It is no derogation to any of the good and faithful men who have ministered in Allendale to say that the most illustrious name in the history of the station is that of Colin Campbell McKechnie. He was its first superintendent in 184:8, but he was removed by the Conference before the great plans of aggressive work which he and the officials were contemplating could be put into operation. He was back again, however, in 1859, and it was in the winter of that year when the notable awakening took place which has been so well told by of McKechnie himself and by Mr Ritson. Allenheads was the chief place of powerful manifestations, though these were felt for miles around. The conversion of Jamie Weatherburn, known "from Sparty Lea to the Heads and to Allendale Town" as a drunkard, a blasphemer, a moral wreck, had an electrical effect in both the dales. People were touched to the quick by the sight and words of the healed man, and the converting work broke out on all hands. Four hundred members were added to the societies, and the Wesleyan Churches participated in the harvest. Joseph Reed, who became a well-known local preacher in Newcastle, and his father, who fell to the floor in an excess of joy when he saw the truth, were among the saved. Stephenson Stobbs, too, who was long regarded as one of the most eloquent local preachers in the country, and many more devoted souls found the Lord in that visitation.
‘Northern Primitive Methodism’ by W M Patterson, published in 1909, p182.