St Mary's - Edith Weston
"Going Like the Clappers"
26th April 2012 marked the 60th anniversary of the installation of the bells in the tower at St. Mary's the Virgin, Edith Weston. There were three bells originally, the oldest is the fourth bell, dating from 1597, the fifth bell dates from 1621, and was cast by Toby Norris in Stamford, and the tenor from 1723. The three old bells were inspected in 1949 and the old oak frame was found to have rotted, so the villagers embarked on an enthusiastic round of fund-raising to add three bells and re-hang all six in a new metal frame. Events included whist drives, the garden fete, jumble sales and popular dances in the village hall. People came from miles around to the dances, which featured a show organ from Great Yarmouth. Finally the new bells were installed in 1952, and dedicated by the Bishop of Peterborough before they were rung on April 26th 1952 by ringers from Empingham. The three new bells are inscribed with dedications to Arthur Day (village blacksmith and Churchwarden), Percy Beaumont (Rector) and Vernon Crowther-Beynon (Churchwarden).
The heaviest bell weighs 361 kg (7 cwt). Each bell is mounted on a wheel, a technique which takes some weeks to learn, requiring more skill then strength. We have six ringers who live in the village, and are always looking out for new people to learn this fascinating activity.
The bells are rung to mark Church services, weddings and funerals (muffled), and for special occasions such as St. George's Day. It was the custom to ring them when anybody in the village died, thrice three tolls for a man and thrice two for a woman. This year bells all over the country rang for the Queen's Jubilee and to mark the opening of the Olympics and Paralympics.
A peal normally lasts around 3 hours and involves 5040 changes in the sequence of bells, in a series of patterns known as methods. The first full peal in Edith Weston is recorded on June 26th 1952, since when 22 peals have been rung here, and on 22nd June 2002, a peal of 'Edith Weston Surprise Minor' was rung to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the bells. We plan to ring another peal this year to celebrate 60 years of the bells in Edith Weston.
There will be a small exhibition of photographs and articles in the Church to celebrate this anniversary, do come and have a look. Hilary Moore Village website www.edithweston.com. Interesting and informative, well worth visiting.
Edith Weston nestles close to Rutland Water on the south-eastern shore and is home of the main sailing club with a fishing lodge. The village is named after queen Edith of Wessex (1029-1075), the wife of Edward the Confessor and sister of Harold Godwinson. The church is St Mary the Virgin, and the village pub is the Wheatsheaf on King Edward's Way.
St George's Barracks is located to the south and east of the village; this was previously RAF North Luffenham. It has housed the 1st Battalion of the Kings Own Royal Border Regiment but in August 2007 the 16th Regiment Royal Artillery, moved here from Woolwich in southeast London.
The church of St Mary at Edith Weston dates from around 1170, with the tower coming along some 200 years after that, which is surmounted by a lofty spire. The north aisle of the chancel is used as an organ-chamber and vestry.
The chancel was rebuilt in 1865 in the French style of the 14th century. Two moulded corbels from the 13th century supported by heads, together with two fluted piscina bowls, were preserved and are now in the vestry. The whole of the north wall of the north aisle of the nave has also been rebuilt.
The interior of the church was repaired and re-seated in 1848; the modern work is faced with coursed dressed ironstone.
More information on the organ can be found by following this link to the The National Pipe Organ Register (NPOR) entry.
Some items extracted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia [link]