Bell-ringing at St Mary’s, North Elmham
David Wheeler and his band of ringers will have a bell practice at St Mary’s on Palm Sunday (2nd April) from 4-5pm, returning to Foxley St Thomas on 7th May. If you love the sound of bells, you might enjoy a Sunday afternoon walk through these villages? You may wish to join them as they prepare to Ring for the King – contact David at email@example.com
Hear the bells of North Elmham St Mary
This is a recording of a full peal at St Mary's - August 2018
Bell Ringing at Foxley Church
I thought you might be interested in this picture which hangs in the tower at St Thomas’ church, Foxley. The picture shows that the Foxley bells were restored in 2013 by John Taylor & Co of Loughborough who are still in existence making and restoring church bells today. The picture also gives the dates of the bells. Whilst they are not the oldest bells in existence, the bells date from 1751 which makes them 271 years old.
Thomas Gardiner was the bell founder, who was in Sudbury from 1709 to 1762 and also at the Brocandale foundry in Norwich from 1727 to 1747. He died in 1769 which would have made him a very old man, making bells for over 50 years. He is thought to have cast well over 259 bells, all bar one of which, are in East Anglia. His foundry in Norwich was purchased from Thomas Newman, son of Charles Newman. (Colne-Stour website, 2022)
So what else was going on at the time the bells were made? According to Wikipedia, Frederick, Prince of Wales, heir-apparent to the British throne, died of a pulmonary embolism at the age of 44 after a game of cricket. His 12-year-old son, Prince George, becomes the heir-apparent and will later become King George III. The 50-day long siege of the British fort of Trichinopoly in southern India was broken when the defenders use musket fire to force a stampede of the elephants of the French-backed troops of Chanda Sahib. Finally, Governor James Glen signed an agreement with Cherokee war chiefs led by the "Old Skiagunsta" of Keowee. That sounds like a good plan if you didn’t want to be scalped!
History aside, we are keen to maintain our bell ringing tradition, so get in touch with me if you’d like to have a go. We now ring on the 1st Sundays from 4pmto 5pm at Foxley Church.
David Wheeler, Tower Captain 07909 901015