Old Hyde

Old Hyde
Pole Bank 1910 ----------------------------------------------------------Town Hall 1937 --------------------------------------------- Cenotaph 1990

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

History of St George's Bells


When St. George's Church was opened for public worship in the year 1832, it possessed only one bell. In 1853 it was replaced by a full peal of eight bells. The new bells, purchased by the proceeds of a public subscription begun which realised £831 9s. 3d. were cast by Messrs. C. and G. Mears, at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, London; they were then brought to Hyde, along the Peak Forest Canal, and landed at the Wharf in Canal Street. A parade was organised, and on the 3rd of February, 1853, the bells were conveyed up the town on a lorry from the Printworks, which was drawn by a number of splendid horses, and accompanied by the Printworks Brass Band, playing lively music.

The first peal was rung on Palm Sunday, March 20th, 1853, by the Society of Change Ringers from the Parish Church, Mottram. During the ringing of the first peal it was discovered that the bells were placed too low in the tower; it was accordingly decided to re-hang them in a higher position. During the re-hanging, on August 10th, 1853, a serious accident occurred. The sixth bell fell, breaking the leg of Mr. Wilson, the contractor, and crashing through the floor of the tower until it reached the stone floor of the main entrance porch of the church, where it broke into the vault of Captain Clarke, which is situated under the tower; and but for the presence of a second covering stone in the vault it would, in all probability, have fallen upon and broken the coffins lying there. The bell was smashed to pieces, but a new one was cast without delay, and the full peal were then re-hung in a suitable position.

The ringers in connection with St. George's have repeatedly distinguished themselves, and on the walls of the ringing room are three Mural Tablets recording noteworthy feats. The first reads:

The
St Georges
SOCIETY OF CHANGE RINGERS
Hyde
ON THE 24th DAY OF MARCH 1856, EIGHT
MEMBERS OF THE ABOVE SOCIETY, RANG
ON THESE BELLS A PEAL OF GRANDSHIRE MAJOR
CONSISTING OF 9,600 CHANGES,
IN 5 HOURS & 43 MINUTES.
THE BAND WAS STATIONED AS FOLLOWS.
ROBERT BRIERLEY TREBLE
HENRY ROSTRON 2nd
RICHARD AINSWORTH 3rd
EDMUND HOYLE 4th
WILLIAM HARRISON 5th
JAMES WILDE 6th
REUBEN CRAWSAHW 7th
JOHN POTTS TENOR.
COMPOSED BY WILLIAM HARRISON.
CONDUCTED BY RICHARD AINSWORTH.


The second tablet contains the inscription:

The
St Georges
SOCIETY OF CHANGE RINGERS
Hyde
ON THE 29th DAY OF MARCH 1858, SEVEN
MEMBERS OF THE ABOVE SOCIETY, WITH MR
JAMES ADAMS OF ASHTON, RANG ON THESE
BELLS A PEAL OF STEADMAN TRIPLES CONSISTING
OF 5,040 CHANGES IN 3 HOURS & 6 MINUTES
THE BAND WAS STATIONED AS FOLLOWS.
RICHARD AINSWORTH TREBLE
HENRY ROSTRON 2nd
THOMAS SALE 3rd
JAMES ADAMS 4th
JAMES WILDE 5th
WILLIAM BEELEY 6th
WILLIAM HARRISON 7th
JOHN POTTS TENOR.
COMPOSED BY T. THURSTON OF BIRMINGHAM.
CONDUCTED BY WILLIAM HARRISON.

During the summer of 1920 the bells were taken down and a new steel framework was erected and the bells recast. At this time the weights were increased (the Tenor bell weighs 919kg) but the tuning remained the same.


The third Mural Tablet is inscribed:

The
Chester
DIOCESAN GUILD.
MAY 10th 1930. IN 3 HOURS & 5 MINUTES.
A PEAL OF DOUBLE NORWICH COURT
BOB MAJOR 5024 CHANGES.
WILLIAM SHAW. TREBLE.
ARTHUR HAUGHTON. 2nd
JOHN H. BRIERLEY. 3rd
HARRY NORGROVE. 4th
JAMES SHAW. 5th
SAMUEL BOWKER. 6th
TOM WILDE. 7th
ALBERT HOUGH. TENOR.
COMPOSED AND CONDUCTED BY TOM WILDE.
RUNG TO COMMEMORATE THE 20th ANNIVERSARY
OF THE ACCESSION OF HIS MAJESTRY KING GEORGE V
ALSO AS A COMPLIMENT TO MR JAMES SHAW, WHO
HAS BEEN A RINGER AT THIS CHURCH
FOR 55 YEARS.
REV. H.J. GRAHAM.M.A.VICAR.
J.M.SIMON. A. BANCROFT. WARDENS.

Full details of the bells can be found on Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers.

The Felstead Database lists 263 special peals rung between 1853 and 2012.

See a photograph of the ladder in the ringing room on Hyde Daily Photo.

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