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St. Mary's Church - Bellringers

Mr Ebenezer Cox told me in 1916 that Richard Panther used to be Chief Bell Ringer at Parish Church about 50 years ago, so about 1866. - J Enos Smith, 22 Church St.

Wellingborough News, 26th January 1884, transcribed by Kay Collins

CAMPANOLOGY — On Friday last, by kind permission of the Rev. Cannon Barker, ringers from Higham Ferrers and Irthlingborough rang at the Parish Church, in the following methods:-720 London singles, with 18 bobs and 2 singles; and 360 of Oxford bobs, with 9 bobs, in 39 minutes. A. Cuthbert 1st, R. Neville 2nd, W. Groome 3rd, G. Thompson 4th, J. Houghton 5th, W. Parker, conductor, tenor. Also 600 of bob minor, the piece coming to grief through one of the ringers not hearing "bob" called. Also 360 of bob minor, with 9 bobs in 14 minutes. T. Parker 1st, J. Houghton 2nd, W. Groome 3rd, W. Pettit 4th, J. Martin 5th, W. Parker, conductor; weight of tenor 17 cwt. A. Cuthbert, J. Houghton, and H.Neville, hail from Irthlingborough; the others from Higham Ferrers.

Wellingborough News, 27th December 1884, transcribed by Kay Collins

A MUFFLED PEAL —A deeply muffled peal of 720 (6-6 scores) of grand sires, and plain bob doubles were performed by the Rushden Church Bell Ringers on Saturday afternoon last, out of respect for Mr. Mark Homer, an old campanologist, and a member of the Raunds and Wellingborough District Association of Church Bellringers, who died at Irthlingborough, on the 12th inst., aged 38 years.

The bells were manipulated in order as follows:— Grand sires: 1 H. Clayton, 2 J. Baker, 3 C. Baker, 4 W. Hall, 5 J. Bailey, 6 F. Clayton. Plain bob doubles: 1 H. Clayton, 2 J. Baker, 3 F. Rhodes, 4 C. Baker, 5 W. Hall, 6 J. Bailey. On Sunday the bells were also muffled.

Wellingborough News, 1st July 1887

BIRTHDAY PEAL —On Friday evening the church bells rang a birthday peal in honour of Mr. W. Lewis (a brother ringer) attaining his majority.

Rushden Echo, 6th March 1908, transcribed by Kay Collins

Meeting of the Bellringers Association
The Wellingborough District of the Central Northamptonshire Association of Church Bellringers held their quarterly meeting at Higham Ferrers on Saturday. By permission of the Vicar the ringing of the bells was indulged in by various companies, and subsequently tea, served in the Church Room by the Higham ringers and their wives, was enjoyed, about 50 members being present from Northampton, Wellingboro’, Earls Barton, Rushden, Irchester, Doddington, Harrold, Irthlingboro’, Kettering, Isham, Sharnbrook, and Higham Ferrers.

A short business meeting followed, the Vicar (Rev G M Davidson) presiding.

It was resolved that the next quarterly meeting be held at Doddington in August, and that a special meeting be held at Wilby in May.

The secretary (Mr F Wilford) reported that the holding of a special meeting at Raunds in July to commemorate the 25th year of the Society’s existence was considered.

A vote of thanks was accorded the Vicar for his presence at the meeting, and for the use of the bells, and to the ladies for providing tea.

The Vicar, in the course of his remarks, said how pleased he was to welcome the ringers to Higham Ferrers, being fully convinced what a great amount of good the Association was doing in knitting the ringers together in one common brotherhood. Ringing in various methods was indulged in until seven o’clock.

The Rushden Echo, 2nd February 1923, transcribed by Kay Collins

Bellringers Meet at Higham - Quarterly Meeting of The District Association
Congratulations to Mr. Owen Parker, M.P.

The quarterly meeting of the Wellingborough and District Bellringers' Association was held at Higham Ferrers on Saturday by the invitation of the Rural Dean (the Rev. H. K. Fry). Besides the Higham Ferrers representatives present there were also members from Wollaston, Raunds, Earls Barton, Thrapston, Irthlingborough, Wellingborough, Kettering, Burton Latimer, Woodford, Ringstead, Isham, Easton Maudit, Geddington, Weekley, Broughton, and Yardley Hastings. Amongst the peals rung during the afternoon were "Cambridge Surprise," "Major Superlative," "Double Norwich," "Kent Treble Bob," "Bob Major," "Stedman," and "Grandsire Triples." In the afternoon the Rev. G. E. Stevenson (Curate) conducted a service and delivered an address, after which tea was served in the Bede House, over 50 members participating. The wives of the Higham Ferrers ringers presided at the tables.

Mr. Stevenson presided at the business meeting. The report and balance-sheet, presented by the secretary (Mr. Barber), passed as satisfactory. The secretary referred to the fact of having as an honorary member Mr. Owen Parker, M.P., who for years had been a most interested and loyal supporter of the association. They would all wish Mr. Parker many years of good health to fulfil the duties of his great office. (Applause.) Their thanks were due to the clergy and all members for their splendid response on Armistice Anniversary and for the help given at all times during 1922. (Applause.)

A general vote of thanks was passed to the Vicar, Mr. Stevenson, the organist, the ladies, and the Higham Members of the association.

Rushden Echo & Argus, 2nd March 1951, transcribed by Kay Collins

Boys Become Bellringers
On Wednesday evenings for months past the bells of St Mary's Church have been heard chiming over Rushden. It was eight former Sunday School pupils, aged from 14 to 17, at their weekly practice under Mr. Stanley Hodgkins. Not since the Armistice of 1918 have the bells really been rung, owing to their having been pronounced unsafe, and to complicate the situation there has subsequently been a dearth of senior ringers. The boys jumped at the opportunity to learn chiming when it was extended to them, and have now had the satisfaction of having their endeavours rewarded. They now chime the bells for the Sunday services. In the March edition of the parish magazine they are congratulated by the Rector (the Rev. E. A. Green), who adds that "it is a fine piece of service for their church."

The Rushden Echo, 8th February 1963, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Too cold for bellringers at Rushden

Cold weather has affected attendances on practice nights of Rushden St. Mary’s Church bellringers.

In this month’s issue of the parish magazine one of the bellringers writes: “Can you blame us for not spending ninety minutes in a cold church! It is a fallacy that short periods of ringing warm you up.”

He says that since the publication of the last magazine several people in the town have “questioned the lack of noise coming from the steeple on New Year’s Eve.”

“We thank these people for their inquisitive interest, for we presume, they were disappointed at not hearing the bells at the turn of the year – we were too!

“At the same time, we must hastily add that there must be many more in the close vicinity of the noise who were equally pleased with the silence.

“Dare we thank them for their interest!

“The fact was we just could not raise a band of ringers owing to several reasons.” The magazine also reports that the new belfry doors have now been paid for and all those who have contributed to the cost are thanked for their “generous giving and unselfish loyalty.”

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