Westbourne Bells

NEWS UPDATE (14/9/2017)

Thank you to everyone who promoted and supported our Heritage Open Day.

Jason, from the bellringing team, said: "We had around 60 people who attended and six of them have asked to have a further 'proper' go at bell-ringing and to come to a practice night to learn.

"This is a great result!"

Jason writes
It was a successful morning and lots of people enjoyed themselves. Many ringers played a part in making it happen and to ensure that people realise the door is always open to new ringers (not just at the open day) and they can get in touch with Peter anytime.

 We opened our tower after the service on Sunday as part of the national Heritage Open Days.

We had about 60 people come up the tower which was open after the service from 10:30-12:00 to see the ringing and the bells. We had several of them "have-a-go" including many children.

We had 4 adults and 2 children sign up to come again on a practice night - one group, a family, joined us last night on our Monday practice. A great result with promise of more!

I had borrowed the excellent model from Chichester Cathedral (Thank you Hamish McNaughton) so that we could talk through the mechanics of bell-ringing to those who weren't up the tower. This also reduced the time they needed to be up the tower for quicker turnover.

We also set up a laptop with a webcam in the Belfry using powerline network adapters to relay pictures of the bells to a laptop in the back of the church coupled to a widescreen TV. The intention being that people would be able to see the bells all swinging.

Our band of ringers rang for the Sunday service and lowered and silenced 3 bells to enable people to "Have-a-go". yet still be able to demonstrate 5 ringing. They stayed for the service and were on hand to both demonstrate, guide the have-a-go and show them up to the belfry. All the time I was demonstrating the bell-handling and extolling the virtues of our hobby to the groups waiting down below.

We had some great feedback from the visitors who signed our visitors sheet and best of all we had a number who are interested enough to come again.

Despite being very tired by the Sunday afternoon, post cleanup, it was all in all a very worthwhile exercise - one we will be repeating next year.

Anyone who missed the open day but would like to give bell-ringing a try can always ring the tower captain – Peter Wilkinson.


Come along to Westbourne's “Open Tower” event on Sunday 10 September 2017 as part of the National Heritage Open Days.

We are the Bell-Ringers at the St John the Baptist Church.

We will be opening the Tower, which is normally inaccessible, after the Sunday morning service at approximately 10:45am until around midday depending on numbers of visitors. People of all faiths or none are welcome.

Small groups of eight at a time will be taken up to see the bells and to see and hear demonstrations of bell-ringing. These groups will be made up on a first come, first served basis.

There will be opportunities for a brief taster 'have-a-go' session, under instruction, at handling a bell. There will be a chance to join us for a longer session on a Monday evening practice session if you express an interest.

Tea & coffee will be available and there will be a small display area at the rear of the church where groups will assemble before being called up the tower. 

Jason Crouch

Full details on the Heritage Open Days website

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