ST MARY'S BELLRINGERS
There have been bells in St Mary’s tower for over 500 years. In 1651 the original five bells were recast by Anthony Chandler of Drayton Parslow in Buckinghamshire.
Three of them have the inscription:
CHANDLER MADE ME 1651 O LORD HAVE MERCI OF MAN
These bells are still rung every Sunday.
Shortly before Victoria became Queen the fifth bell was recast again, this time in the famous Whitechapel Bell foundry in London. The inscription on the Tenor reads:
Thomas Mears of London Founder 1834
50 years later a new bell was added in front of the old five. In the 20th century, at the time of King George’s Silver Jubilee, two more bells were given by Edward Browne to make a ring of eight.
On the second bell is inscribed:
God save the king 1935
On the Treble is a blessing as relevant today:
Give peace O Lord and bless this ring
That Old and New in tune may ring
And all the world to concord bring
The bells are rung for half an hour before the 10.00 am and 6.00 pm services and, if requested, before and after wedding services.
Monday night is practice night at 19.45 except on the 2nd Monday of the month when quarter peals are attempted. Visiting ringers and anyone wanting to learn to ring are always welcome. For more information, contact the Tower Captain, Michael Robinson.
The 'local bell club' meets once a year at each of its towers. We ring from 3.00pm before BCP Evensong at 4.30pm - at which anyone is welcome. We then retire to the Parish Room for tea and a business meeting, and ring again from about 6.30 - 8.00pm. The George & Dragon can then expect an influx of thirsty customers!
See our entry on the Hertford County Association of Change-Ringers web page