Baptist language, the ‘Church’ is the gathering of members, and the ‘Chapel’ is the building.

“Hope this may be of some interest to you."

I am so grateful to Margaret for putting this piece together, it's a wonderful follow-up to the original Short Lane query.

And here are two photos taken from A short history of the Baptist cause in Milford Haven…1828-1978, compiled by E H and G M Jones.

And to give us an idea of the times, I'm including a photo of Milford beach, from around 1850.

Now it's time for our teaser. The answer to last week's poser, set by Les Haynes, was…Footsteps...and was solved by…Joyce Layton, Elinor Jones, Royston Holman, Tricia Hawthorn, Brian Phillips, Gerry Thomas, Charles Weatherall (and granddaughter) and Anne and Jets Llewellyn.

Thanks to all who got in touch.

This week's comes from Gerry Thomas.

Farmer Brown has four sons. Every son has a sister. How many children does Farmer Brown have?

That's all for now, God willing, see you next week.