The Bell Tower

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The Bells: Some History

The Revd A. O. Medd, writing about 1885, says rather wistfully that "The Church possesses only 2 bells, but is worthy of a peal, which would indeed be a great addition". Alas, he was not to be there to see them installed.

The two original bells were of medium size, being of 2ft 6 ½ ins and 2ft 11 ¾ ins diameter respectively with a combined weight of 14cwt 2qtr 12lb, but there is no record of who cast them or when. When it was decided to install a peal of eight bells the work was placed with Mears and Stainbank of Whitechapel (now the Whitechapel Bell Foundry Ltd) a well respected firm of long standing which can trace its origins back to 1420. The actual casting of the new peal took place over a 5-year period from 1907 to 1912 — presumably as money became available. The two old bells were melted down and used to cast the new 3rd and 5th. These were ready first in August 1907 and were followed by the Treble and 4th in December.

Two years later in 1909 they cast the 2nd and 6th, but it was not until 1912 that the 7th and Tenor completed the peal. This as now constituted comprised:

Treble 4-3-24 F
2nd 5-0-24 E
3rd 6-0-2 D
4th 6-2-2 C
5th 8-0-4 B ♭
6th 8-2-10 A
7th 10-2-6  G
Tenor 13-3-11 F

The total cost of the bells installed was £680.12.8d.

Some of the bells have inscriptions and the names of those who donated them. The Tenor bell, which is dedicated to St Aidan, bears the inscription:
"Toll and chime to the end of time
For man in his day, for God alway."

The 3rd bell has:
"Lord may this bell forever be
Tuneful voice o'er land and sea
To call the people unto Thee."
The Treble has the fourth verse of Hymn 22:

"Holy blessed Trinity
Darkness is not dark with Thee
Those Thou keepest always see
Light at evening time."

This short account was extracted from St Aidan's ChurchBamburgh by John Bird. The complete booklet will be made available as a pdf file soon.

Bell ringing is the voice of the church.

It is really a great hobby, a sociable activity, physical, mental and fun. It takes time and commitment. The rewards are great. It is part of our British heritage and it is worth keeping active. We ring for Sunday services, weddings and special days of the village.
Our practice night is Tuesday at 7p.m.
Visiting bell ringers are most welcome and we do train beginners.
Our Bell Tower Captain is Pauline Lees who can be contacted on 01668 214034.