Harry Rutherford's
Festival of Britain Mural

Monday, 24 September 2012

Gee Cross Parish Church (Holy Trinity)

We've had posts about Holy Trinity Church before and we know that the original church was built in 1874, originally without a tower which was added in 1904.

This is the front cover of a booklet I've got and, as it says, it's a history of the church from the time it was built up until 1974. One of the first illustrations in the book is of the church as it was originally built:
The booklet later says:
"During the early years of this century very ambitious schemes had been mooted to improve the fabric and appearance of the church and its immediate surroundings. Various suggestions for additions and improvements were discussed, several schemes even got to the stage of having plans drawn and approved by the diocesan surveyor. These included the abortive scheme for a lych gate, a new rail at the top of the chancel steps, and extensive panelling on the west wall. All these came to nothing but the plans are still preserved. The centre of what was known as the 'Queen Victoria Memorial' was indeed the tower, the erection of which was first seriously discussed in 1901. It should be stressed that the erection of a tower as a memorial was not an effort solely confined to Holy Trinity. The building committee was an inter-denominational one, the memorial being that of the village of Gee Cross. A building committee was formed and it was decided to erect a tower capable of safely housing both a clock and a peal of bells. The work was undertaken by Messrs. Armitage of Gee Cross, following the grant of a faculty in 1901. The memorial stones were laid on July 18th 1903, the tower being built on the site of the former baptistry. During the work the font itself was not moved, but was encased with wood to prevent damage. The tower was finally completed in 1904 and consecrated by the then Bishop of Chester, Bishop Jayne on April 23rd in that year and at a meeting held shortly after the consecration, the treasurer of the building committee was able to report that, out of the £819 the tower had cost to erect, only £69 remained outstanding."
The Rev T.G. Williams was Vicar of Holy Trinity from October 1882 till 1913. He spent his retirement in Birkenhead where he died on 4th January 1922 and was interred at Holy Trinity on 9th January.

The booklet says this about the clock:
"Almost immediately, a clock was promised and later provided, during 1904, by Mrs. Brown, the widow of the late Canon Brown in memory of her husband. This was dedicated on 31st December 1904 by Canon Maitland Wood, afterwards being set in motion by Mrs. T.G. Williams, wife of the Vicar. The clock itself was manufactured by William Potts & Sons of Leeds and is designed on similar lines to those installed by the same maker in the cathedrals of Lincoln, Carlisle, Ripon, Chelmsford, Bradford and Armagh. The clock movement is fitted with Lord Grimsthorpe's double, three legged gravity escapement and a 1.25 seconds zinc and iron compensated pendulum, which meant that any possible wind resistance on the hands of the clock did not affect the time keeping. Each of the three external dials is 3 ft. 9 inches in diameter and is made up of a skeleton frame of cast iron, glazed with opaque glass, to provide for illumination from within. The clock is manufactured to chime the Cambridge or Westminster Quarters and the makers were generous enough to loan a bell on which the hours could be struck, until a peal of bells was obtained."

This is what it says about the bells:
"A gift of a peal of eight bells was made in the autumn of 1906 by Mrs. Elkanah Woodhead in memory of her husband, and a formal ceremony was held in the school on 29th December to mark the installation, which was attend by the church officers and various colleagues and descendants of the late Mr. Woodhead. On Monday 31st December, the bells were dedicated and a public meeting presided over by Mr. Councillor Knowles was held. The year 1907 was rung in by a peal, which was commenced shortly before midnight. Information about the bells themselves was supplied by the founders, Messrs. John Taylor & Co. of Loughborough as follows:-

                                    cwt                 qrs                   lbs                   Note
Tenor                              15                   1                    10                    F
7th                                 10                   1                      3                    G
6th                                  7                    1                    24                    A
5th                                  6                    2                      2                    B flat
4th                                  5                    0                      3                    C
3rd                                  4                    1                     11                    D
2nd                                 3                    3                       6                    E
Treble                              3                    1                     24                    F

The total weight of these bells is 2 tons 16 cwt. 1 qr. 11 lbs. and it is for this reason, coupled with the limited amount of space available, that the bells are merely struck and not swung. The largest bell is inscribed with details of the gift by Mrs. Woodhead."


Anonymous said...

Great Article !
I never knew that the church added the tower at a later date .
Thanks .

Trish said...

interesting article on Holy Trinity, great photos, its a beautiful church in a lovely area, I have fond memories of this church.

Anonymous said...

I think this church is where John Ogden and Brenda Lucas were married in.