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St. Nicholas Church, Haxey, North Lincolnshire Celebration of 500 Year Old Bells

The 3 largest bells at Haxey Church are 500 years old this year. To celebrate, an event was held in the church on 19 September. Haxey bell ringers, other members of the West Lindsey Branch of the Lincoln Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers and Doncaster & District Branch rang the church bells.

Haxey bells are noted for being heavy and difficult to ring. The 4th is 11cwt. 2qrs. 18lbs. Diameter 40", 5th 16cwt. 1qr. 17lbs. Diameter 4434", with the tenor being 18cwt. 3qr. 16lbs. Diameter 4812" but rings more like a 2-ton bell. These bells were believed to have been cast by Robert Mellours of Nottingham.

The Lincoln Guild of Bell Ringers six-bell simulator was erected in the church, which enabled anyone of any age to have a go at ringing. There were also the Haxey church hand bell ringers demonstrating their skills and encouraging anyone to participate with them. Crafts associated with bells and a treasure hunt was available for everyone. There was also an exhibition by the Haxey & Westwoodside Heritage Society and the Haxey camera club.

A service of celebration was held followed by tea in the church hall where some 68 bell ringers and parishioners enjoyed themselves. The longest serving bell ringer in Haxey, Percy Cooper, cut a celebration cake.

During the week before and the week after the celebration, Haxey and Westwoodside school children came to the church, as did the local Rainbows, Brownies, Beavers and Scouts. They all had a go at ringing the six-bell simulator, ringing hand bells, bell plates and learning about the bells. In all some 356 children took part with many bringing their parents to the weekend celebration.

The Haxey Bell Ringers (l-r):
Edward Sellars, Angela Mackenzie (Tower Captain),
Percy Cooper, Lynda Whitehead, Alan Cook,
Susan Sellars and Neil Smith
Haxey and West Lindsey Branch bell ringers
with the Lincoln Guild Six Bell Simulator (l-r):
Sue Dmochowski, Ian Till, Susan Sellars, Gill Wray,
Sue Faull, Jennifer Kirkby, Pam Cook and Joy Till

Edward Sellars