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William Bloye

William James Bloye
Born 1890 (1890)
Died 6 June 1975
Arezzo, Italy
Known for Sculpture

William James Bloye (1890 – 6 June 1975 Arezzo) was an English sculptor, active in Birmingham either side of World War II.


  • Life 1
  • RBSA 2
  • Works 3
  • References 4


He studied, and later, taught at the Birmingham School of Art (his training was interrupted by World War I, when he served in the Royal Army Medical Corps from 1915 to 1917;[1] he was eventually succeeded at Birmingham by John Bridgeman), where his pupils included Gordon Herickx, Roy Kitchin, Raymond Mason, John Poole and Ian Walters. He also studied stone-carving and letter cutting under Eric Gill around 1921.

Blue plaque at Golden Hillock Road.

In 1925 he became a member of the Birmingham Civic Society, having, at about that time, a studio at 111, Golden Hillock Road, Small Heath, Birmingham. As Birmingham's unofficial civic sculptor he worked on virtually all public commissions including libraries, hospitals and the University. He often carved bas-relief plaques, typically for public houses in Birmingham, and decorated a number of buildings by the architect Holland W. Hobbiss.

During the 1920s, he served on the Technical Committee of the Birmingham Civic Society.[2]

He became a member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors: associate (with the honorific suffix ARBS) in 1934, and fellow (FRBS) in 1938. He also won the latter's Otto Beit Medal. Retiring from the School of Art in 1956 he moved to Solihull. He died in Arezzo, Italy in 1975.

In December 2010, a blue plaque was unveiled at City College, on the site of his former studio.[1]

As of January 2010, Birmingham City Council are working on the restoration Bloye's statue of Pan at Aston Hall. The statue's head is missing, and they have appealed for old photographs, to assist in its reconstruction.[3]


William J Bloye, 111 Golden Hillock Rd, Small Heath, sculptor
William Bloye's entry in the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists members' register; in his own hand. Dated 1930.

Bloye was closely associated with the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (RBSA). Although the two 1919 bronze plaques at the RBSA entrance are the earliest known work by Bloye in Birmingham, he only became a member in 1930.[4] After a period as vice-president, he became president in 1948[5] and served in that role until 1950. He was also the RBSA's Professor of Sculpture[5] from at least the mid-1940s until at least 1961[6] (after which time the post is no longer mentioned in the annual catalogues).[7]

The Society's permanent collection includes one of his works, a life-size plaster bust, Head of Man.[8] It is undated and not usually on display. The subject's name is not recorded.


Image Title / subject Location and
Date Type Material Dimensions Designation Owner / administrator Notes
Allegories of Art and Industry Over the north-west door of Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery (The Feeney Gallery extension), Great Charles Street

c. 1919 (1919) Stone Birmingham City Council [9]
Aesculapius Chest Clinic, Great Charles Street

1930 (1930) Relief carving Stone [9]

Boulton, Watt and Murdoch Broad Street

1956 (1956) statues Gilded Bronze Birmingham City Council Matthew Boulton, James Watt and William Murdoch

Queen Victoria Victoria Square

1951 (1951) statue Bronze Birmingham City Council Recast from a marble statue by Thomas Brock[9]
Royal Oak Lozells

c. 1936 (1936) Stone Decoration around the doorway of a former pub (now a shop). Formerly brightly painted.[9]
The Boar's Head The Boar's Head, Perry Barr

c. 1938 (1938) Wood Painted pub sign comprising a model boar's head, on a pole.[9] Taken from the arms of the Gough-Calthorpe family of nearby Perry Hall
Running stag Perry Barr Stadium

1929 (1929) Bas-relief Stone Logo of Birchfield Harriers.[9] Attributed.[9]
The Towers Tower Hill, Great Barr

1936 (1936) Stone Bloye was responsible for all the stone carving on this brick building[9]
Bronze Plaques Royal Birmingham Society of Artists

1919 (1919) Bronze Formerly at the Society's old headquarters on New Street[9]
Call, Front Line and Return Hall of Memory, Broad Street

1925 (1925) Interior bas-relief carvings [9]

'Wisdom, Fortitude, Charity, Faith' Legal and General Assurance Building, 7 Waterloo Street

1932 (1932) Four bas relief panels Exterior high level bas-relief carvings.[9]

Capitals and pediment sculptures New Oxford House, 16 Waterloo Street

1935 (1935) Exterior: two capitals, shield above door and upstairs pediment and putto.[9]
Coat of arms and two lion reliefs Council House, Priory Road, Dudley

1928 (1928) Façade on Council House (Town Hall)[10]
Fox and Hollybush Acocks Green

1927 (1927)-8 Bas-relief From former Fox Hollies pub.[9] Now on Lidl supermarket.
War Memorial: George and the Dragon and lions on flagpoles Town Hall, Priory Street, Dudley

1928 (1928) Also four bronze lions (1936) on flagpoles, Town Hall tower[10]
Dudley's Past Town Hall, corner of Priory Road and Priory Street, Dudley

1935 (1935) [10]
The Antelope Sparkhill

c. 1929 (1929) Bas-relief pub sign Designed by Bloye, sculpted by his assistant, Tom Wright[9]
Allegory of Painting Art Gallery, Avenue Road, Leamington Spa 1929 (1929) Sandstone Life-size female nude[11]
Pan Aston Hall, Birmingham

1934 (1934) [3][9]
Two stone vases Aston Hall, Birmingham

1934 (1934) Vases Stone Birmingham City Council [9]
Capitals and Heads Council House, Priory Road, Dudley

1935 (1935) [10]
Dudley from the Wren's Nest Council House, Priory Road, Dudley

1935 (1935) Two reliefs Plaster Within building - at entrance to council chamber and entrance to committee reception room.<0ref name="NoszlopySBC" />
St. Nicholas Rescuing the Three Children John Shelton School, Coventry (former) 1936 (1936) Lost after the school was demolished in 1999[11]
Bear and Staff The Bear Inn, Stratford Road, Sparkhill

c. 1937 (1937) Bas-relief Pub sign, depicting feature of the arms of Warwickshire, in which the area was located at the time of installation.[9]

Spirit of Knowledge Yardley Wood Library

c. 1936 (1936) Bas-relief stone [9]
Work Location
(Birmingham unless stated)
Date Picture Coordinates
(With links to map and aerial photo sources)
Brookvale Pub, sign with putto and grapes Erdington c. 1934 (1934) Painted stone pub sign.[9]
Huntsman and Dog, pub sign The Green Man Pub, High Street, Harborne c. 1940 (1940) Painted wooden pub sign.[9]
Library Emblem Yardley Library, Yardley 1938 (1938)
Apollo fountain Coronation Gardens, Ednam Road, Dudley 1939 (1939) Sculpture on top of fountain[10] The model was international gymnast and basketball player Fred Starkey.[12] The plaster models are in the collection of Birmingham Museums Trust.[13]
Josiah Mason Now at the junction of Chester Road & Orphanage Road in Erdington 1952 (1952) Bronze bust, recast from a marble statue (subsequently destroyed) by Francis John Williamson of 1885, which stood opposite Mason Science College in Edmund Street[9]
Engineering, bas-relief Mechanical Engineering Building at the University of Birmingham 1954 (1954) [9]
Aesculapius Medical School, University of Birmingham c. 1938 (c. 1938) [9]
John Skirrow Wright Birmingham Council House 1956 (1956) Bronze bust cast from a marble statue (subsequently destroyed) by Francis John Williamson[9]
St. Alphege St. Alphege CofE Infants School, New Road, Solihull 1959 (1959) Restored in 1994[11]
Mermaid fountain University of Birmingham Guild of Students 1960 (1960) Bronze[9]
Mermaid University of Birmingham Guild of Students 1960 (1960) Clipsham stone sculpture, on wall[9]
Decoration The Mermaid (public house), Sparkhill c. 1960 (1960) (Bas-relief pub sign attributed to Alan Bridgewater[9])
Bust of Wilfred Byng Kenrick Byng Kenrick Grammar School For Girls 1962 (1962) (unveiled 1963) Bronze. Lost, believed stolen.[9])
Coat of Arms Dental Hospital c. 1973 (1973) Fibreglass. Now removed.[9]
Head of Man Royal Birmingham Society of Artists undated Plaster[8]
Sermon to the Birds St Francis of Assisi's Church, Bournville 1933 Oak Wood. Part of Grade II listed building.[9]
Ten panels in ceiling Moseley School (old assembly hall) undated Plaster[14] (Full image set at Media related to at Wikimedia Commons).
Sun and lettering Sun Insurance Building, Bennetts Hill 1927 Stone bas-relief[9]

Media related to at Wikimedia Commons).

Heraldic sculptures (also Bronze statue of girl in fountain in courtyard) Fountain Court, Steelhouse Lane 1964 Stone bas-relief. Statue of girl in private courtyard.[9] Media related to at Wikimedia Commons.
Mother and Child, Young Child Playing 90 Lancaster Street, Birmingham c1935 Stone bas-relief[9]
Maternity Carnegie Welfare Institute, Hunter's Road, Hockley c1923-6 Painted mahogany[9]
The Good Shepherd and Latin Cross Christ Church, Burney Lane, Ward End c1935 Stone bas-relief[9]
Christ All Saints church, Coneyford Road, Shard End 1951-5 Stone[9]
Lion Pediment and Seated Craftsmen Supreme Works, 186 Soho Hill, Handsworth c1922 Stone bas-relief.[9] Media related to at Wikimedia Commons.


  1. ^ a b "Life of Birmingham sculptor William Bloye commemorated". City College. December 2010. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 11 December 2010. 
  2. ^ "Ornamental Fountain". National Recording Project. Public Monument and Sculpture Association. Retrieved 28 October 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "The mystery of the headless statue". Birmingham Newsroom.  
  4. ^ Anon (1930). "The Spring Exhibition, 1930 (catalogue)". RBSA. 
  5. ^ a b Anon (1948). "Royal Birmingham Society of Artists Autumn Exhibition 1948 (catalogue)". RBSA. 
  6. ^ Anon (1961). "The Second Spring Exhibition, 1961 (catalogue)". RBSA. 
  7. ^ RBSA catalogues, 1962 onwards
  8. ^ a b RBSA archives, catalogue number B43
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak  
  10. ^ a b c d e Noszlopy, George T. (2005). Public Sculpture of Staffordshire and the Black Country. Public Sculpture of Britain 9. Liverpool University Press.  
  11. ^ a b c Noszlopy, George T. (2003). Public Sculpture of Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull. Public Sculpture of Britain 6. Liverpool University Press.  
  12. ^ Anon (2001-04-02). "Former city man tribute".   - via HighBeam Research, subscription needed
  13. ^ Accession numbers: 1991P111; 1991P112
  14. ^ The Moseleians Association - Moseley School and the work of William Bloye (1890-1975)
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