Four Shires Guild of Bell Ringers

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Tower of the Quarter

The first in what is hoped will be a regular feature that spotlights one tower from those visited in the recent quarter's Saturday night practices, which, in the Newsletter team's opinion, deserves singling out for a special mention. This feature might adorn the front page, or, as this issue where a more-appropriate front-page article is applied, an inside page. The choice this time is:-

St Mary's, Temple Guiting, GLOS

Photo: Chris Povey

The recent work at St Mary's appears to have paid dividends, as the bells were rung afterwards on three separate occasions during a two-week period, and then a little later for a quarter peal - possibly more ringing than at any time in the last 10 years! Four of the ropes were changed for good second-hand ones (the old ones were poor), a stay was replaced, the tenor clapper swing was trued up and the Ringing Room had its first vacuuming in very many years (it was horribly filthy). First of the ringing was the FSG Saturday practice on Oct 3rd, then Sunday morning ringing by request for the Rector's last Service on the 11th and finally the FSG Mid-week Tour visited on the 15th. The quarter-peal was rung in fine style on November 6th for Sophia Lewis-Skeath's birthday (see details).

The 5 bells, tenor 11-3-17 in F# were cast by Taylors of Loughborough in 1870/71, but the 3rd was recast by them in 1905. Taylors rehung them in a new 6-bell cast-iron and steel bellframe in 1971, so the 'real' treble's pit lies there unfilled. Perhaps one day. . . . . . (The belfry is very large: enough room for a 12 on one level!) Lack of a local band and tight PCC finances have led to the bells being overlooked in the past - and by ringers generally, too, it seems (when did the FSG last visit, for instance?) - but the recent work has now made them nicely ringable. Don't expect to push them along, though, as they seem happier ringing fairly slowly. (Now if they were a 6. . . !)