Four Shires Guild of Bell Ringers

NEWSLETTER No 133 - July 2012


  1. Officers & Committee members
  2. Notice of Striking Competitions and AGM
  3. Guild accounts to 31st December 2011
  4. Guild Master's report
  5. Editorial
  6. Committee meeting report
  7. From the Archives
  8. Guild Summer BBQ
  9. Your Newsletter
  10. A tale of two fours
  11. El Presidente's crossword
  12. Mid-Week Tours
  13. 240 of Plain Bob Doubles
  14. Saturday Night Fever
  15. Squirrels in towers!
  16. Special occasion at Tredington
  17. Central Council Meeting
  18. 102nd anniversary meeting at Blockley
  19. 350th anniversary, Book of Common Prayer
  20. Notices and adverts
  21. Around the towers
  22. Diary of Saturday meetings and events
  23. Tag End

Tower of the Quarter — S Peter's, Pebworth, Worcs

(A b&w photo from about 1996 by Chris Povey)

St Peter's, Pebworth, had an amazing transformation from derelict 5 to very much ringable 10 in a very short space of time. The bells were rehung and made 6 in 1986, augmented to 8 in 1995 and then to 10 in 2002. As ringers we know them quite well, and due to the open galleried ringing platform, we get an elevated view of the church's interior. However, the church contains some interesting features that are worth a closer look at ground level.

Whether entering from the main or the tower doors, there are steps down into the nave. This is because the ground slopes down from west to east, thus leaving the chancel at or above natural ground level. The earliest part is the chancel, which dates from C13th. The East window is a pleasing example of the Perpendicular period and, at its apex, contains a small piece of medieval stained glass. The barrel-roofed nave is C15th, as is the tower. The main door may date from that period, too, and is thought to hang on its original hinges. The C19th dormer windows in the south side nave roof are rather delightful, and their style is particularly unusual for a church. The font is a little unusual, too, in that its base incorporates a step. Presumably the officiating cleric was short! It is claimed the only other in Gloucestershire similar to this is at Wormington (and, yes, I can confirm Wormington's font has this feature. Ed)

The large arch-like opening in the west face of the tower is intriguing. At one time it contained a window, but the tracery within it decayed and after its eventual collapse the opening was filled in. It would be slightly remiss not to mention the bells, as some have a local and even national importance. A ring of 5 bells was cast by Evesham bellfounder Michael Bushell in 1707. Unfortunately the tenor cracked and was recast by Abraham Rudhall in 1732. The four remaining Bushell bells survive as the 6th, 7th, 8th & 9th of the present ring. Michael Bushell worked with the already-established William Clarke. Bushell is first mentioned in 1706, when he and Clarke collaborated to cast a ring of 6 for Badsey (the present back 6). Clarke had by that time cast some single bells for churches in the area and in 1705 cast a ring of 5 bells for Hinton-on-the-Green (the present back 5). Bells had been cast in Evesham since 1600, but all this ceased in 1711 when Clarke & Bushell's operation was curtailed by the landlord selling the bell foundry site and some adjoining property.

The bells are a chuckable, easy-going 10 that anyone can handle with ease. The first Q on the 10 was Grandsire Caters on July 22nd 2002, composed and conducted by Ian Povey. The Guild's practice, on July 21st 2012, is almost 10 years to the day on from that occasion.