We are delighted to have our two new training bells in place and ready to use. They were installed this week by Neil Thomas and Julian Ferrar on behalf of Matthew Higby and Co. Ltd Church Bell Engineers and will enhance our ability to teach beginners the initial stages of handling a bell. (The sallies on the ropes are designed with three separate bands of colour, making it easier for the learner to work out where to catch it.)
We also plan to add sensors to the training bells, which will enable us to practise ten-bell methods via our Abel simulator when all of the other bells are tied.
These training bells are a brilliant addition to our teaching and training set-up at Stoke St Milborough Bell Ringers and if anyone wishes to come and give them a go, do get in touch.
Footage of one of the training bells in action:
Our 'Ring for the King' band performed Rounds and Call Changes between 10am and 10:30am on Saturday 6th May, just prior to the King Charles III's Coronation Service.
The band were (L-R):
Sue Rees; Bill Rees; Catherine Evry; Ashley Smith; Henry Lewis; Camilla Lewis; Astrid Davies; Katherine Askey.
Special congratulations to Catherine and Camilla, for whom this was the first performance with a full band of ringers.
Many thanks to everyone who came along to try out bell-ringing at St Milburga's this afternoon (Monday 8th May 2023). We had a cohort of enthusiastic participants who had a go at pulling in their backstrokes on our tied fifth, and some of whom also enjoyed climbing up the ladder to view the bells. Tea and cakes kept everyone well fed and watered, and there was a great community atmosphere to the event. We hope that those of you who expressed an interest will continue to explore the possibilities that bell-ringing has to offer as a lifelong hobby, and we will welcome you back any time to continue your journey.
Coronation Weekend Introduction to Bell-Ringing
Over the course of the Coronation Weekend, you will undoubtedly hear the bells ringing out from many of the local church towers, most probably on Saturday 6th May, the day of the Coronation itself. If you’ve ever wanted to know more about this peculiarly English art and to find out how we are trying to keep it going for the benefit of future generations, you are most welcome to come along to St Milburga’s Church in Stoke St Milborough for a taster session from 2pm to 4pm on Monday 8th May. Henry Lewis will be present to give you a go at handling one of our new bells, and Ashley Smith will be able to take you up the ladder to view the bells in situ, as long as you have a head for heights! You can find out more about the story of our bells on our website www.stmilburga.co.uk and if you wish to come along for this taster session, please make contact with us through the site or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org Participants can be aged 11 or over, but those aged under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Please also let us know in advance if there are any particular medical issues of which we should be aware, and remember to wear comfortable clothes and flat shoes! Tea, coffee and cake will be served, and there is no charge for the session. Donations to the church are, of course, always very welcome. We look forward to hearing from you.
Our article about the new bells of St Milburga's is featured in this week's issue of Ringing World.
You can download a pdf copy of the magazine at this link > https://bb.ringingworld.co.uk/issue.php?no=5807
The final day of St Milburga’s Bell Festival was a resounding success, with the bells being enjoyed by people of all generations from far and wide. In the afternoon, we welcomed Caring for God’s Acre, who explored the churchyard in search of slowworms and other mini-beasts with children from Bitterley school. The children were also given a brief introduction to bell-ringing, so we look forward to welcoming some of them as the next generation of ringers if they choose to take up this lifelong passion.
In the evening, the festival closed with our Service for the Dedication of the Bells, led by the Bishop of Hereford, Richard Jackson, and Reverend Father Justin Parker. A variety of readings and a veritable feast of wonderful hymns and anthems were enjoyed by the congregation, and the bells were given the Bishop’s solemn blessing in the hope that they will ring on for centuries to come.
Our photos and video clips of the Service can be viewed in our Google Photos album of the Festival here
We would like to thank all of you who have supported our bell project, whether by helping to finance the bells themselves, by spreading the word, by coming to ring with us, by attending our events or by listening in and contemplating in your own way. We will continue to use the bells as a means of helping St Milburga’s church to grow and thrive into the future, so do keep an eye on everything that we get up to via our website www.stmilburga.co.uk and don’t hesitate to get in touch. We always love to hear from you.
As part of St Milburga's Bell Festival, the first peal was rung on the new bells on Monday 13th June. The composition consisted of 5088 changes of Yorkshire Surprise Major, and was conducted by Matthew Higby. The full details of the band and the performance are as follows:
You can also view these details on the Bellboard website here:
Many congratulations to the band on their successful peal attempt, which showcased the beauty of the bells in such a memorable way.
Here are some clips of the peal. (The first one was recorded outside the church during the opening couple of minutes of the peal, and the second one was recorded about one hour into the performance from above the village, approximately half a mile away.)
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