284 Hexham Road
Newcastle Upon Tyne
27 September 2001
The Mount Zlon Stone Seat
No doubt it is a surprise for you to here from me. I trust you are well.
A little while ago in the Mount Zion Newsletter, I remember a piece about someone meeting a man repairing a wall at Mount Zion and relating how he had been responsible for getting the stone seat into place.
A few weeks ago I was at my Aunt Bessies funeral and met Eric Mitchell, who I have not seen for years.
He told me the full story of the seat and wants me to put the record straight as he thought people did not appreciate how the seat came into being.
As you know, Fred, my Dad, had a joiners shop at Mount Tabor, opposite the Stone Chair lnn. In l95l, the year I was bom, Eric was I5 years old and had just left school and my Dad employed him. One of their jobs was in the old Co-op store next door to the Stone Chair and Fred Greenwood, the local farmer (no relation) mentioned about the stone seat from the pub being in the cellar. Once found, it became Eric’s job to extricate the seat from the cellar (he is still unsure just how they did it) and the seat was placed outside the joiners shop.
In 1957, my Dad decided to donate the seat to Mount Zion as somewhere for worshipers to rest and Eric and Dad, along with a band of helpers transported the seat by tractor and trailer to Mount Zion, getting it into place on wooden rollers. Indeed, l remember the occasion, albeit vaguely.
The exact origin of the seat is unknown but I have always thought, and Eric confirms, that it is a single piece of stone and could be a horse trough with a side knocked out. What is news to me is that Dad wanted the seat dedicated to me as it was found in the year of my birth.
Is it possible that this could be placed on record at Mount Zion for others to know the seats origins. I also wonder if permission would be granted to me to dedicate the seat in memory of my Mum & Dad, who were tireless workers for Mount zion, and if I could attach a small plaque to the seat to that effect.
I hope that this is of interest to Mount Zion as it is, after all, part of the modern history of the chapel, and also hope that you can help in my request.
John M Greenwood