Sheffield Church's Bells Going Aloft

Picture: Installing the new bells, 1934

Picture: Installing the new bells, 1934

The Sheffield & Rotherham Independent,
Fri 9th March 1934

  The arrival of the re-cast bells at Ranmoor Church Sheffield

  The installation of the two new bells and the eight which have been recast was begun at Ranmoor Church, Ranmoor, Sheffield, yesterday. 

  The bells are to be dedicated by the Bishop of Sheffield on Easter Saturday, 31st March, when the ceremony will be broadcast by means of loud-speakers to the congregation in the church. Afterwards a band of experienced ringers, friends of Mr. Sam Thomas (to whom the new bells are dedicated), will ring the first peal.

  The two new bells are to be treble bells, and are being added to the Church as a memorial to Mr Thomas, a former Sheffield ringer, who died in 1924. The memorial has been raised by the Sheffield District Society of Change Ringers.

  Mr. Thomas, who was born at Wath-on-Dearne, learned to ring a bell when he was aged nine years. He came to Sheffield in 1888, and next year became a member of the Parish Church Company, with whom he rang his first peal.

  He became associated with the Ranmoor Company in 1896, which developed under his tuition. On the formation of the Sheffield Junior Amalgamated Society in 1890, he was elected treasurer. In 1898 the Society became the Sheffield District Society and later embraced the old East Derbyshire Society.

When the new peal of bells was put in at Dore in 1909, Mr. Thomas was entrusted with the formation of a new band, to which he acted as instructor.

Promoted Ringing

  Of later years Mr. Thomas did a great deal to promote Surprise ringing in Yorkshire.
The cost of recasting the old eight bells at Ranmoor exceeds 570, and with the addition of the cost of overhauling the tower, the amount will be over 700. Over 600 of this has already been received in the last 12 months from voluntary subscriptions.


  When the bells were taken down the following inscriptions were found on them. It will be noted that the old spelling of Ranmoor was then Ran Moor:-

"May God grant prosperity to the Church and Parish of Ran Moor.
"Praise God in His Holiness. Praise Him in His Power.
"When we join our cheerful sound
"Let Love and Loyalty Abound.
" All ye people that hear us ring
"Be faithful to your God and Queen"
"This peal and Church are dedicated to St John the Evangelist
"C. M. Gibbs Architect Sheffield
" This peal of bells hung and fittings by James Shaw and Son, under the superintendence of John R. Cordingley of Bradford.
"This peal of eight bells presented to Ran Moor Church by William Smith of Fulwood and Hallamshire Works Sheffield. 
(Tenor) James Barwell Founder Birmingham 1878."

The new bells are to be inscribed to the effect that they are dedicated to the memory of Sam Thomas and will also include the name of the Vicar of Ranmoor, the Rev. Henry C. Foster and the two Churchwardens, Mr. G. A. Pryor and Mr. W. L. Gray. They will be the only peal of ten bells in the City of Sheffield.

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