IF the people in this photograph look rather stern, that’s because looking rather stern in group photographs was the done thing in 1900.

The occasion was the laying of the foundation stone for the old Rodbourne Road Methodist Chapel, which would stand until 2003.

A new church was built on the site.

The man seated on our right in the front row is a furniture store owner, Mr TJ Mills, and next to him is department store owner Levi Lapper Morse.

Behind Mr Mills is builder Mr A Leighfield, whose company was contracted to build the chapel.

The total cost, according to church records online, was £1,479 including the purchase of nearby land.