Rothwell church gets two new bells

The two new bells will increase the number to 12

The two new bells will increase the number to 12

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People in Rothwell gathered to welcome a new addition to one of the town’s churches: two brand new bells.

Tower captain at the Holy Trinity Parish Church Murray Coleman said: “I am very much looking to having a go at ringing the new bells when they come into action next Sunday.

Jim Bence and Kathleen Guilford who donated the money to pay for the new bells, a treble and a flat 4. Jim's bell is dedicated to his parents Sylvia and Alastair Bence

Jim Bence and Kathleen Guilford who donated the money to pay for the new bells, a treble and a flat 4. Jim's bell is dedicated to his parents Sylvia and Alastair Bence

“They will add to our current peal of 10 bells, once of which dates back to 1682, to provide a ‘lighter octave’.

“This will be very useful for training and it also means that we can still create a full major scale, even when we are missing ringers.”

Each bronze bell took about five minutes to lift into place, coincidentally on Ascension Day in the Easter calendar.

They were lifted from the church’s entrance hall, through the the ringing room and into the bell tower.

They will add to our current peal of 10 bells, once of which dates back to 1682, to provide a ‘lighter octave’.

Tower captain Murray Coleman

The smaller of the two, weighing 800kg, was provided with donations from bellringer Kathleen Guilford and the larger, weighing in at 1,150kg, was funded by Jim and Sarah Bence, in memory of Jim’s parents.

Mrs Bence said: “Jim and I grew up bellringing – that’s how we met.

“The opportunity to put a new bell in the tower doesn’t come up very often, so we thought it would be a good way to do something that really would last in memory of Jim’s parents.

“We hope it will also benefit the rest of the community because we don’t always get our full company for every service and it is getting harder and harder to keep the young people that we teach.

The bells are winched into position through the ringing tower floor and up through to the belfry

The bells are winched into position through the ringing tower floor and up through to the belfry

“Some of our ringers are in their 80s and, at 44, I am one of the youngest.

“It’s a wonderful thing to do because it keeps you physically fit and keeps your brain going.”

As well as the donations made by the Bences and Mrs Guilford, the two bells were funded by a £20,000 grant from the Mick George Community Fund, £4,000 from the Diocesan Guild of Church Bellringers and £5,000 in savings made by bellringers volunteering to help install the bells.

Mr Coleman, who was recently invited to ring at Westminster Abbey to mark the birthday of Prince Edward, Earl of Essex, said: “The costs cover lots of things, including the labour and the framework for the bells fit into.

The new bells at Holy Trinity Church, Rothwell

The new bells at Holy Trinity Church, Rothwell

“Every bell has to be custom-made so that its sound fits in with the existing ring in each place.

“Watching them being cast in Loughborough was quite an experience to watch.

“The longest part is adjusting the thickness of the metal to get the right note but, once it is tuned, it never needs to be changed again.”