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Central Branch Hackthorn 10 Years Celebration

S Michael & All Angels, Hackthorn

The webmaster's reputation for arriving late at events is now pretty much legendary, so I am happy to report that I was early at St. Michael's, Hackthorn. By about 4 hours!

There was a reason for this and that was I was setting up a video link up in the bells and in the ringing room, as part of the celebrations of the bells having been installed 10 years ago.

When I arrived there were a few people carrying the Wombel into the church. I let them get on with it, while I installed my cameras.

It became evident quite quickly that the Wombel was not going to fit in the church. While ceiling height was not a problem (it is 3.5m high when assembled) the problem was space around it. The Wombel is assembled on its side then hoisted upright. There simply wasn't enough space to assemble it on its side. So it ended up outside.

Eventually everything was ready and working and we made our way down to the Village Hall just after 12:00 noon for lunch. And what a lunch. Lincolnshire sausages with baked potatos and baked beans with a glass of sherry, followed by assorted desserts ranging from trifles to assorted crumbles and pies. I opted for the apple pie with cream and very nice it was too.

The children play the bell plates

Eventually we made our way up to the church. We had quite a few ringers, so they went up the tower and raised the bells. They did a bit of ringing before the first event. This was a demonstration of handbell ringing (technically bell-plate ringing) by the local school children, under the guidance of Margaret Parker.

Mums and Dads watch the children at work

After the handbell ringing, the tower bells were rung in ernest. Ringing ranged from rounds and call changes to a 170 of Cambridge Surprise Minor. Visiters were able to see (and hear) the ringers in the ringing chamber on one monitor and also see the bells swinging on another.

The monitors showing the ringing
People look on as the ringing takes place

Outside people were having a go at ringing on the Wombel, under the watchful eye of Margaret Parker and others. There was also a quiz for people to do.

Margaret helps out with the Wombel

Just before 3:30pm we rung the bells down in peal before the service. This was short service led by Revd Sally Turnbull giving thanks for the bells at St Michael's. The historic Nicholson organ was played by Les Townsend.

After the service people made their way home. The event generated a lot of interest and I'm happy to report that potentially we have a couple of new recruits.

Jonathan Clark (webmaster)