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Widecombe Church Bells
Over the last couple of years, the Widecombe Church Bells have been taken down for repair and returned to the Church and two new bells added to the peal of six. These events are recorded below.
May 5th 2000: Bells and Clappers
We all had a chance to see the Widecombe Church Bells last night, on display in the Church before being sent off for restoration as part of the work on the Tower. There were almost one hundred people present.
The Bells are in reasonable condition, but the frame on which they have been resting is in need of complete repair.
Preb. John Scott also gave a fascinating talk on bell-making and the history of the Widecombe bells.
This bell was apparently paid for with a subscription of fifteen pounds by the young men and maids of Widecombe, organised by one of the Hamlyn family, as can be seen from the inscription on the bell, easily visible. The full inscription reads: "Robeart Hamlyn Sonne of John Hamlyn Chittleford Gathered of the Young Men and Mayds Fyftene Pounds".
We will provide much more information on this page soon, as it becomes available.
These were recently obtained from the estate of Lady Sayer through the generosity of her son Geoffrey Sayer. Please see the History Group Minutes for April 2000 for more details.
The largest is the oldest and was probably the clapper used on the largest bell (picture above) before the clappers and their mountings were replaced in c. 1932.
The bells have returned from the foundry where they were sent for refurbishment. They had a short period of 'lying in state' in the Church prior to being refitted in the Tower.
We have taken some photographs of them to let you know what they look like.
They were refitted into the Tower and tested ready for the Burial of the Millennium Capsule on September 9th and they are now back to being regularly rung. They were Blessed and re-dedicated by the Bishop of Exeter on 22nd October 2000.
When the Bells were rehung in a new steel frame two years ago, provision was made to add a further two bells sometime in the future. John & Mary Mousley & the Pascoe Family have now very generously offered to each pay for one bell, so we will now have a ring of eight bells instead of six. The inscriptions will read :-
"John & Mary Mousley of Norleigh - Ruby Wedding 2002" and "In memory of Ern Pascoe & brothers, Bellringers. By the Pascoe family."
It is hoped the new bells will be installed during the first week in December. We thank both families for this very generous offer
The two new bells, to augment the peal of six, were successfully installed by 11th December. This was a three day task which was accomplished by one engineer from Nicholson Engineering Ltd., and a team of three Widecombe Bell Ringers, who volunteered their help. The Treble, donated by John & Mary Mousley, is twenty seven & three quarter inches diameter, weighing four & three quarter hundredweight. The "Second" given by the Pascoe family is 28 & a half inches diameter & weighs 5 hundredweight.
Our grateful thanks to all who made the project possible, especially the Pascoe & Mousley Families. The Bells will be blessed & dedicated at the Plough Sunday service in Widecombe Church @ 11am on 12th January.
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