St. Mary’s, Wymeswold, has a ring of six bells which dates back to 1795, when they were cast by Thomas Osborn of Downham Market, Norfolk. These replaced an earlier ring of four bells which were damaged when the church spire was struck by lightning and subsequently demolished.
The current bells were tuned and rehung by John Taylor & Co. of Loughborough in 1937.
The present band of bellringers was formed in the late 1980s and has been slowly growing in numbers and repertoire ever since.
According to an agreement dated 4th August 1742 (now in Leicestershire Record Office) between Thomas Hedderley of Nottingham, bellfounder, and the churchwardens, Hedderley undertook to recast the third bell and ‘uphold the same sound and tunable’ for a year and a day for the cost of 20 shillings per hundredweight. The ring was increased to six bells in 1795.
According to The Church Bells of Leicestershire of 1876 the daily bell was rung at 5 a.m. during the summer months and at 6 a.m. in the winter, also at 6 p.m.. Tradition says that the parish clerk formerly received the proceeds of a close of land for performing this duty. He now receives, according to this book, £1/10/- per annum in lieu.
The current band meet every Tuesday from 8.00pm-9:00 pm for practice and ring for Sunday Service from 10.15am to 11.00am. We are a friendly band who welcome new ringers and provide tuition. Typical standard is plain minor and doubles methods (this will mean something if you are already a ringer).
Please feel free to drop in on a practice night and see how we perform the 350 year old historic art of church bell ringing. Have a go! You may even find yourself wanting to learn more..
Contact: Richard Thomas (Tower Captain) on 01509 881750 for further details.
“In country churches, old and pale,
I hear the changes smoothly rung
and watch the coloured sallies fly
from rugged hands to rafters high
as round and round the bells are swung”