Nettlebed Church Bells
The present ring of six bells were cast in 1846 by the founders Charles and George Mears of Whitechapel, the year in which Nettlebed Church was rebuilt. The metal from three old bells from the church were used. Bells are generally moulded and cast from an alloy of 77% copper and 23% tin and then tuned to obtain their resonance. Our bells were originally hung in an oak frame which gave good service until recent years when wood boring insects took their toll and the frame became unsafe.
In the year 2000 these bells were refurbished at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry and hung in a new steel frame. Nearly £30,000 was raised locally for this project and the bells and frame were installed by local volunteers under supervision.
Before restoration the bells were recorded as being a little
heavier and tuned in the key of Bb
These bells now tuned in the key of B weigh as follows :
We currently have a lively band of
interested local ringers who practice on Wednesday evenings between 8.00 and
9.15pm and ring for Sunday and other services.
Although the repertoire includes a number of methods including surprise methods, ringers of all levels of experience are welcome at practices and services. We have a lot of fun trying out new methods which we usually forget by the next week !
Novice ringers and beginners are also very welcome. If you
live locally and would like to find out more please contact one of the ringers
or just turn up on a Wednesday.
Bells have been used as a means of communication for more than 1200 years in Britain. After the Reformation bells were hung using the full wheel to give greater control and enable a variation in the order in which bells can be rung. A Cambridge printer, Fabian Stedman, became fascinated with the mathematical variations or changes possible. He wrote his first book on change ringing in 1668. From this time rules for change ringing were drawn up and the art of ringing took off.
Changes can be rung on all 6 bells, minor methods, or 5 bells,
doubles methods, or even 4 bells, minimus methods - depending how many people
turn up !
Our bells are very light by comparison, the heaviest weighing under 6 cwt. The heaviest bell hung for change ringing is in Liverpool Cathedral weighs over 4 tons and Big Ben, only for striking, weighs over 13 tons.
Tower Captain -
Tower Secretary - Susan Byers 01491 641138 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Tower is a member of the
Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bellringers, Reading Branch