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PERRY BARR* St John the Evangelist 8, 13-3-22 in F

Grid Reference 139/068920 Northfield Church - Source
Postcode B42 2LL
Affiliation St Martin's Guild
Peals Felstead Database
Sunday 1000-1025
Practice Monday 2000-2100


Originally a chapel of ease to Handsworth, this church was built in 1831/3, becoming a parish in its own right in 1862, and extended in 1887/8. The pinnacles became unsafe and were removed in 1977.

There are now 8 bells in the tower, installed in 1972 from Bishop Latimer's Church, (q.v), using the old cast iron frame, rearranged to put the third and fourth on top. Originally there was one 31.50" bell, by John Rudhall of Gloucester, which was cast in 1833 and weighed 6-1-9 in the key of D. This was replaced by a ring of 8 from the Taylor foundry, cast in 1868, the original order for 6 being increased to one of 8 before the bells were installed. These were hung, in memory of the 4th Lord Calthorpe, in a two tier wooden frame, the treble being hung above the tenor. The trebles were retuned and the bearings and gudgeons replaced by Barwells in 1888.

As part of a long series of articles about rings in church in Bell News it is reported in the edition of March 12th 1902:

"Perry Barr (Staffordshire). St. John the Evangelist. Society for the Archdeaconry of Stafford. Eight bells. All by Taylor; no date given. Tenor 14 icwtv, diameter 3 ft. 6 in. Timber frame. Bells go well. Tuned and rehung by Barwell; no date mentioned. Ropes new 1898. Methods: Grandsire and Plain Bob. Sunday ringing: 1st and 3rd in month, 10 to 11. Practice : Monday, 8."

An article about the church and bells was published in The Ringing World of March 21st 1969. It gives the inscriptions of the old bells. (Charles Lynam, in his book "The Church Bells of the County of Stafford" (1889), was inaccurate in his list):

Click to enlarge)

The installation of the bells was reported in The Ringing world of April 21st 1972:

The Archdeacon of Birmingham (Ven. V.S. Nicholls) will dedicate a ring of eight bells at St. John’s, Perry Barr, Birmingham, at 4 p.m. on April 22.
These bells are to replace the hundred year-old ring removed from St. John’s last year, and have quite a history of their own. Originally they hung in St. John’s, Deritend, a church so heavily damaged by bombing in 1940 that it had to be demolished.
The bells were saved and, in 1960, after20 years’ silence, were recast by Taylor’s of Loughborough and installed in Bishop Latimer Memorial Church, Handsworth. Unfortunately, the bells set up stresses in the church tower and it was thought inadvisable to risk damage by continuing th eringing, so, from 1965, they were silent again.
The old bells at St. John’s, Perry Barr,had got into a bad state. They had to be scrapped and the opportunity was welcomed to acquire the former St. John’s, Deritend, bells from Bishop Latimer Memorial Church. Once again they have been renovatedby Taylor’s and refitted at Perry Barr. From there they will again speak out.
H .T."

It was reported again in the edition of June 2nd 1972:

The first peal on the old bells was Grandsire Triples, rung on 9th Jnaury 1869 in 3 hours and 9 minutes, with the famour ringer, "Henry Johnson" ringing one of the bells. The first peal on the new bells was rung on 16th December 1972, Lincolnshire Surprise Major

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

Details of the Bells

1 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1958   4-0-16  25.625"  1441.5Hz (F+54c)
2 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1958   4-0-26  26.375"  1358.0Hz (E+51c)
3 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1958   4-2-07  28.25"   1208.0Hz (D+48c)
4 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1958   5-0-03  29.625"  1071.0Hz (C+40c)
5 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1904   6-0-14  31.375"   953.0Hz (Bb+38c)
6 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1958   7-1-16  34.00"    898.5Hz (A+36c)
7 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1958  10-0-12  38.00"    799.0Hz (G+33c)
8 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1958  13-3-22  42.375"   710.0Hz (F+28c)

Details of the Previous Bells

1 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1868   5-1-07  27.875"  1548.0Hz (G-22c)
2 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1868   5-3-03  28.25"   1468.0Hz (F#-14c)
3 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1868   6-1-24  30.50"   1307.0Hz (E-15c)
4 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1868   7-0-19  32.75"   1147.0Hz (D-41c)
5 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1868   7-3-07  34.25"   1035.0Hz (C-19c)
6 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1868   8-1-21  35.50"    974.0Hz (B-24c)
7 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1868  10-0-07  38.50"    855.0Hz (A-50c)
8 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1868  13-2-20  42.75"    761.0Hz (G-52c)
(These are the casting weights. The scrapping weights were a few pounds less in each case.)

Photo Gallery

Postcard of the Church. Source: Wikipedia
An Old Postcard of the Church - Showing the Removed Pinnacles
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