The bells of St Mary the Virgin are, surprisingly, a very ‘mixed bag’ – cast by different bellfounders and at widely differing dates. The treble (lightest) is the most recent, having been cast by John Taylor of Loughborough in 1962 and weighs 3½ cwt. The rest are as follows:
2nd – cast in 1752 by Eayres and weighing 4¾ cwt
3rd – (a rare pre-Reformation bell) cast in 1530 by J Wolley at 5¾ cwt
4th – cast in 1632 by H Watts and weighing 6 cwt
5th – cast in 1792 by J Briant at 8 cwt
Tenor – cast in 1632, again by H Watts and weighing 10¼ cwt
Stoneleigh Church Bellringers practise every Thursday evening from 7.30pm until 9 o’clock in the Tower of St Mary the Virgin Church.
Once acquired, bellringing is a fascinating and challenging skill and is very much a ‘team’ activity. Ringers come from all walks of life and are of all ages, from children of ten onwards, with no upper age limit. There is a good social life in the bellringing fraternity, often with visits to other towers in the area and outings further afield.
New learners are always welcome – the aim being to ring for Sunday morning services.
If you would like more information, contact Bob on firstname.lastname@example.org or 02476 503712 / 07979 868260