Tuesday, 22 June 2021

How to meet people and get some exercise... bell-ringing

WARGRAVE bell-ringing club is looking for new members.

WARGRAVE bell-ringing club is looking for new members.

The number has dropped to just four people on some weekends and organisers fear the club may have to be disbanded.

The ideal number of ringers to cover a service or wedding at St Mary’s Church is eight to 10.

Members ring the church’s eight bells for 40 minutes on Sunday morning from 9.50am and practise on Wednesday evenings for an hour-and-a-half.

John Coombes, who runs the club, has been a bell-ringer for more than 20 years.

He said: “There have been bells at Wargrave since the 17th Century but the number of bell-ringers available has fluctuated considerably over the years.

“There have been periods where there was an ample number of ringers and only a few years ago there was a good number of teenagers but they have all given up due to educational pressures and moves away to university.

“It would be a great shame if the club was not able to continue. Some people do not like bells but most people do.

“Bell-ringing is good exercise and it is good for meeting different people. It has a social aspect as we go to different towers to meet other groups.

“I like the challenge it brings of trying to get better.”

Mr Coombes, of Fidlers Walk, Wargrave, said that the club would like some younger members.

“I started because my eldest daughter wanted to have a go. I stayed and listened and I have done it ever since.

“All three of my daughters have been ringers at one stage or another. We currently have a couple of youngsters who come but we would like more. It is relatively simple to learn.

“We provide a service to the community — and we get paid if we ring at a wedding.”

Mr Coombe said the club would be happy to take novices. For more information, call 0118 940 2937 or email wargravebells@aol.com

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