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 The Bell Ringers...


A Peal on the Bells



On the afternoon of Sunday 4th January 2015, four Pattingham ringers together with two ringers from Tettenhall and two from further afield rang a peal to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the augmentation of our bells.

A peal is a continuous performance of at least 5000 changes (that means that each bell rings 5000 times and each ringer therefore has to pull the rope that many times) and will normally take about 3 hours or more.

Peals are something special and most ringers do not ring them very often. The first peal ever was rung in 1715 in Norwich and the first peal in Staffordshire was in 1775. The first peal in Pattingham was on 18th September 1865, since which there have only been another 90. (The first peal at Patshull was in 1936 and 44 have been rung since.) There have been a few (but not many) peals rung by bands all of whom were Pattingham ringers - the first was in 1974 and the most recent was in 1986. The last peal which included a Pattingham ringer was in 1995.

It is therefore quite special that we had four Pattingham ringers in the band for our peal, but particularly because three of them (who are now in their 20s) lived in the village when they were born. Those are Chloe Darby (née Baggott) and Stephen and James Dann.

The method we rang was Grandsire Triples, which is one of the earliest bellringing methods devised and the same method as was rung in the first peal at Pattingham in 1865. It was conducted by James Dann, using a traditional composition which is over 100 years old. We took 3 hours 9 minutes, which is longer than most peals here, as we rang at what some described as a sedate pace, but others called slow. We enjoyed ringing the peal and we hope that those who heard it also enjoyed it.

In due course the peal will be published in The Ringing World, which is the Weekly Journal for Church Bell Ringers. It will appear like this:

LICHFIELD & WALSALL ARCHDEACONRIES SOCIETY
PATTINGHAM, Staffs. St Chad
Sunday, 4 January 2015 in 3hrs 9 mins (12-3-6)
5040 Grandsire Triples
Composed by J J Parker (12 part, 7th obs)
1 Philip J Day
2 Chloe A Darby
3 David A O Hope
4 Paul A Caddick
5 Stephen J D Dann
6 Philip R Jewell
7 James R A Dann (C)
8 Geoffrey L K Dann
Rung by a band including four members of the local band (3 of whom lived in the village when they were born) to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the augmentation of the bells from 6 to 8. The eight bells were rung for the first time on 8th January 1865.
First triples as conductor.
First Grandsire: 4.

If you are interested in finding out more about ringing then contact the Ringing Master, Geoffrey Dann, on 700212 or any of the ringers.


Two of our bells are 150 years old and the other six are 290 years old.

In 1553 there were five bells in our church. In 1724 a new ring of 6 bells was cast by Jospeh Smith. In 1864 those bells were retuned and two further bells added.

They were hung in a new oak frame and rung for the first time on 8th January 1865. There is a large ornate tablet in the ringing room which commemorates this event. For those who don't want to go up the tower stairs there is a picture of it on the bellringers website: www.pattingham-ringers.org.uk

The tablet reads:
PEACE BE WITHIN THY WALLS. PSALM CXXII . 7 .
THIS TOWER WAS RESTORED BY THE
RIGHT HONORABLE THE EARL OF DARTMOUTH
BETWEEN THE YEARS 1864 AND 1866
THE PRINCIPAL IMPROVEMENTS WERE THE REMOVAL OF
THE GALLERY UNDER THE TOWER THE RAISING OF THE
BELFRY FLOOR, THE REBUILDING OF THE EAST ARCH, AND
THE COMPLETE RESTORATION OF THE NORTH AND SOUTH
ARCHES, THE RENEWAL OF THE PARAPET AND PINNACLES AND
THE RAISING OF THE SPIRE ROOF. THE SIX OLD BELLS
WERE TUNED BY MESSRS MEARS AT THEIR FOUNDRY IN
LONDON. THE EARL OF DARTMOUTH PAYING FOR THIS
EXPENSE ALSO, AS WELL AS FOR THE NEW ENGLISH OAK
FRAME AND FITTINGS BELONGING THERETO. TWO NEW TREBLE
BELLS WERE ADDED AT THE SAME TIME AND PAID FOR BY
SUBSCRIPTIONS CHIEFLY RAISED BY JAMES HARPER. THE
EIGHT BELLS WERE RUNG FOR THE FIRST TIME ON THE 8TH
DAY OF JANUARY 1865, BY THE PATTINGHAM RINGERS.

It then lists the names of the ringers, the vicar, curate, churchwardens, parish clerk, architect and builders.

It is hoped to ring a peal on Sunday 4th January to mark this 150th anniversary. A peal is a performance of continuous change ringing with at least 5000 changes, which is a significant undertaking and takes about 3 hours on our bells.

If you are interested in finding out more about ringing then contact the Ringing Master, Geoffrey Dann, on 700212 or any of the ringers.