Bell Ringers

BellringersSUNDAY SERVICE RINGING

Morning : 09:30 - 10:00

 

PRACTICE NIGHT

Wednesday : 19:30 - 21:00

Note : May start at 19:00 if bell handling being taught

 

OTHER RINGING

By previous permission of the Tower Master and Incumbent only

 

CONTACTS

Mike Thomson (Tower Master) 07710 763603

(e-mail mikethomson120@gmail.com)

. . or . .

Nick Thomson (Ringing Master) 01925 602437 (e-mail nick5@btinternet.com)

 

RINGERS REQUIRED

Help us keep an ancient tradition and art alive and well by joining our mixed group of people who enjoy ringing. We are always looking for new members to ensure we have sufficient numbers to keep the bells ringing as they have done for over 300 years.

Age : 9+;

Gender : any;

Experience : none

Being able to ride a bike or catch a ball gives the right

co-ordination skills.

Come and see us on any Wednesday night or contact us as above.

 

VISITORS

Visitors to the tower are always very welcome, ringers or non ringers. Come and see what happens when the bells ring out. Please contact us as above to arrange a suitable time.

 

OUR RINGERS

We are a mixed group of people of different age groups (but probably tending to the higher age groups) and belong to the

Chester Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers (CDG), being part of CDG’s Mid Cheshire Branch.

We usually enter the Mid Cheshire Branch 6 Bell Striking Competition for Sunday Service bands and have had some success of late, winning on numerous occasions. This means that our band go forward to the CDG final representing Mid Cheshire Branch and ring against bands from towers representing the other four Guild Branches (Chester, East Cheshire, South Cheshire and Wirral).

Bellringers Team

The Grappenhall band at Hoole (l-r) :

Alison Collins, David Pigg, Liz Helliwell, Ray Helliwell, Nick Thomson and Mike Thomson

 

Bellringers Tophy Shelf

Our ‘Trophy’ Shelf

at left is the Ken Lewis Plate for the inter Branch 8 Bell Striking Competition

and at right if Benny’s Box for the inter Tower 6 Bell Striking Competition.

OUR BELLS

Are currently out of action as we have successfully raised money to have a new ring of 10 bells cast and a new bellframe installed. Work is ongoing - John Taylors & Co. of Loughborough have cast our new bells and we are awaiting their installation. Our oldest and most historic bells will be retained and new technology will enable us to improve our teaching and our visitor experience..

History of the Grappenhall Bells

The earliest bells in our ring date back to 1700, being cast as a ring as 5 Bells by Henry Bagley II who was based at Ecton in Northamptonshire. They are the only Bagley bells in Cheshire.

In 1718 an additional smaller (treble) bell was cast by Sanders of Bromsgrove to make a ring of 6 Bells.

The ring remained like this until 1890, when the 1718 smaller bell must have proved unsatisfactory and was recast by John Taylor & Co of Loughborough. A new bell frame was provided at this time.

In 1899, the bells were augmented to a ring of 8 Bells, unusually with the addition of a Treble and a Tenor Bell (smallest and largest) which meant that, to maintain musical correctness, the old 4th Bell (cast by Henry Bagley) had to be recast to make the new 5th Bell. These new bells were cast by Mears and Stainbank who were based at the Whitehapel Bell Foundry in London’s east end. The Bell Frame was extended to hold the two additional bells.

This is basis of our present rung of 8 bells, the present bell numbers 3, 4, 6 and 7 are the Bagley bells, bell number 2 the John Taylor bell and 1, 5, and 8 the Mears & Stainbank bells.

Some work was done in 1929 by John Taylor & Co to strengthen the bell frame where the original frame and 1899 extension met. A major rehang was done in 1966 when new fittings were provided for all the bells (new cast iron headstocks, wheels, sliders and pulley blocks) but the bell frame was not touched.