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Belfry News from Elloe - June 2016

"Sojourns of a Wet Summer Evening"

The evenings adventures were a repeat of our July 22nd 2014 outing, much enjoyed by Carolyn Gentle who requested "another go". So, Tuesday, June 14th saw us again at St James, Newton in the Isle and St Giles, Tydd St Giles where we thoroughly enjoyed call changes, Bob Doubles and Bob Minor. We thank Alan Paterson, Church Warden at St Giles, for meeting us at Newton and ringing with us at both towers. Alan mentioned that Newton bells had not been rung since March and indeed both towers no longer have active bell ringers-a sad indictment of modern life. However, there is an unusual design of chiming apparatus in the base of the tower from which the fifth bell is chimed during communion services. Interestingly this was installed by our old friend, James R Jerram in 1879. Readers may recall that James was once Church Warden at Fleet and whose marked grave is some 50 yards or so from Fleet tower.

The detached tower at Tydd St Giles was constructed during extensive work in the 1880's, under the direction of Sir Gilbert Scott when the church was rebuilt. The earlier eastern end tower collapsed in 1741, taking part of the sanctury with it, the probable cause being poor foundations and a strong wind, though local lore has it that the Devil pushed the tower down because he didnt like the sound of the bells. Well I cannot say that the present ones are particularly tuneful.

Arriving at the Crown and Mitre car park the heavens opened, the rain hammering on the roof of my car, through the spray I glimpsed the shadowy figures of Doug and Terry racing for the dry-shall I -shan't I-oh well , may as well get wet. And so ended our evening in the warmth and comfort of the Crown. Incidentally this pub derives its name from a certain Nicholas Breakspeare, one time a curate of this parish, who, in 1154 became the only Englishman to occupy the Papal Throne becoming Pope Adrian 1V. Well, Pope Adrian, were you alive today, would you approve of this commemoration of your existence. Observing our enjoyment I think you would.

John Bennett - Gedney Tower