Horfield Tower Bell Ringers
Horfield Parish Church, Bristol.
Gallery - 2008

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PAGE CONTENTS

 
Practice Night at Horfield (January)
Training Day - Tewkesbury Abbey (March)
Tower Tour and Christmas Lunch (Saturday, 6th December)
St. Michaels, Winterbourne (Ring)
The Swan, Winterbourne (Lunch)
St John the Baptist, Frenchay (Ring)
 

 
Practice Night at Horfield (January)
  

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Training Day - Tewkesbury Abbey  (March)
  

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Tower Tour and Christmas Lunch (Saturday, 6th December)

  
St Michaels, Winterbourne (Ring)
  
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St. Michaels Church, Winterbourne is thought to date back to the twelfth century. The tower, dating to circa 1300, is situated above the south transept. There have been several spires built on the tower during the lifetime of this church; the existing spire having been constructed in 1870, using new stone. 

The maiden peal of six bells were cast in 1757.

The bells were last re-hung (in a new bellframe) in the period 1983-85, the work being carried out by volunteers.

  
The Bells
Bell Pitch

Weight

Founder

Date
cwt qr lb
Treble C#       William Evans, Chepstow. 1757
2 B       William Evans, Chepstow. 1757
3 A       William Evans, Chepstow. 1757
4 G#       William Evans, Chepstow. 1757
5 F#       William Evans, Chepstow. 1757
Tenor E 22 0 0 William Evans, Chepstow. 1757
  

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The Swan, Winterbourne (Lunch)
  
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St John the Baptist, Frenchay (Ring)
  
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St. John the Baptist Church, Frenchay, was built in the early 19th century, during the reign of William IV. It is unusual in that it has an upper gallery on three sides of the interior walls, similar to that commonly found in nonconformist chapels. Originally, the tower was served only by a single service bell, which also did duty as the clock bell. The present ring dates only from 1991. Five extra bells were obtained from various sources, and (together with the old service bell, which became the tenor) were hung in the belfry for full-circle ringing. The bell stays are unusual, in that they are made of steel!

The new arrangements meant that the original service bell (now the tenor) could no longer act as the clock bell, so a clock gong was installed on the west side of the tower parapet for this purpose.

The pews were removed from the rear recess of  the west gallery (i.e. that part below the tower) with this area becoming the ringers' gallery. Some of these pews were re-installed on three sides of what is now the ringers gallery. These changes were carried out very sympathetically, and the only clue as to lack of originality is that the door giving access to the belfry can now only be reached by the use of a portable ladder.

An upturned steel bell can be seen on the threshold of the ringers' gallery. This was obtained from a nearby redundant nonconformist church, and serves as a waste bin!

Most of us felt that he Frenchay bells (being very light), were quite difficult and also not very satisfying to ring. This was more than offset though, by this being a very interesting visit in beautiful surroundings. It should be born in mind that many factors came into play when deciding the size and weight of this ring: the structural capabilities of the tower, the proximity of the hospital and residential housing, the availability of an existing bell to act as tenor, and of course the cost and availability of the additional bells. And without the hard work and dedication of the individuals who organised and coordinated the work 17 years ago, there would be no ring at all at Frenchay, and this visit would not have been possible.

  
The Bells
Bell Pitch

Weight

Founder Date Origin
cwt qr lb
Treble C 1 2 10 J. Taylor, Loughborough 1991 Cast for new ring.
2 Bb 1 2 22 J. Taylor, Loughborough 1991 Cast for new ring.
3 Ab 1 2 18 J. Taylor 1957 St. Saviours, Redland, Bristol.
4 G 2 0 23 J. Taylor 1908 St Lawrence, South Byker.
5 F 3 0 0 J. Taylor 1892 Almondsbury Hospital 3rd Qr.
Tenor Eb 4 1 3 Jeffries, Redcliffe, Bristol 1834 Original service and clock bell.
  

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