St Mary's Oldham Hopefully readable.

Michael Orme MikeOrme at
Tue Sep 9 14:06:00 BST 2008

David Sloman wrote:- 
Some of the Abraham Rudhall ring of 1722 from St. Mary's were 
dispersed when the 1830 ring was installed, one to St. Peter's 
Oldham, one to St. James Oldham and one possibly to Newton Heath
(since recast-if it did go there).
Is the disused Rudhall bell in the tower at. St. Mary's, one returned 
from either St. Peter or St. James or another bell. Would be grateful 
for any information.
Derek Thomas, Tower captain St Mary's Oldham has provided the 
The bell in question was the one from St James'. It was acquired 
during the time they were also disposing of most of their Gillett & 
Johnson 10 bell carillon, 8 of which are now hung for ringing in Fen 
Ditton Cambridgeshire.

It was installed in the tower during the spring of 1983, at the same 
time as the new flat 6th bell was added to the ringing peal. The 
original intention was to have it hung so that it could be used as a 
sanctus/service bell. This still remains an objective, but as with 
many churches, other priorities have taken up what little funding has 
been available.  

I believe that this bell was probably the 6th of the old 8 (i.e. the 
4th of the 1722 Rudhall 6 – two more bells were added c 1781/2)

The bell that went to St Peter's back in 1828 eventually found its 
way to St Ambrose Oldham in the late 1960's when St Peter's was 
demolished. St Ambrose never made any use of it and it remained on 
the floor of their Church Hall. I enquired about its availability 
sometime in the late 70's/early 80's when the project to raise funds 
for the flat 6th was up and running. 

The incumbent at that time, Rev James (as in the beer brewed by 
Brains) said he would discuss the matter with his PCC and invited me 
to make contact again. 

When I did so a few weeks later I was appalled to discover that my 
first visit had made them realise that they had something of value, 
and that in the intervening period the bell had been broken up on 
site and the metal sold for scrap (to Whitechapel I think, but I 
don't have any written evidence). This was the worst possible course 
of action that could have been taken as I could have arranged to meet 
the scrap valuation figure and have avoided the bell being broken up. 

This bell was larger than the one from St James, so I assumed it was 
probably the 5th of the 1722 ring of 6. (7th of the old 8)

I believe the old tenor did go to Newton Heath All Saints and was 
subsequently re-cast. The other 5 bells went to Mears prior to the 
casting of the 1830 ring of 12 for the new Oldham Parish Church.

Hope this information helps.     Derek. 

Likewise,  Michael Orme.


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