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Belfry News July 2019

Five Years on at Newton

Yes readers, as this title implies, time doesn't stand still as I recall our first visits to Newton in the Isle and Tydd St Giles in July 2014. Heavens how time passes,more so it appears, as one becomes older. The evening of yesterday June 11th was miserably wet, not at all as I had anticipated, evening sunshine, with perhaps the delightful perfume of lilac. However our spirits were not dampened as Alan Pateman unlocked the door of St James Church Newton,its general interior appearance rather better than its rather dilapidated exterior would suggest . The six bells in this tower are all dated 1786 and were cast by Thomas Osborn at his Downham Market foundry-now long gone. A pleasure to ring, we were joined by 11 visiting ringers from Freiston, Butterwick, Sutterton, Spalding, Holbeach and Whaplode.

At Tydd St Giles, some of us had perhaps a little difficulty in ringing it's six bells An 1887 recast, their tone is not particularly inspiring and this plus the old timber bell frame and considerable movement of the tower ( it sways ) makes them somewhat unpredictable to handle. This provoked a few humerous comments about the previous tower which collapsed, oh around 1750 or thereabouts and how the current one continues upright despite the movement.

Our final "tower" of the evening was the Crown and Mitre, just a stones throw from the church, where all enjoyed the company and drinks. I left just after 10 pm leaving most of the company there and Christine cradling a glass of red wine, a happy smile on her face. She emailed me this morning thanking me for organising the outing saying "It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening and a good crowd" I'm glad she and the other ringers had a good time-that is what it's all about in the continued efforts to keep our bells ringing on Sundays.

Have a go at Bell Ringing

Saturday afternoon, July 27th, at Gedney Flower Festival 3.30pm. The tower will be open for anyone who may like to "have a go" aided and helped by a few experienced helpers -age no problem.

John Bennett