Bells to ring out over Keynsham to mark WWII and railway anniversaries

Published on: 07 Aug 2015

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The bells at Keynsham’s St John’s Church will be ringing out across the town this month in honour of two very different dates in recent history.

Bell ringers will be climbing the steep stone steps of the tower and taking up the ropes to commemorate the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 on August 9 and to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the opening of the Great Western Railway through the town on the bank holiday weekend.

The first date will be marked with a half-muffled quarter peal of Stedman Triples while a quarter peal of Grandsire will ring out for the second, says Keynsham Tower Captain Martin Pearson.

Church bells also rang out on July 19 in honour of the 50th anniversary of Keynsham and Saltford Local History Society.

A band of eight bell ringers, led by Mr Pearson, came from miles around to complete the 48-minute quarter peal at St John’s, one travelling all the way from London especially.

“We’re all really pleased that our quarter peal attempt for the society was successful," said Mr Pearson.

“It’s a pity that more local ringers weren't able to take part due to family and work commitments, but the great thing about bell ringers is that we're always happy to help out at each other's towers, even if it means a long drive or train journey to get there.”

Keynsham has around 12 bell ringers who are always keen to show visitors the ropes – as they did when Keynshamvoice dropped in and joined a few rounds of ringing last month – and welcome new members.

The group meets for practice on Thursday evenings at St John’s Church from 7.30-9pm and anyone who would like to get in touch can email keynsham@bath-wells.org or find them on Twitter @KeynshamBells.

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