Members and friends of St Milburga's tower assembled together with Matthew Higby & Company on 19th August 2020 to help perform the test ring of the new bells.
Strict COVID prevention rules had to be observed throughout, of course, with all ringers wearing face coverings and using hand sanitiser before and after each ring of the bells.
Collectively, we rang shorts touches of Grandsire, Stedman and Spliced Surprise Major, as well as Round and Call Changes to finish off our quick test. The bells passed with flying colours, with all in attendance agreeing that they were a joy to ring and to hear. We are all itching to ring them properly, of course, but, as everybody knows, patience is a virtue!
Once again, huge thanks to Matthew and his crew for their sterling efforts, and congratulations to Henry Lewis on the realisation of a lifelong dream...
On Monday 10th August 2020, we were finally able to welcome our new bells to Stoke St Milborough. The light four were brought to the church by Matthew Higby's bell hangers, and the heavy four were collected by Henry and Edward Lewis on a trailer.
Arriving at the church around 2pm, there was an hour of hard work to unload and line them up in front of the church ready for our 3pm blessing ceremony, led by the Rev'd Fr Justin Trevelyan Parker.
A thundery downpour appeared right in the middle of the 15 minute ceremony, baptising the bells with heavenly rain! Fortunately, the sun was back out within moments and the assembled congregation were able to take some time afterwards to admire the bells and their inscriptions.
Many thanks to the Allanconi Foundry, and to Matthew Higby and his team for all of their hard work. Congratulations also to Henry and family for bringing the project into the home strait! Won't be long until the world will hear these wild bells ring out...
Click here to read more about the bells and the thinking behind their design and inscriptions.