Bell Ringers

Our Tower is a member of The Wirral Branch of the Chester Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers.

The local branch webiste can be found here.

 

 

 

The Bells at St Bartholomew, Thurstaston


Some of the Thurstaston ringers who rang to announce the New Year 2005.
(Click on the picture for a larger image.)

In 1886, on occasion of the the building of the third church at Thurstaston, St Bartholomew's had a peal of five bells hung in place.  A sixth 'Jubilee Bell' was added to the celebrate the Golden Jubilee of HM Queen Elizabeth II .  This bell became the new treble.  

On Wednesday 10th December 2003 the first ever quarter peal to be rung by a home band of ringers was rung.

The tenor bell weighs 6 hundredweight, 2 quarters and 15 pounds.  It is tuned in B flat.  The church with its bell tower is located at Grid Reference SJ247841.  Practice night is Wednesday from 7pm to 8pm.  Bells are rung every Sunday for half an hour prior to the main morning service.  Bells are also rung at other appropriate times, particularly when requested, at weddings.  The tower joined the national ringing at midday on New Year's Day 2000 when all towers in the country were invited to ring to commemorate the beginning of the new millennium, and rang half muffled as a mark of respect for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother during the period of mourning.  A peal on the newly formed ring of six was rung by visiting ringers and one of our own, Peter Robson.  The Tower Captain is Mr Richard Turner and a small band of ringers of varying degrees of competence (including complete beginners) ring under his tuition.

CHANGE RINGING

A bell in her usual position

a - Stock
b - Stay
c - Slider
d - Blocks
e - Wheel
f - Groove of the wheel
g - Fillet
h - Ball of the clapper
j- Flight of the clapper
k - Cannons
l - Timber of the cage
m - Gudgeons
n - Lip of the bell  

A bell in her usual position

Change ringing is a peculiarly English art form, originating in the 17th Century.  However there are towers all round the world.  A very clear explanation of what is involved is given at the website of the North American Guild of Bell Ringers.

THE JUBILEE BELL

Through the generosity of the parishioners of Thurstaston, former parishioners and friends of the parish, it was possible to mark the Golden Jubilee of HM Queen Elizabeth II by installing a new, sixth bell in time for the bell to be rung in June 2002 to celebrate the Jubilee.  We are greatly indebted to all those who made this possible.

The bell was cast on 28th March 2002 and was rung with all the other bells on 2nd June 2002 in celebration of the Queen's Golden Jubilee.  On 3rd June a band from the Wirral Branch of the Chester Diocesan Guild of Bell Ringers including one of own ringers, Peter Robson, rang a full peal of Plain Bob Minor to celebrate the Jubilee. Her Majesty was been informed of our plans and we have received a letter of encouragement from Buckingham Palace.  Click on the Jubilee logo to read it.

Jubilee Logo

 


CASTING AND HANGING AND RINGING THE JUBILEE BELL

 

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The molten bronze is poured from the furnace into a hopper ready to take to take to the mould. The Thurstaston Jubilee Bell is cast.  The mould is buried in sand and will not be disturbed for four days Mrs Karen Fox who played the key role in raising the funds inspects the mould after the casting The Thurstaston Tower Captain, Mr Richard Turner at the mould. The guide explains the composition of the mould - principally sand, straw and horse manure.
         
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Some of the Thurstaston ringers trying out Taylors own ring of bells. Ringers of only a few weeks experience were able to join in. The bell founder's mark and the year 2002 Nearly done!  The Rector and Richard Turner, the Tower Captain with the bell which is ready to hang. The bell on its way up to the bell-chamber.
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The Jubilee Bell about to be hung The Jubilee Bell hung in place, 117 years after the space was left for it. Thurstaston band members after ringing
 on the newly augmented 6.
L to R: Peter Jamieson, Rosemary Jamieson, Jane Lea, Janet Hand,  Elizabeth Reeve, Richard Turner (Tower Captain), Joyce Rossington, Chris Higgins & Peter Robson.
Also rang: Martin Amlôt, Brian Smith and Karen Fox.