THE Hambleden Valley Ringers marked the 600th anniversary of the tenor bell at St Mary the
THE Hambleden Valley Ringers marked the 600th anniversary of the tenor bell at St Mary the Virgin Church in the village.
Six bellringers went through a quarter peal which involves different combinations of the order in which the bells are rung for 1,260 consecutive rounds.
It took 44 minutes and involved each bellringer controlling one bell.
The participants were 18-year-old Dan Riddoch, who was the conductor, his mother Helen, Sandy and Gay Doggart, tower captain Barbara Oldham and Pete Wiltshire.
They started their training for the challenge in January and had targeted October 25, the anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt, to complete it but achieved it seven weeks early. Mr Wiltshire, 71, from Fingest, said: “I’m extremely proud of the group. It gives us an incentive to go on to better and more challenging things but I had better not say too much or commit the group to anything!”
The half-tonne tenor bell, one of eight bells at St Mary’s, was cast at the Wokingham bell foundry.
It features a lion’s head, a groat mark and a stylised cross and is embossed with a Latin phrase which translates as “We beseech Virgin Mary to intercede for we who are faithful”.
Mr Wiltshire added: “We’re not a very experienced band and we’ve got a lot of relative beginners. There is a good range from Dan, who is 18, to people who are middle aged and myself. Most of the members are from Hambleden or Henley.
“We always welcome new members. We would like a lot more young people if possible.”