OCTOBER 2021 Update
Stowmarket Time Machine
Stowmarket bellringers and friends were delighted to be able to take part in the Time Machine event on October 9th. Stowmarket Library very kindly hosted us, as the church is currently undergoing building works, and we are immensely grateful. Ursula Scott, the Library manager, and her staff couldn’t have been more welcoming. We were able to showcase the project and let some of our young visitors get hands on with some little bells, as well as staging a performance of ringing handbells by ringers from the Norman Tower of Bury Cathedral.
After a long period over the lockdowns and after when very little has been happening we have good news on the progress of the bells restoration. Our bells were taken to the workshops of Nicholsons Engineering in Bridport in June 2020. There they have been tuned, four newly cast bells added, and the new bell frame that will hold them built. We had hoped to have them back during 2020, but finally, they should be returning next January, 18 months after they left. It will be a relief, and a time to celebrate, a once in 125 years occasion for Stowmarket. The old peal of bells were installed in 1894, and we hope our new peal will see out another century.
If you have ever wondered, here is Nicholson’s workshop where all this is happening:
The new bells themselves were cast at the Royal Eijsbouts Bell Foundry in the Netherlands. An excellent video can be seen here: https://thekidshouldseethis.com/post/how-bells-are-made-at-the-royal-eijsbouts-bell-foundry
We have revised time and again our plans for a series of special events to celebrate and allow the people of Stowmarket to see and hear their new bells. The programme will now start with a celebration of the bells return – more details in the New Year. There will be opportunities to learn how bells are rung and we shall be recruiting people to learn and join our band as well. Watch this space for more news as our plans unfold, and please come and see us in 2022.