Bell Ringing - how about you?
Do you listen to the bells ringing out their welcome on a Sunday and know how many bells are being rung? There have been bells at Wargrave since at least the seventeenth century and probably before that. The six seventeenth-century bells were destroyed in the fire of 1914 and their fire-distorted clappers can be seen hanging in the back of the church. Amazingly, considering that World War I was raging, a splendid new ring of eight bells was installed in the tower in 1915. The bell ringing group has increased slightly in numbers in the last year with the addition of three or four ringers and there are between 3 and 8 bells being rung on Sunday morning.
The team have also carried out the ringing of bells for around 8 weddings in the year, and at these times the full complement of ringers is essential.
This year has seen a new carpet in the ringing room and it has been admired by all. A set of new bell ropes has also been purchased. These ropes are over 50 feet in length and are replacing the last set of ropes fitted around 10 years ago.
Other maintenance problems this year have included broken 'stays' that need specially prepared woodwork that Chissock Woodcraft carried out. The 'stay' is, as its name suggests, used to stop the bell from going over its balance point.
How about giving it a try?
Training new Bellringers
Wargrave's Ringing Master, Vinni Sullivan, has set up training sessions for newcomers, providing as many as 4 sessions a week. These are tied-bell practices where the bell is physically prevented from sounding (to avoid upsetting neighbours) but the pulling of the bells is as normal. Vinni is the ringing expert and keeps the team under control. Practice nights are Wednesday from 7.30pm until 9.00pm and these are with normal ringing. Anybody is welcome to visit these sessions although it is worth checking with John or Vinni in case of cancellation due to lack of numbers. If you would like to visit the bell tower, call or email John and he will be happy to show you around, even give you a quick ring of a bell. New ringers are always welcome.
For further information download a leaflet and then please contact John Coombes 0118 940 2937