Whitchurch Tower Bell Ringers
Watch a short video of bell ringers in action at St Mary's at
their Open Day on Saturday 17th December 2011.
There are six ringers, one for each bell. From left to right on the video they are: Susie Black, Michael Palfrey (visiting from Pangbourne), Stephanie May, Doreen White, the late Sue Matthews and Ken Baker. Regular ringer John Chambers can be seen briefly at the far left.
Tower Captain Stephanie May would like more people to come and have a go and says:
"Like making a noise? Come and learn to ring a St Mary's. Bellringing is an ancient, fascinating art that can be enjoyed by people of all ages from all walks of life. You do not need to be particularly strong or musical in order to ring. Children from as young as 9 or 10 can learn to ring and I know people who are still ringing in their nineties.
Over the past few years the villagers have helped raise money to pay for new ropes and much needed maintenance on the bells of St Mary’s. We now desperately need more ringers if ringing is to continue for services, weddings, funerals and other special occasions.
Either call me, Stephanie, on 9744490 or John on 9841072 or email Ken for further information or come along any Wednesday evening between 8.00 and 9.00. We are especially keen to hear from any lapsed ringers and if you are worried about being a little rusty we would be only too happy to arrange for an individual session to get you back in the swing of things (pun intended).
If there are any young people out there who would like
to learn to ring, perhaps for a Guide badge or Duke of Edinburgh etc,
then we would be pleased to hear from you."
The Bells of St Mary’s – a historical note by Peter Hawley
Whitchurch has long possessed a fine peal of remarkably old bells, which remain popular with visiting teams and our own loyal band of ringers. Records show that there was expenditure on repairs to the original bells as early as 1577, which suggests they pre-date the Reformation. The late Robert Noble, a Whitchurch historian, wrote that five bells were replaced following the purchase of the Manor by the Whistlers in 1624. The largest bell “Laus Deo” which completes the present six-bell peal, dates from 1878. To carry the additional weight of this bell, iron support pillars were obtained from the Great Western Railway Company.