On 9th September 2017, Hornchurch bell ringer Jonathan Slack organised our Autumn Outing to central London. The churches were chosen specially because they had new sets of bells or because their bells had been overhauled in recent times.
At 10.00am, more than 30 ringers and friends arrived by public transport at St Dunstan-in-the-West, Fleet Street, to have a ring on their new set of 10 bells, cast in 2011 by Whitechapel and installed in 2012. These are a fairly light set of bells with the tenor weighing 10 cwt, enabling us to ring well and finishing with a good piece of Stedman Caters.
We then caught the bus to Bank Station and walked the short distance to St Michael’s, Cornhill to have a go on their new ring of 12 bells, again cast in 2011 but this time by John Taylor of Loughborough. These bells are a lot heavier than St Dunstan with the tenor weighing more than 32 cwt (1.5 tons) and required more skill to ring. Again our ringers performed well with many ringing on 12 bells for the first time, including Jane Harper, Lisa Schofield, Rosemarie Edwards and Michelle Long.
A welcome lunch-break was followed by a walk to Lower Thames Street to ring on the 12 new bells of St Magnus the Martyr cast in 2008/09 by Whitechapel. Here, Leonie McCaughren and Rebecca Woolward rang changes on 12 and we attempted our most ambitious ringing of the day; Stedman Cinques and Little Bob Maximus.
Our final tower of the day, St Katharine Cree in Leadenhall Street, was again within walking distance. These are an easy-going set of 6 bells having been re-hung in a new frame in 2009. The ringing here was well organised by Gavin Carpenter and made for a relaxing end to a successful day.
Our thanks go to Jonathan, our organiser, and to the many ringers and friends who supported.