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).

2016s competition was held at Hoole (Chester) and we were placed FIRST for the fourth consecutive year.

 

 

Bellringers Team

The Grappenhall band at Hoole (l-r) :

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

 

Unfortunately, we were not able to repeat our recent successes in 2017’s competition held at Poynton when, in a very close competition, we were beaten into 2nd place by the band from St George’s, Stockport - by just 1 fault. We in turn beat St Mary’s Nantwich into 3rd place by just half a fault.

Several of the band have also represented Mid Cheshire Branch in the Guild’s Inter Branch 8 Bell Striking Competition. In 2017, Ray Helliwell, Mike Thomson and Nick Thomson were part of the Mid Cheshire Band that won the competition held at Witton (Northwich).

 

 

 

Bellringers Tophy Shelf

Our ‘Trophy’ Shelf (2016/7) :

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

We have a ring of 8 Bells of mixed origins with the tenor bell (the largest bell) weighing 574kg (or 11cwt 1qr 6lb).

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.

 

THE BELL PROJECT

In 1998 professional inspection showed that we needed a new bell frame and the bell ringers devised a project that would ensure Grappenhall bells would be heard for many years to come. We now have a faculty (church planning permission) for this work and have launched our PEAL APPEAL for the BELL PROJECT (visit http://stwilfridschurch.org.uk/fundraising/bells-project/ for details).