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CHILVERS COTON All Saints 10, 13-1-24 in F#

Grid Reference 140/363908 Chilvers Coton Church - Source M Chester
Postcode CV11 4LU
Recording
Affiliation Coventry DG
Peals Felstead Database
Sunday None
Practice None - District 10-bell practice first Monday of each month -
contact Geoff Pratt,  Tel: 024 7673 0154  not the church, for details

History

This church is situated on the Coventry side of Nuneaton and can be missed by the unwary. It is just off the A444 by a large roundabout over which a railway viaduct stands. The church consists of a chancel, nave, north and south aisles, north-east organ-chamber, north-west vestry, and a west tower.  The chancel, and probably also the nave, date from the second half of the 13th century. The north aisle was added in 1837. The south aisle was an earlier addition and has 13th-century masonry at the east end, suggesting that there was a transept of this period which was afterwards lengthened to form an aisle.  This was almost entirely rebuilt and a new arcade inserted in 1889–91. The organ-chamber and vestry are of the same date. The west tower was added in the 15th century. The clasping buttresses in the lower part are unusual for this period and may indicate an earlier origin.

This church is well known as the author George Eliot, (Mary Ann Evans) was born in this parish and the tenor bell was cast in her memory. The church itself suffered much damage during WWII and was rebuilt by German prisoners of war. There is a grave stone in front of the tower that shows signs of shrapnel damage and near it a stone noting the names of the German POWs that helped in the rebuilding of the church.

The bells were firstly augmented from 3 to 8 in the 1907, (the existing bells, tenor being 6-3-3, being recast with facsimile inscriptions on 6, 7 & 8. These were all by Hugh Watts of Leicester, treble and tenor 1616 and the middle bell 1639), and then further to 10. The back eight were rehung on ball bearings in 1944, the Ringing World of November 3rd 1944 in a report of a Guild meeting noting, "The hon secretary mentioned that the tower at Coton Church, damaged in May, 1941, when the remainder of the church was destroved, had been repaired and the bells overhauled and replaced on ball bearings. They would be ready for ringing by the end of November, when a special rededication service would be held, to which the Guild members would be invited". As part of this, the ring became "Ground Floor" for a period of time.

Their re-dedication was reported in  The Ringing World of January 5th 1945:

"WARWICKSHIRE GUILD.
REDEDICATION OF CHILVERS COTON BELLS.
A meeting of the Warwickshire Guild was held at Chilvers Coton on December 16th on the occasion of the rededication of the bells, which have been rehung by Messrs. John Taylor and Co.
The body of the church was completely destroyed in an air raid in May, 1941, and nearly £3,000 has been already contributed to a restoration fund.
The tower has been restored and the clock overhauled and restarted. The ringing floor has been removed and the ropes brought down to the ground. This, however, has not proved a success. After the service in the parish hall, used temporarily as the church, the clergy and congregation moved to the ruins of the church, where, after a prayer of rededication, two courses of Stedman Triples were rung by J. E. Moreton 1, A. H. Beamish (conductor) 2, F. E. Pervin 3, Mrs. A. H. Beamish \, J. Gibbons 5, D. H. Argyle 6, J. Draycott 7, E. Stone 8. This was followed by other ringing.
During the tea the Vicar asked for opinions regarding the bells, and several members urged the desirability of restoring the floor of the ringing chamber to its former position. The Vicar said that if the plans of the new church permitted, the belfry would be in its old place.
After tea there was handbell ringing, and in the tower most of the standard methods up to Bristol Surprise were rung. Over fifty members and friends w’ere present, and the towers represented were Allesley, Arley, Bedworth, Bulkington, Keresley, Polesworth, Stokein-Coventry, Rugby, Nuneaton, Wolvey and the local band."

The new trebles, cast in 1946, were added in 1947 (dedicated on 17 May 1947.) Bells 1 and 3 are hung above in the new frame of 1946-7. The following appeared in The Ringing World of May 2nd 1947:

"CHILVERS COTON BELLS
Dear Sir,—May I, through ' The Ringing World,’ bring to the notice of the Exercise the efforts of the Chilvers Coton Society of Ringers to provide two trebles to augment the very fine ring of eight to ten.
The church was destroyed on May 17th, 1941, in a blitz on Nuneaton, leaving the tower damaged. This was restored and the bells rehung on ball bearings in 1944.
As the parish is faced with a £20,000 rebuilding appeal fund, no direct appeal has been made for contributions from non-ringing members of the congregation.
We at Coton feel there are many members of the Exercise who, having enjoyed a visit to Coton belfry, would like to be associated with this effort. The target is £350, towards which £222 is already in the bank.
Donations, however small, will be gratefully acknowledged by the treasurer, Chilvers Coton New Bells Fund, Mr. J. E. Moreton, 39, Coventry Road, Nuneaton.—
Yours faithfully. DOROTHY E. BEAMISH,
Secretary, Chilvers Coton Society."

The dedication of the new trebles is reported in the edition of June 20th:

"Chilvers Coton Dedication
NOW A RING OF TEN.
The dedication of two new trebles at Chilvers Coton, Warwickshire, on M
ay 17th, completed the ring of ten. The church now shares with St. Mary’s, Warwick, the honour of being the only churches in the Coventry Diocese with rings of ten bells.
The date of dedication was aptly chosen as the sixth anniversary of the destruction of the church by enemy aircraft. The service was held in the chapel, which has been built by German labour on the ruins of the old and is nearing completion. The tower was only slightly damaged and the ring of eight unhurt, although the ringing room suffered from fire.
The new bells were dedicated by the Vicar of Coton, the Rev. R. T. Murray, who is the president of the Coventry Diocesan Guild. Among those taking part in the service, which was well attended, were the Rev. J . Emrys Jones (curate) and Capt. R. Willett (Church Army). Mrs. D . E. Beamish (secretary of the Coton band and also of the Coventry Diocesan Guild) read the lesson. Mr. J . P. Fidler represented the Loughborough founders.
Among the congregation were Mr. Albert Walker, St. Martin’s Guild; Mr. and Mrs. John Thomas,  Evesham, Mr. F. E. Pervin, Master of the Coventry Diocesan Guild ; M. E. Dodds, East Dereham, and Mrs. G. M. Mosedate, Taunton, son and daughter of the late Canon M. A. Dodds, sometime Vicar of Coton; Miss M. V. Godderidge, Folkestone; and Mr. H . C. Spencer, Birmingham .
After the dedication of the two new bells the Vicar handed them over to the care of Mr. J. E. S. Moreton (R inging Master). In his address, the Vicar spoke of the art of bellringing and stated that he had used some of the dedicatory prayers offered when the bells were dedicated 39 years ago. He praised the work put in by the members of the Coton band towards the completion of the ring, and congratulated them on the success attending their appeal for funds, stating that they had raised more than the original estimate of the cost of the bells. This was given to them over a year ago, but since that time the rise in the cost of materials and labour had added an add itional £65 to the estimate. Of the revised total they now needed just under £30 to wipe off the debt, which spoke volumes for the ringers’ enthusiasm and the generosity of the various subscribers.
The dedication was followed by a few rounds on the completed peal of ten and after the service the following members of the Coton band rang a course of Stedman Caters: Mrs. D. E. B eamish, Miss Margaret Beamish, Messrs. A. H. Beam ish , J. E. S. Moreton, J. F. Clarke, J. Draycott, J. G ibbons, J. Thompson, H. Harris and L. Trevor.
Touches by mixed bands from various parts followed, all pronouncing that a perfect splice had been effected. About 140 people sat down to tea prior to the service in the Parish Hall, the guests including parishioners, subscribers and German prisoners o
f war."

Though there were 3 peals rung on the back 8 after the dedication, prior to one on the 10, the local band were obviously practising their 10-bell ringing as they rang a peal of Grandsire Caters in December 1947:

There is a piece of timber from the old frame - dated 1601 - preserved in the ringing room, very early for a dated frame. There is an Ellacombe chiming apparatus in the intermediate chamber. The clock chimes are removed via the use of an electonic switch situated behind the treble.

The entrance is on the South side of the tower and there is parking in the in the car park for residents of the next door retirement homes. Additonal parking on the west side of the churchyard, up the B4113 "Coventry Road" or in the Crafts Centre car park on the opposite of the road at the east end of the church, on the A4524, "Avenue Road".

Details of the Bells

 1 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1946   3-1-09  23.125"  1874.0Hz (A#+9c)
 2 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1946   3-2-14  24.00"   1673.0Hz (G#+12c)
 3 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1907   3-2-27  24.50"   1491.0Hz (F#+13c)
 4 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1907   3-3-14  25.50"   1401.0Hz (E#+5c)
 5 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1907   4-1-07  27.50"   1244.0Hz (D#-1c)
 6 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1907   4-3-10  29.25"   1114.0Hz (C#+8c)
 7 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1907   6-0-03  32.00"    990.5Hz (B+5c)
 8 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1907   7-0-23  34.00"    933.0Hz (A#+1c)
 9 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1907   9-1-12  37.50"    836.0Hz (G#+11c)
10 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1907  13-1-24  42.50"    743.0Hz (F#+7c)

Photo Gallery

coton_old_small coton1908_small
The Old Bells
Removed 1908
The New Bells at
Taylors Foundry
coton2_small coton3_small
The church, looking east
Note the fibreboard ceiling.
A grave stone showing
shrapnel damage
coton_bombed_small  coton_plan_small
The church after the bombing Plan of the church 
 
The report of the rededication
in The Ringing Word of January 5th 1945
 

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