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The Bell News and Ringers’ Record Volume XXVIII No 1406
dated Saturday, March 13, 1909
It was a very great pleasure to the Rector of the above-named village (the Rev.R.F. Bigg-Wither) and to the parishioners to hear, as they did, on a recent Monday evening, the sweet tone of the five bells of the parish church. There are not many living who had heard them, for until Monday they had not been rung for over twenty years. The dilapidated condition of the frame made it dangerous to ring them. After the fire which nearly destroyed the church on Aug. 14th, the Rector, having long known that a desire existed among the parishioners that the bells should be rehung, determined to take the opportunity afforded by the general restoration of the church to try and get this done. He took upon himself, we understand, without coming upon the General Restoration Fund, to raise the sum needed - £142. It speaks highly of the little village that – notwithstanding the great drain upon its resources owing to the restoration of the parish church – this amount should have been raised, mainly in small sums.
Messrs. Mears and Stainbank, the well-known church bell founders, of Whitechapel, were the contractors, and they have supplied and fixed an iron bell frame with entirely new fittings for the five bells, which have been quarter turned. Provision has been made in the new frame for a new sixth bell, which is much needed for change-ringing, and which with fittings will cost an extra £36. The work was completed on Friday, February 19, and on Monday, the 22nd, Mr. A Hughes and his son (representing the Whitechapel firm), Mr. J. W. Elkins, Mr. Andrews, and Mr. Lampard (representing the Winchester Cathedral Ringers), and the Rev. W.E. Colchester (Rector of St. Maurice), rung 6-scores of Grandsire and Stedman Doubles from 7 to 8 o’clock in the presence of local ringers.
The Wonston tower has now been affiliated to the Winchester Diocesan Guild, who have granted an instructor, and given a donation of £2 2s. towards the sixth bell.
(Thanks to Gerry Cornick for supplying this record)