Willoughby Bellringers

The ringers

There has been a band of ringers at Willoughby since 1975 ringing the 6 bells.

We ring for Sunday services and special services.

Practice night is Wednesday 7.45 to 9.00pm, and all are welcome to come & see what ringing is all about, you might even like to have a go.

When booked, the ringers will ring for weddings (& in special circumstances, funerals). The ringers fee is determined at their AGM which is usually held on the 3rd Wednesday in January when the Vicar takes the Chair.

There is a monthly attempt for a peal (taking about 2 1/2 hours) on the second Tuesday of the month starting at about 5.45pm.

Each year the band hosts the local area ringers Onion Contest on the first Wednesday in October.

The local Diocesan Guild of Ringers requests the use of the bells for their district meeting on a Saturday afternoon, on average about once every 18 months.

The ringers have their own bell fund which has over the years:

  • Provided all new bell ropes as needed
  • Helped finance the provision of the tower screen
  • Helped finance the sound control system in the tower

The Ringers:

  • George Dawson Tower Captain
  • John Brian  Secretary
  • Pru Tatham Treasurer
  • Jenny Oldham Vice captain
  • Helen Cox
  • Mike Jones Assistant Steeplekeeper
  • Deena Bromhead

We are fortunate that we are regularly supported at our practice nights by several visitors.

The other two churches in the benefice, Widmerpool & Wysall, both have 3 bells, and in both cases they are hung dead and chimed only.

Willoughby’s Bells

Willoughby casting
The casting of the treble bell in 1965

Inscriptions & sizes of the Bells

  1. Treble:  JOHN TAYLOR & CO * FOUNDERS * LOUGHBOROUGH * 1965 *
    Waist:   A. H. MILLARD VICAR 1906-1942
    25″ 3.3.20
  2. (i). [+  ]  Taylor and Son Loughborough 1856.
    (ii).         S . Ramson Præceptor.  [Decoration]
    27.375″ 4.1.14
  3. [+  ]  Taylor and Son Loughborough 1856.  [Decoration]
    28.875″ 4.2.25
  4. Taylor and Son Loughborough 1856.   [Decoration]
    29.375″ 4.2.27
  5. [+  ]  Taylor and Son Loughborough 1856.   [Decoration]
    31.375″ 4.3.25
  6. Tenor (i). [+]  Taylor and Son Loughborough 1856.
    (ii).   T. P. Dodson Vicar I. Goodacre H. Hallam Ch : Wardens. [Decoration]
    33.75″ 6.0.1 B flat.

They are hung in a cast-iron low sided fame for six bells with cast-iron headstocks and ball bearings. This frame was provided in 1939 when the bells were restored by the world famous Bellfoundry of John Taylor & Co of Loughborough. They augmented the bells in 1965 when the treble was given in memoriam of Canon Millard, Vicar 1906-42.

Prior to 1856 there was a ring of four bells (411):

  1. THOMAS LINES RICHARD CROSS CHURCHWARDENS HEDDERLY FOUNDER
  2. IESVS BE OVR SPEDE 1595
  3. THOMAS LINE WM MAPLES C. W. 1750 THOMAS HEDDERLY FOUNDER
  4. GLORY BE TO GOD ON HIGH THO HEMSLEY WILLIAM HOLLAND WARDENS 1656

Stretton got the bells in the wrong order for Taylors records indicate the tenor was the 1595 bell which had the badge of Henry Oldfield of Nottingham on it. It weighed 4.0.17 and was 29″ in diameter. The third bell, probably bell number 4 above was 27.5″ in diameter.

The new five left Loughborough on March 31st 1856 and were rung by the Wymeswold ringers on Friday, 16th May 1856.

 

Rector’s letter – Dec 2015

By the time you read this, autumn should have truly arrived!  I write in mid-November, and the weather is still incredibly mild — I can’t recall an autumn like it. One of the things I like best about this time of year is that candlelight really comes into its own.  It’s interesting to reflect that candlelight is a luxury nowadays, whereas for many people 100 years ago, (my grandparents’ parents’ generation), candles and oil lamps were the norm.  Nowadays, when we light candles it is to obtain a certain effect, perhaps in church to signify a prayer, or of God made present in some way.  The flickering flame reminds us of the life of the risen Christ — light that shines in our darkness, a light of hope when other things fail.

I write just a few days after the terrorist attack in Paris took so many lives.  At times like these, we all struggle to make sense of what has happened, and, of course, the reason that we struggle is that it makes no sense.  As December comes upon us, as we prepare for Christmas, let us light as many candles as we can — not just in our Carol and Christmas services, but at home too — and in our own way invite God’s light to be present with us.

One of the names given to Jesus in some of the carols is “Emmanuel”, which means “God with us”.  God with us, alongside us, whatever the darkness, with us.  The light the candles signify is not just an external light — it is about how the presence of God touches and changes our own heart too.  I’m reminded of the traditional prayer:

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your people:
And kindle within us the fire of your love.

So… do pause as you light your Christmas candles this year, pause and be open to the prayer that comes.

Every blessing
Stephen