• Bell Ropes

    Over the last four of five Bell reports in St. John's Annual Reports for the A.G.M. I've pointed out that we are desperately in need of new bell ropes. Our ropes are over 15 years old, most have been spliced and only with the help of kindly donated ropes, mostly from Chigwell, and the tenor (the heaviest bell) rope we are using comes from Prittelwell; have we been able to continue to ring. If you are not a bellringer you will not understand the relationship we have with bell ropes, most of the time we never see a bell, we only see the rope! Some churches are fortunate as they have ancient endowments to fund bell ropes and some churches are fairly rich but we are neither. Almost all churches with bells are funded by the church P.C.C. for new ropes as they are part of the fabric of the church and without ropes we cannot ring the bells. Having had no response from P.C.C. members or officers, the St. John's bellringers have come to the conclusion that the only way to get new ropes is to pay for themselves. We need eight ropes and two spares, each rope costs £108 (not including p&p) and we have put in an order for the first eight. We are not launching an appeal in the church as in recent time they have had so many others.

    This year we finished buying some new chairs for the 'ringing room' so no more splinters! A 'stay' is a wooden block that stops the bell from doing a complete revolution and stops us hitting the ceiling. Bells 1 and 2 have a design fault which means the stays break on a very regular basis. I've only changed one stay in over 40 years, on the other six bells. We've just bought six, straight grain ash stays for the 1 and 2 costing £70 in total.

    It is a busy time for us as we will be ringing for the Diamond Jubilee with a church open day on the 4th June and have a Bellringers Picnic Jubilee lunch. We will also be ringing on Tuesday 5th as the Queen has a special Jubilee service on that day and we will be trying to ring a couple of Quarter peals, each lasting about 45 minutes, over the period. We are also trying to put together Heavy Metal Two, our presentation on the history of ringing both in the UK and locally, for the Leytonstone Art Festival for Monday July 16th 2012. It is hard to find the history of past St. John's ringers.



Bellringing at St. John's Leytonstone


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