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BELLS

At noon today, Friday 9th September 2022, the bells of All Hallows were rung to mark the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

They were rung for one hour in line with protocol issued under Operation London Bridge which governs the activities that take place for each day following the death of the monarch. The bells of All Hallows will have joined all those being rung across the country at the same time.

The bells were rung "fully muffled" with a muffler placed either side of the bell clapper to subdue the sound. The bells of All Hallows are occasionally rung half-muffled for an event such as a funeral, as they were for Mary Milne's funeral yesterday. Ringing the bells fully muffled is only used for an event such as the death of the sovereign. It is a very rare sound.

One bell, the tenor, is only half muffled so once in every two times it rings you can hear a clear, unmuffled ring. The tenor, which in All Hallows is named Great Tom, is the largest and lowest in pitch of all the bells and sounds after all the other bells have sounded, like a full stop at the end of a sentence. You will be able to hear this in the attached video.

Video and words by

Andrew Ricketts

You’ve heard our bells: would you like to learn to ring them? We’re always looking for more ringers, and it’s not that difficult: a bit like learning to ride a bicycle, except that you’re trying to balance a bell, rather than you on your bike. Learning on both seems difficult to start with, but one day everything goes right, and you never look back.

You don’t have to be big and strong: men and women, boys and girls, from the age of nine upwards are always very welcome. Just come to the Church Room door at 7.30 any Monday evening (except Bank Holidays) and we can take it from there. If you want to know more, get in touch with Jenny James, telephone 01256 895098, or Mike Harris by email (click here) or telephone 01256 895345.

The primary purpose of the bells has always been to call the faithful to prayer. We ring from 10am every Sunday morning before our 10.30am service, but there is much more to it than that, and once you have learned to handle a bell, you will find that the ringing community will welcome you to practice nights anywhere throughout England and the English-speaking world. Two of our ten bells are over 500 years old, and our countrymen have been ringing their bells in our familiar orderly fashion since the time of Good Queen Bess.

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Reflections on the year

Jenny James

April 2022

The year began still in Lockdown. We rang handbells outdoors to welcome the congregation to the Easter service, tolled
the tenor bell for Prince Phillip’s funeral, enjoyed an on-line Striking Competition in May and regularly used the on-line Ringing
Room on practice nights.
We had our first belfry practice on July 19th ready for our return to service ringing on 25th July. It was lovely to start to return to
‘normal’.
Since then we have rung for two weddings (July and December) , hosted a District Practice each month ( because our tower has
good ventilation), had two sets of visitors and rang half- muffled for the Remembrance Service.
We also enjoyed a District outing in August - a walk at Highclere followed by an outdoor pub meal. We’ll done to Peter Niblett
for organising it.

OUR BELLS

TREBLE

1919

4 cwt

Mears & Stainbank Foundry, London.

In grateful remembrance of  J.C.Bray : A.H.Gates : and A.Pare ringers , and other men of Whitchurch who fell in the Great War 1914-1918

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No 2

1919

4 cwt

Mears & Stainbank Foundry, London.

The trebles were presented by the congregation of All Hallows Church

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No 3

1748

5 cwt

Robert Catlin, London.

The gift of Colonel Shrimpton1700

 New Cast 1748.R.Catlin fecit

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No 4

(Pre Reformation bell. Suggested date circa 1440)

8 cwt

Wokingham foundry.

Sancta Margarita Ora Pro Nobis.

(Saint Margaret pray for us)

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No 5

1612

7 cwt

MHenry Knight, Reading.

Elizabeth Warren gave this bell ANO 1612.H.K.

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No 6

c 15th

9 cwt

Wokingham Foundry.

Virgo parens natum fac nobis propiciatum

 (O virgin parent make your son favourable to us)

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No 7

1611

8 cwt

Henry Knight, Reading.

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No 8

1724

11 cwt

William Tozer.

Ralph Etwall + John Benham Churchwardens.William Tosier cast me

When I do toll ye Lord rest ye soul. In the year of our Lord 1724

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No 9

1999

18 cwt

John Taylor, Loughborough.

Muriel Hirst gave this bell in celebration of ten happy years at Whitchurch with her husband Professor Wallace Hirst.    

To mark 2000 years since the birth of Christ.

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No 10

1999

26 cwt

John Taylor, Loughborough.

Great Tom. This bell celebrates the life and works of the Right Honourable Lord Denning QC and was cast during the year in which he celebrated his 100th birthday

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ARCHIVE

This short video

produced by Mike Payne

records the visit in 1999

to Taylors bell foundry

to watch the casting process and the reinstallation of the ten bells to All Hallows Church, Whitchurch

Click the image to watch the video

A SHORT HISTORY OF THE BELLS AT ALL HALLOWS CHURCH WHITCHURCH

written by

D A Holmes 

in 1989

Click the image to open the book

This short video  produced by Mike Payne  records the visit in 1999  to Taylors bell foundry
A short history of the bells at All Hallows Church, Whitchurch, Hampshire