[Bell Historians] St Bride's

Robert Lewis editor at ...
Fri Jun 17 17:17:15 BST 2005

At 19:15 16/06/2005, Ben wrote:
>St Bride's, Fleet Street...
>Probably not the right mailing list for this, but isn't it about time this 
>historic location in the history of the exercise had a decent number of 
>proper bells in it once more? If the College Youths and Cumberlands 
>worked together, perhaps London could get its first sixteen - after all, 
>London has to be the only place in the world that should comfortably be 
>able to support sixteen bell ringing but which doesn't have a sixteen bell 
>tower. Cutting the extra rope holes in the concrete floor might be a pain 
>in the bum, but I take it that the tower is a reasonable size (especially 
>by London standards!) and that fitting them in shouldn't be too problematic.

Various people (including myself) have tried quite hard to get something 
going there at various times over the last twenty years or so. The problem 
has generally been that the Church itself has really not been interested. 
In fact one or two of its Rectors have been positively "anti". Money is 
certainly not the problem.

Another big factor - there is a very active semi-professional adult choir 
there and a lot of St. Bride's activities seem to revolve around it. The 
impression I got was that the last thing they want is a load of bells and 
bellringers getting in the way! (The organ is also housed in the base of 
the tower).

The really sad thing is that the old bells only receive a passing mention 
in the crypt exhibition on the history of the church; there is no mention 
at all of the unique position that St. Bride's holds in the history of 
change-ringing development. Perhaps that would be a good way to start to 
kindle interest in a restoration - by offering to mount an exhibition about 

I would be interested in helping with that if anyone else is minded to 
collaborate. It is the journalists' church after all!

Another point to ponder - if and when the St. Bride's bells are replaced, 
who is going to provide regular Sunday ringing there - a lot of the 
existing London bands are pretty stretched on Sundays at the moment ...



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