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HANDSWORTH, City College, Soho Road (Former Council Offices) 3: 10cwt in G#

Grid Reference 139/048893 Handsworth College - Source: Wikipedia
Postcode B21 9DP


The Handsworth Public Buildings were built in 1878-9 for the Handsworth Urban Sanitary Authority, the building was later used by successive local authorities including the Urban District Council (1894-1911) and the Birmingham City Council (from 1911). In the mid 1960s it was being used as a College of Art and it is now part of the Birmingham City College with a section of the building being set aside as the Public Library.

The building has a tall square tower rising over the main entrance. The upper section of the tower has a tiled pyramid roof with gables on three sides for illuminated clock dials. The original clock was supplied and installed by W.F. Evans & Sons of the Soho Clock Factory in Handsworth in 1879, striking the hours and ding-dong quarters on three bells:

The notes given here are approximate. The bells are hung from deadstocks fixed between softwood beams in the tower roof. They have Doncaster heads. The two quarter bells have no crown staples or centre holes. The hour bell has a crown staple and it is fitted with a clapper – now disused – for tolling.

(Most of the above information is quoted directly (with permission) from the research notes of Chris Pickford)

Details of the Bells

1. James Barwell, 1878  3¾cwt  25.50" G 
2. James Barwell, 1878  4¾cwt  28.375"D  
3. James Barwell, 1878  10cwt  38.50" G#

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