Staplehurst BELLRINGERS Article June 2022
A Royal Occasion!
By Rebecca Steele
Twenty years ago, on 2nd June 2002, the bells of All Saints’ church Staplehurst, rang a quarter peal in celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s Golden Jubilee. This was in celebration of 50 years since the Queen’s accession to the throne. The bells rang a series of 1,260 changes of a method called Plain Bob Doubles. This would have taken around 45 minutes, and no single sequence of bells would have been rung twice in that time.
Church bells have long been associated with important occasions and events that affect the country. Bells are rung out across the English countryside to mark deaths, weddings and celebrations for monarchs and commoners alike. The oldest, and second heaviest bell in the tower of All Saints’ church, was cast in 1605, soon after James VI of Scotland succeeded Elizabeth I to become James I of England. It is therefore likely that this same bell will have rung for occasions associated with 18 different monarchs.
By now, everyone will be aware that June marks Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, celebrating her 70-year reign. The bells of All Saints’ church will again ring out across Staplehurst to mark the occasion. Make sure you listen out for them and think of all the events they have rung for, over the last 417 years!
On May Bank Holiday, Ringers from Staplehurst Band joined those from Marden, in a spring outing to four towers in Sussex and Kent. Twenty-five of us enjoyed ringing at churches in Mayfield, Wadhurst, Lamberhurst and Horsmonden.
Lunch was enjoyed at the Brown Trout in Lamberhurst and in the evening the Marden Ringers hosted a fantastic BBQ.
If you are interested in finding out more about bell ringing, then Staplehurst Bell Ringers practise on Tuesday evenings 7:30 pm until 9:15 pm at All Saints’ Church. Please do come along to the tower or get in contact if you would like to find out more.