A fine peal of ten bells cast by Thomas Osborn of Downham Market in 1785 hangs in the Norman Tower , which was the principal gateway into the great church. The bells, which were still hanging in their original wooden frame, were re-hung by Taylors of Loughborough in a cast iron ‘A’ type frame some 12 feet lower in the Tower in 1973. The heaviest bell, the ‘tenor’, weighs 27 hundredweight, 2 quarters and 5 pounds and sounds a C sharp note. Approximately 160 peals have been rung since records began in November 1879. The bells are rung on Sundays from 9.00 a.m. for the 10 o’clock Eucharist. They are also rung for weddings and other special occasions. Bell practice takes place on Tuesdays from 7.30 p.m. until 9.00 p.m. New ringers are always welcome.

An appeal was launched in September 2010 to augment the ring of bells. A ring of 10 bells contains within it only 1 true octave, that comprising the 8 heaviest bells, with a tenor (heaviest) bell of 27cwts. As learner ringers are being trained, there is a requirement to learn on 8 bells before progression to the higher numbers (10&12) and the heavy octave available for this purpose is not really suitable, being cumbersome for learner ringers. The provision of a 13th (semitone) bell will make a lighter octave available in the ring of 12, so that learning change ringing will be facilitated.

Thursday, April 24, 2014