Years of being hit has almost rung bells out

St Nicholas Church bellringer Anthony Hughes up in the tower with the biggest bell

St Nicholas Church bellringer Anthony Hughes up in the tower with the biggest bell

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Headington and Marston. Call me on (01865) 425411

THE sound of church bells has rung out across the rooftops of Marston for more than a century.

But it is not the residents’ tolerance of them that is wearing thin. St Nicholas Church, Elsfield Road, Marston, has been told its six bells had worn down from years of the hammer striking them.

Honorary treasurer of the St Nicholas Church Marston Society of bellringers, Anthony Hughes, said: “We were warned that the bells needed a major overhaul because the clangers have been hitting the same bit of bell, which has created large pits on the edge.

“The worry is that the sound of the bell might change.”

Other than funerals and weddings, the bells only ring in two practice sessions every Sunday because of fears the bells might crack.

If this happens the bells would need recasting, which could cost up to £100,000.

Instead the society must now raise £25,000 to remove, renovate and retune the bells.

Abingdon bell hanging firm Whites of Appleton would be the firm to remove and inspect the bells before they are sent to the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London to be tuned.

They will be rotated when reinstalled in the tower so the hammer strikes a different part of the bell.

Five of the bells were installed in the 19th century before a sixth bell was added in 1972.

Mr Hughes, 71, of Oxford Road, Old Marston, said: “It’s the biggest task that the bellringers have undertaken since the war.

It’s a significant job, but they are light bells and they can get at them through the traps.”

He added that bellringing classes could be taught and visitors allowed to use the bells once they are replaced.

The work will take about two months. The society has already raised £4,000 from its 100 club lottery.

  • Donations can be made directly to the church. People can get entry forms for the 100 Club from the church or by emailing ritchfish@gmail.com
  • Our top stories:

UPDATE: Mayfair Road man appears in court on Barton murder charge as alleged victim is named as Wojciech Ryniak

Oxford Mail: oxford magistrates court

11:04am Saturday 25th April 2015

A MAN has today appeared in court charged with murder after a man was found with chest injuries in Barton late on Tuesday night.

Defibrillator campaign smashes its 200 target - now let's go for 500

Oxford Mail:

9:04am Saturday 25th April 2015

ONE man’s mission to get 200 more public defibrillators across Oxfordshire has smashed its target thanks to the Oxford Mail.

Barton man appears in court charged in connection with Mayfair Road incident

Oxford Mail: oxford magistrates court

1:56pm Saturday 25th April 2015

A MAN has today appeared in court charged with conspiracy to commit robbery and possession of a stun gun after an incident in Mayfair Road on Tuesday evening.

Oink: Warning to dog walkers as wild boar seen in Oxfordshire

Oxford Mail:

12:00pm Saturday 25th April 2015

WILD boar have been spotted in parts of Oxfordshire.

Randolph Hotel: Historically important parts largely unscathed by fire

Oxford Mail:

8:57am Saturday 25th April 2015

A CONSERVATION group has said historically important sections of The Randolph Hotel were left largely unscathed by last week’s major fire.

Thefts fall, only to be replaced by big increase in cyber crime

Oxford Mail:

8:53am Saturday 25th April 2015

CYBER crime in Oxford is becoming so prevalent it is replacing traditional thefts, a police chief has said.

 

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree