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Belfry News from Elloe - October 2016

"Long Sutton Visited "

One of the pleasures of bellringing is the privilege of visiting other towers as each is unique in its history and the bells it contains. Thus Tuesday evening, August 31st saw Gedney/Sutton St James ringers "having a go" at St Marys Church, Long Sutton. This tower, as originally built, was detached from the main body of the church, and what today is the ground floor ringing room was once open on all four sides. I seem to recall a story that market traders of long ago used to set up their stalls under the tower in what would have been a most convenient location.

In regard to the bells North, in his 1882 book tells us there were six bells, cast in 1716 by Henry Penn whose foundry was at Peterborough. He adds;

"Here is a chiming apparatus by Messrs Jerram and Blackbourn, erected in 1878" and then remarks "The state of the belfry might be improved." Readers may recall that James R Jerram was once churchwarden at Fleet and is buried there. All traces of this apparatus have long disappeared.

In 1934 Pennís bells were recast and two smaller ones added to make the present excellent eight which are a pleasure to ring, the accoustics in the ringing room being first rate so how did we cope, not being used to eight bells. Well we rang Bob Minor, Bob Doubles, Call Changes on the eight and a few attempts at Plain Hunt on eight. Our "striking" that our efforts to achieve evenly spaced and rythmic timing could be considerably improved, but this will come with experience and as Angela said "All we need is practice-yes-more practice". The evening concluded in Palmers where we enjoyed the customary drink and animated conversation.

John Bennett (Elloe Deaneries Ringing Master)