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SHIRLEY* St James 8, 6-1-1 in Bb

Grid Reference 139/119788 Shirley Church - Source: Mike
Postcode B90 2BA
Affiliation St Martin's Guild
Peals Felstead Database
Sunday 0915-1000
Practice Thursday 1945-2115


The church was built in 1831 as a Chapel of Ease to Solihull, and equipped with one bell, cast by John Rudhall and weighing 1-3-9. The church became a parish church in its own right in 1843. In 1854 the existing bell was replaced by a ring of four bells, costing £209/5/9, augmented in an extended frame within the year to five at a cost of £45/10/-.

The first peal on the bells was rung in 1923:

The existing five bells were rehung in a new cast iron lowside frame, quarter turned and augmented to six by Taylors in 1929. The canons were also removed at this time. the first peal on the 6 was rung in 1931:

The frame was further extended when two new trebles were added in 1946-7, again by Taylors. The Taylor bells were all cast with flat tops.  The rededication of the bells is reported in The Ringing World of 27th June 1947:

Shirley, Warwickshire
In conjunction w ith the bi-quarterly meeting of the St. Martin’s Guild, the dedication of two new trebles and a new clock took place at the Church of St. James the Great, Shirley, Warwickshire, on June 7th.

The ceremony was performed by the Rev. A . E. Fraser (Rector of Solihull), and the service was fully choral and conducted by the Vicar (the Rev. J . S . Billings).

Immediately following the service, rounds, Queens and Grandsire Triples were rung by Shirley’s own band: E . T . Lloyd 1, A. D. Cooke 2, V. A. Hemming 3, Mrs. J. Watts 4, G. Bailey 5, T. Abbotts 6, A . Morris 7, E. Ledsam 8. Tea, which was arranged by the ringers and their wives in the Church House, was partaken of by upwards of 50 friends.

During the evening ringers present from Birmingham, Sutton Coldfield, Solihull, Knowle, Coventry, Nuneaton, and Loughborough, and Mr. J . P . Fidler, representing the bellhangers, enjoyed ringing in the following methods: Kent, Double Norwich, Stedman, Grandsire, Plain Bob, Yorkshire, Bristol, Superlative, London and Cambridge.

The work was most efficiently carried out by Messrs. John Taylor and Co. They are an excellent splice and augment a six with a tenor of 6¼ cwt. in B flat, the back five of which are by C. and G. Mears, 1854, the treble being added by John Tayior and Co. in 1929. The new bells are the Shirley ringers’ memorial to victory and peace, the cost being raised exclusively by the ringers’ efforts and bear the following inscriptions on the crown of the bells :—

Treble : Dei Glorias Qui Victoriam Dedit 1946.
Second : Rejoicing, in Peace 1946.

The addition completes a most musical octave which can justly be claimed as an asset to the St. Martin s Guild.

The clock is an electrical system controlled by a master clock in the ringing chamber -with an impulse movement driving the two dials on the tower, the hours striking on the tenor bell. The apparatus, which was supplied by Messrs. Gent and Co., of Leicester, is a thanksgiving gift from Mr. H. Norman Shirley, churchwarden of the parish, and Mrs. Shirley, and replaces the old weight-driven movement which had served the parish for 98 years.

The first peal was rung soon afterwards:

The church, being unusual in that the tower is at the east end of the building, is on the main street in Shirley and there is a large public car park on the north side of the church.

Details of the Bells

                                     Weight prior
                                     to retuning
1 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1946          3-0-02  22.625"  1835.0Hz (Bb-26c)
2 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1946          3-1-20  23.625"  1733.0Hz (A-27c)
3 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1929          3-3-01  25.00"   1543.0Hz (G-28c)
4 C. & G. Mears, Whitechapel      1855          3-2-08  26.00"   1374.0Hz (F-29c)
5 C. & G. Mears, Whitechapel      1854  4-1-17  4-0-21  28.125"  1222.0Hz (Eb-32c)
6 C. & G. Mears, Whitechapel      1854  4-2-09  4-1-12  29.00"   1155.0Hz (D-29c)
7 C. & G. Mears, Whitechapel      1854  5-0-24  4-3-25  31.00"   1030.0Hz (C-28c)
8 C. & G. Mears, Whitechapel      1854  6-2-02  6-1-01  34.375"   918.5Hz (Bb-26c)

Photo Gallery

The Church - Looking East. Source: Mike Chester The Church - Looking East. Source: Mike Chester The Church - Looking West. Source: Mike Chester
The Church - Looking to
the Liturgical East
The Chancel and Sanctuary The Church - Looking to
the Liturgical West

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