St. Alban's Church Band of Bellringers

Church bell

ST ALBAN'S TOWER

Meets for practice on Tuesdays from 20:00 - 21:00. Ringing before Sunday morning service starts at 09:00.

For more information phone Mary Freestone on 01892 750 269 or Malcolm Parry on 01892 750 729.

NATIONAL COMMEMORATION OF 60TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE END OF WORLD WAR TWO

10 JULY 2005 (1945-2005)


This year sees the 60th Anniversary of the end of World War II and the Government has decided that the occasion will be marked by a day of Commemoration on Sunday 10th July 2005. The day will start with a service at Westminster Abbey and in the afternoon will be the main event for 11,000 people on Horse Guards Parade. These events are predominantly for World War II veterans, and the Queen and other members of the Royal Family will attend them all. At the end of the ceremony on Horse Guards Parade the Queen will lead a procession back to Buckingham Palace, headed by a large military band and followed by a mass muster of standards and banners. At five o’clock the Queen and the Royal Family will appear on the balcony to view a flypast of World War II aircraft.

Throughout the UK cities and towns will be organising similar events to run concurrently with those at Horse Guards Parade.

Church bell ringing has a poignant association with the events of World War II so at five o’clock on 10 July 2005 bells will ring out at St Alban’s and throughout the land.

Mary Freestone
St Alban’s Bellringers

THE CHURCH BELLS

 

WEIGHT

NOTE

DATE

FOUNDER

Tenor

C

8

-

0

-

12

A

1776

Pack & Chapman

5th

 

6

-

1

-

22

B

 

Whitechapel

4th

 

5

-

1

-

10

C#

1633

John Wilnar

3rd

 

4

-

1

-

10

D

 

Borden

2nd

 

2

-

3

-

8

E

1715

Matthew Bagley IIILondon

Treble

 

2

-

3

-

6

F#

1777

Pack & Chapman

The six bells were tuned and rehung with all new fittings and framework A. D. 1981 by The Whitechapel Bell Foundry London

The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers - for more information on English bell ringing
or read 'The Nine Tailors' by Dorothy Sayers

HIDDEN HISTORY IN THE BELFRY

In 1633 Galileo was tried and condemned to life imprisonment by the Inquisition in Rome for his heretic belief that the earth was not the unmoving centre of the universe but rather that it and other planets moved around the sun. In England Charles I reigned, and in this year Samuel Pepys was born. In the same year John Wilnar, at his foundry in Borden near Sittingbourne, cast two of the six bells which hang in St Alban’s church tower, and they are still rung some 370 years on.

One of the other four bells was made in 1715 by Matthew Bagley III at his father’s foundry at Upper Moorfields in London. (The following year father and son were among 17 men who died in a dreadful accident whilst casting a cannon.) The other three bells were cast in 1776 and 1777 by Thomas Pack and William Chapman who were at that time master founders at the world-famous Whitechapel Bell Foundry - one of only two bell foundries remaining in Britain today.

People often remark that they enjoy hearing the bells ring out on Sunday mornings, and for Christmas, weddings and other celebrations but, of course, practice must come first! ‘Ancient’ and ‘Modern’ now meet at the Frant tower by introduction of a computer-controlled ringing simulator which enables the ringers to hear their work during learning and practice sessions while the bells themselves are silent. The group find this technology an extremely useful training aid, and are grateful to Frant Primary School for very kindly donating a pair of speakers recently.

It is estimated that there are about 40,000 ringers throughout the country, but most towers have a constant recruitment problem and are glad to see new faces. Frant is no exception so, if you’re intrigued, why not have a go? The ringers meet for practice on Tuesdays from 7.30 - 9.00 p.m. Anyone who would like to find out more, or to give bellringing a try, can contact Tower Captain Malcolm Parry (01892 750 729) or Mary Freestone (01892 750 269).