Who was ringing the changes in 1948?
WE ask if readers recognise anyone in this group who were photographed for the Daily Herald newspaper some 70 years ago.
They were the bell ringers of Netherton parish church and these pictures were taken in the bell tower in 1948.
The church was built in 1830 as a chapel of ease to St Thomas’s Church (Top Church) in Dudley and became a parish church in 1844. A 1921 description of St Andrew’s Church in Netherton records that its has, “an embattled tower with pinnacles containing a clock and eight bells, six of which were given by Mrs Skidmore and two by Mr D. Rollinson.”
She was Blanche Skidmore (18361872), the widow of Henry Parkes Skidmore (1831-1861), an ironmaster and owner of the Atlas Tube Works in Dudley. They lived at Hill House in Netherton but, sadly, her husband died of diphtheria after only four years of marriage. As well as the bells, Mrs Skidmore also paid for stained glass windows and memorial tablets in the church.
Change ringing, the art of ringing a set of bells so as to introduce controlled variations in the sequence, developed in England in the 17th century. The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers was founded in 1891 and has published a weekly journal, The Ringing World, since 1911.
•If you can name any of these bell ringers, please contact us at the Black Country Bugle, Dudley Archives Centre, Tipton Road, Dudley, DY1 4SQ, call 01384 889000 or email [email protected]countrybugle.co.uk
Do you recognise any of these Netherton campanologists?
The bell ringers in action at Netherton Parish Church
The tower of St Andrew’s Church, Netherton