[Bell Historians] Houghton conquest Bedfordshire,

steve.h.stanford at gmail.com steve.h.stanford at gmail.com
Tue Oct 18 12:37:36 BST 2022

The last record of full-circle ringing was at a meeting of the Beds Assn in
October 1972. An inspection and some minor maintenance work was carried out
by Chris Pickford and others in 1996 and permission given by the church
architect and vicar for the bells to be rung for a service to commemorative
the 600th anniversary of the tower. However local opposition at the last
minute prevented this. Since 1996 a kitchen has been installed on the ground
floor of the tower from where the bells were originally rung, and a ringing
floor has been created at the level above, although the bells have never
been rung from this level.


In January 2018 at the request of the PCC, Pat Albon and I carried out an
inspection and reported on a possible restoration. By then the fittings had
deteriorated to such a state that it was only possible to ring the 3rd and
5th. The modified oak frame was originally designed for a previous much
heavier ~19 cwt ring of 5. It dates from 1614 and would probably be
serviceable with a suitable support grillage installed. Unfortunately,
shortly after our visit the Church was completely stripped of its lead
roofing and this rather than the bells has been the Church's primary funding
concern. The Church recently became part of the Elstow benefice and has a
very small and mostly elderly congregation, so a restoration is unlikely, at
least in the short term. 


(As a youngster  I recall going to Houghton Conquest for a Biggleswade
District meeting. When we arrived there was no ropes. Roy Ward was found
sitting in the tenor pit with all the ropes pulled up to the bell chamber! I
believe Stephen Ivin was taught by local ringer Willie Watts. Willie and
Steve's mother, who lived in Houghton Conquest until her early 90s, and are
both still fondly remembered in the village)


Steve Stanford

 <mailto:steve.h.stanford at gmail.com> steve.h.stanford at gmail.com

Home/Office Tel: +44 (0) 1234 856778

Mobile Tel: +44 (0) 7742 871724


From: Bell-historians <bell-historians-bounces at lists.ringingworld.co.uk> On
Behalf Of oliver Lee via Bell-historians
Sent: 18 October 2022 10:51
To: bell-historians at lists.ringingworld.co.uk
Cc: oliver Lee <oliverbellringer at outlook.com>
Subject: [Bell Historians] Houghton conquest Bedfordshire,


Recently I have been re listening to Richard jones' 2009 interview with
Stephen ivin and there is a somewhere brief mention of  ringing at Houghton
conquest during the post war period,  apparently the bells retained their
original 1841 mears fittings and apparently the local verger was somewhat
reluctant to let people look at them as they would've probably been
condemned. I was wondering if anyone might know when they where last rung
and what their current condition is 

Many thanks 

Oliver lee.


Sent from Mail <https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=550986>  for Windows


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