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Details of the Bells

The bells, cast as a war memorial, are a superb ring cast by Gillett & Johnson, it was originally thought, in the autumn of 1947 and hung the following year. Data obtained from Alan Buswell, suggest that they were actually cast over the end of 1947 and into the early part of 1948. Note that at this time New Year's Day was not a Bank Holiday in England at this time!

Details of the Bells

No. Note Inscription Cwts Qtrs Lbs Cast Weight
Date Tuning &
Diameter
1 G# 1939-1945 TO THOSE WHO SUFFERED
GIVEN BY GROUP 2
CIVIL DEFENCE ASSOCIATION
GILLETT & JOHNSTON, CROYDON
1947
3 3 11 4-2-11
05/01/1948
24.500
2 F# TO THE GLORY OF GOD
IN MEMORY OF OUR ONLY SON HARRY ANDERSON
LOST AT SEA THROUGH ENEMY ACTION 24 AUG, 1942
GILLETT & JOHNSTON, CROYDON
1947
4 1 14 5-0-10
01/01/1948
26.125"
3 E GIVEN IN MEMORY OF HANNAH GREENWELL
BY HER FAMILY 3 NOV, 1946
GILLETT & JOHNSTON, CROYDON
1947
4 2 26 5-2-9
31/12/1947
27.500"
4 D# GIVEN IN MEMORY OF
THOMAS WILLIAM GREENWELL
BY HIS SON AND DAUGHTER 19 JAN, 1948
GILLETT & JOHNSTON, CROYDON
1947
4 3 19 5-1-7
19/01/1948
28-625"
5 C# THANKS BE TO GOD
WILLIAM BELL MARR AND HILDA MAY MARR
GILLETT & JOHNSTON, CROYDON
1947
6 1 9 7-0-24
23/01/1948
31.000"
6 B GILLETT & JOHNSTON, CROYDON
1947
7 1 3 8-0-25
02/02/1948
33.500"
7 A FELLOWSHIP
GILLETT & JOHNSTON, CROYDON
1947
9 2 25 11-0-9
27/01/1948
37.000
8 G# GILLETT & JOHNSTON, CROYDON
1947
11 0 18 13-0-9
18/02/1948
39.125
9 F# TO THE GLORY OF GOD
AND IN MEMORY OF BELOVED PARENTS
PRESENTED BY
JANE AND ARTHUR GREAVES
GILLETT & JOHNSTON, CROYDON
1947
15 2 4 18-0-19
16/02/1948
43.000"
10 E TO THE GLORY OF GOD
GILLETT & JOHNSTON, CROYDON
1947
22 2 26 25-1-24
20/02/1948
48.375"
Total Weight 90 2 15  

Though the bells were not cast in order they have the numbers 6558 to 6567 from treble to tenor.

The bells were dedicated in September 1948 by a former vicar, The Right Revd. Leonard Wilson, who had been Bishop of Singapore and was imprisoned and badly treated by the Japanese during the war.  He later became a much respected Bishop of Birmingham

Glancing at the peal page will show that there were not many allowed at first. A vicar who was not exactly a bell fan is shown by only two peals being rung in the 1970s.  To be fair, the bells used to be very loud indeed outside. The louvres all but fill each wall at the level of the bells. There is the end gable of a row of large Edwardian terrace houses just to the south of the church tower and you could stand by the lych gate and actually feel the sound bouncing off the gable end when the bells were ringing!

A change in vicar lead to the chance of a peal in 1981.  Disaster!  It was rung on a warm Friday night in June.  The vicar and his wife went out leaving mother in law looking after the children - there were complaints, lots of them, from people who wanted to be out in their gardens and the vicar must have got it in the ear when he returned!  

Not surprisingly he was not keen to allow further attempts! The band was at this time the strongest it ever had been and there were a number of keen peal ringers.  The only solution was to install sound control.  The louvres are huge and it took about £1250 and many hours of work by the local band to do the job.  It has been successful in reducing the volume in the vicinity but allowing the sound to carry across the parish.  Everyone is now happy and peals are much more common than they used to be.

You can listen to a short recording of the bells

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