The Bells of St. James the Great have been heard by Hanney
residents for perhaps 12 generations, rung by an enthusiastic band
of ringers. The ancient bells, most of which were cast way back in
1702, the same year Anne became Queen, are acknowledged as a 'fine
heavy ring of six'. They range in weight from five and a quarter
hundredweight for the treble, the smallest bell, to over
eighteen hundredweight for the largest, the tenor.
New ringers are always welcome so that these wonderful bells
never fall silent. Learning to ring is challenging and
rewarding. It is excellent exercise and also keeps the brain
active. People who suffer with back problems find it especially
beneficially. There is no upper or lower age restrictions, although
children under the age of 11 may find even the lightest bell a
little heavy for them.
Learning to ring is not quick. It is a challenge and needs a lot
of initial practice, but anyone with the necessary dedication will
find it a rewarding social pastime. Once you have mastered the
technique it is just like riding a bike, you will always be able to
do it, and you will undoubtedly get immense satisfaction from it.
Why not wander along to the Tower one Wednesday evening between
7.30 and 9pm and just sit and watch for a while. You would be most
We ring before Sunday and other religious services, for Weddings
and even Christenings when requested. We celebrate all the annual
festivals and other special occasions, and also ring in each new
year, with the bells half muffled before midnight then 'open' after
Learning to ring is fun, mentally stimulating and great
exercise. We are a friendly mixed bunch so please come along and
see us. Many of us retire to the Plough after practice to relax
and have a chat, and contrary to popular belief you do not
need to be a regular Churchgoer to be a ringer. For more
information contact Liz Woodhouse, Tower Captain on 868600 or Jean
Hazard, Secretary on 868883.