Bellringing

The church has a ring of eight bells re-hung by John Warner and Sons in 1877 following the rebuilding of the tower in the previous year. Three of the bells, the present fourth (Thomas Mears, 1810), sixth (James Bagley, 1712) and seventh (Ellis Knight, 1637) were retained from the ring of six that had hung in the old tower, with the other three bells (the present second, third and fifth) being ‘recast’, with the treble and tenor added to form the present ring of eight.  

The bells have their original fittings (including plain bearings) which are now very worn, and repair work is often needed to keep them ringing.  During 2005, a small working party cleared out over 54Kg of accumulated rubble, guano and congealed oil from the belfry, cleaned the sliders and runner boards, and oiled/greased other working parts. A small improvement in the ‘go’ of the bells was noticed.  More than one bell wheel has been repaired and a number of bolts have been replaced.  More recently, in the Autumn of 2013 one of the gudgeons (part of the axel about which the bell rotates) on the sixth bell became cracked and we had to stop all ringing. Fortunately, having removed the broken gudgeon we were able to get a replacement made and installed and ringing was able to continue from Easter 2014.  It is clear that a full restoration of the entire installation is now long overdue.

Over the last few years, many members of the Acton band have moved away and there are now insufficient members to sustain regular service ringing or a practice. However, with assistance from ringers at other towers in the area (in particular, Chiswick, Barnes, Fulham, Norwood Green and Twickenham) there is a monthly quarter peal, usually after morning service on the first Sunday of each month.

At weekends and on weekday evenings the bells are also available for quarter peals and for general ringing by visiting bands, subject to bookings in the church or adjacent church hall. Please get in touch with the Tower Captain if you want to make a booking.

For special services or other special occasions, additional ringing is arranged.

On Wednesday 2nd September 2015 we welcomed the new priest in charge, Rev’d Nicholas Jones, with a quarter peal (50 minutes of continuous ringing) immediately before his licencing service.  On the following Sunday, 6th September, we celebrated the 150th anniversary of the present church and further welcomed Rev’d Jones, with a peal (two and three quarter hours ringing).  Details of both of these “performances” are set out below.

 

Middlesex County Association & London Diocesan Guild

Acton, Middlesex (St Mary)

Wednesday, 2 September 2015 in 0h46 (13¾ in F)

1260 Grandsire Triples

1 James White (C)

2 Edmund Hartley

3 Monica Trow

4 Michael Sprackling

5 John Manley

6 Roderic Bickerton

7 Adrian Udal

8 Eddie Heath

Immediately preceding the service for the licensing of Nicholas Jones as Priest-in-Charge.

 

Middlesex County Association & London Diocesan Guild

Acton, Middlesex (St Mary)

Sunday, 6 September 2015 in 2h56 (13¾ in F)

5120 Spliced Treble Bob Major (two Methods)

3584 Kent, 1536 Oxford; 96 changes of method (at the half-lead). Worcester variation.

Composed by Donald F. Morrison (no. 346)

1 Stephen J F Mitchell (C)

2 Mary E Gow

3 James W Belshaw

4 Janet E Menhinick

5 Peter J Blight

6 James White

7 Edward J W Manley

8 William J Stungo

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the present church and to welcome as priest-in-charge the Rev'd Nicholas Jones, licenced on 2nd September.

 

There have been 141 peals at Acton since the tower was rebuilt in 1876 and the bells were augmented from six to eight in 1877. The first peal, 5040 Grandsire Triples, was in 1878. This peal and many others are recorded on boards which adorn the ringing room walls. Two new boards were installed a number of years ago, one of which records a peal in a new method named after St Mary’s: St Mary’s Bob Triples rung in 1997.

 

For further information, or to request to ring at Acton, please contact the Tower Captain, James White, on 01252 662043 (H), 07931 195595 (M) E-mail: mail.james.white@gmail.com

 

 

 

 


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