Ringing at Beckwithshaw
6 Bells, 13 cwt in F♯
Sunday Service Ringing: 10.45am (by arrangement)
Practice: Monday (except bank holidays) 6.30pm
Contact: Jon Bryant (Churchwarden)
The bell ringers’ group at St Michael’s has now started up again, having been silent in recent years, and four new ringers have now joined us. We are now learning to ring rounds together as a band. If you are interested in joining us then please let us know.
St Michael’s church was built in 1886 by William Swinden Barber and funded by Dr Henry Williams of Moor Park House and his wife. The church is in an Arts and Craft Movement Gothic Revival style. The base of the tower serves as the porch, with the ringing chamber upstairs.
The six bells were cast at by Mears & Stainbank of Whitechapel in 1886 and are named after Dr Williams, his wife and four children. They hang in a wooden frame of two tiers of 3 bells of each. 1, 3 and 5 hang above 2, 4 and 6 putting the heavier bells upon the west side.
Each bell retains its original wooden headstock although a restoration has seen the fitting of independent crown staples and ball bearings. All clappers are now of wrought iron. For a number of years the third had an SG-iron clapper but it was too short and struck the bell in the wrong place. It was recently replaced by a new clapper of the correct length so the bell is now easier to handle and strikes better.
The ropes of the back three bells have traditional Yorkshire Tails – woollen sallies on the tail-ends for backstroke in addition to the usual sallies for handstroke. The ropes of the front three bells have conventional tail ends. Yorkshire tails are becoming very rare – as of 2002, there were only about a dozen towers using them. The spider was made out of half of a rolling pin; the other half serving as the spider at St Peter’s.
All the bells bear the inscription
MEARS & STAINBANK, FOUNDERS, LONDON. 1886
Additionally each has a name of the donor’s family inscribed on the waist: Joshua (1), John (2), Annie (3), Mary (4), Ellen (5) and Henry (6).