St. Andrew's Church

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The Bell Ringing Group is not currently active

Bell Tower Restoration

The overhaul of Hempstead Church bells has been proceeding apace thanks to the amazing work of a wonderful group of villagers who have given generously of their time and skill. As you can see from the photographs, it is a pretty hostile environment to be working in - 50 years of dust and dirt, darkness, cramped conditions and with several tons of metal suspended immediately above your head. Since the photos were taken things have changed. The bell frame is now clean and smartly painted in silver and red. Whitechapel foundry has recast the clappers and overhauled the pulley boxes and their expert fitter will shortly be checking the reassembly and hopefully signing off the work as approved.

An enormous thank you to Steve Spencer, Nigel Smith, John Sladen, Alan Bywaters, Adam Thomas and Jim Rennie who have worked tirelessly on the frame and to Jeremy and Patrick Schroeter who have skilfully made replacement sliders and runner boards.

The Tower Restored - latest pictures

Sarah Jane Davis, Jim Rennie - Jan Rennie St Andrews, Hempstead has a ring of 6 bells. Originally, there were 5 but when the tower was restored in 1961, the old tenor bell was scrapped and the present two trebles were cast from the old metal. The inscription band from the old tenor bell was retained and can be seen at the back of the church, behind the font.

The weights and dates of founding of the bells are as follows:

Treble Mears & Stainbank, London 1961 4-3-22
No. 2 Mears & Stainbank, London 1961 5-2-19
No. 3 Anthony Bartlett, Whitechapel 1664 6-0-17
No. 4 Thomas Gardiner, Sudbury 1751 7-0-16
No. 5 John Tonne, Itinerant Founder 1522-1542 11-3-22
No. 6 Christopher Hodson, London 1678 12-3-8

Groups of visiting ringers are very welcome at St Andrews and any interested groups should phone Matt Antrobus on 01799 599229. Practice sessions are shared with Radwinter bellringers on the second and fourth Mondays of the month at 7.45 p.m. We are able to accommodate most levels of ringing and beginners are particularly welcome, no knowledge of music is required, just a steady hand and a willingness to learn. The tower we ring at varies each week, but Hempstead tower practice is usually the first and third Wednesday of the month. To check where the practice session is to be held phone Matt on the above number email matt@hempstead-essex.org.uk

Matt Antrobus

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Jan Rennie Steve Spenser Dee Robertson Jim Rennie Sarah Jane Davis