Friday, 5 October 2012
Early last year I was walking along Church Street past St George's Church when I saw an inscription on one of the piers on the church wall which I had not noticed before.
I've been trying since then to find out more about it, even asking one or two people at the recent Heritage Open Day, but with no success, and was going to put this photograph on the blog to see if anyone had any information about it. But I've now found a book in the reference section of Hyde Library written in 1911 by Thomas Middleton and entitled 'History of Hyde (St George's) Church and Schools' which has this to say:
"On November 12th, 13th and 14th, 1908, a Bazaar was opened on the first day by Mrs. Wood, of Glossop; chairman, Dr. Eastham; on the second day, by the Rev. W.G. Bridges, M.A.; chairman Canon Symonds, M.A.; and on the third (children's) day, by Miss Doris Brogden; chairman Master Charles Heywood. The Bazaar Handbook contained a brief history of the Church and Schools, written by Mr. Tom Middleton. The Bazaar realized over £500. With the sum thus raised several improvements were carried out. The Church Tower and West front, and the Church Street School, were re-pointed. A new boundary wall was built on the Church-street side of the graveyard. The old wall, built with the church, in 1832, was a plain structure, 5ft. 6in. high, which prevented the graveyard being seen by anyone standing in the street, The new wall averages about 4 feet in height, is surmounted by stone pier caps and copings, and has handsome iron railings fixed between the piers. By this arrangement a good view of the yard is obtained. On the centre pier are the words – "Rebuilt 1909." Other improvements to the churchyard were also carried out. The better ventilation of the church was also effected. The total cost of all these improvements was £350. The parishioners are indebted to the wardens, Messrs. John Wilde and George Spencer, for the efficient manner in which the whole of the work was supervised."
I assumed that the 'handsome iron railings' had been removed during the Second World War to help build aeroplanes, tanks and ships, but I found several sites on the internet which dispute this and all say similar things to this statement on www.buildingconservation.com:
"Many church railings were removed during World War II, ostensibly to be melted down in a morale-boosting drive to help the war effort. The reality was that the iron could not be reused and more often than not it was simply dumped at sea."
You can see where the iron railings were originally fixed.