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The Bells, The Bells

The Bells, The Bells

“The project to replace the existing heavy, hard going bells with a lighter, more manageable ring is about to bear fruit.  The existing 6 bells are due to be taken down over the 19th/20th April and it is hoped that the new bells will be hung by the end of June.  The new ring will comprise four redundant bells, originally cast in 1934 at the Whitechapel foundry as a chime for the News of the World building in Bouverie Street London, and then in the 1960s given to All Saints Murston in Kent, plus the existing treble and 2nd which will be retuned as the 3rd and 4th of the new ring.  The work is being carried out by Matthew Higby & Co Ltd.
Whilst the bells are out the band will hold its Monday night practice at Manston.”

The Bells The Bells update

On the 11th May 1887 a new set of six bells, were dedicated by the Bishop of Salisbury in honour of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. Since then they have been heard on numerous state occasions, marked the end of two World Wars and been rung in celebration of countless marriages. For generations they have called the living to remember the dead. Today for the first time in 130+ years they were lowered to the ground never to ring in St Nicholas belfry again. The operation proceeded smoothly and a number of villagers came to witness the event, with Bob Crighton who has organised the bells appeal on hand throughout. [Consent to publish obtained by covwscoordinator]

The last bell down was the mighty tenor and it caused some problems getting it down because of its size [17 cwt [[hundredweight]] . It was too large for the space available and had to have its headstock removed.  In modern terms 863 kg is a lot of bell and unsubstantiated rumour had it that local farmers were asked to help lift it into the van.
The tenor is of to Chilham in Kent to replace a bell there. The inscription on it “Praise God. These six bells set up by the people of Childe Okeford” may cause some consternation in future historians of St Mary’s in Chilham
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Page updated on 08/04/2018