In the late 1990’s a gigantic effort took place in Greystoke to restore, repair and hang our Tower bells. Local people said they had been silent for many years and we knew one was badly cracked.
We began a drive to raise money, not really knowing how much we needed.
It was a tremendous effort by a relatively few people.
About £21,000 plus was raised quite quickly, it was very hard work, yet with the wonderful team we had, it was also great fun. We had a purpose and a drive to get the job done.
In under four years we raised the money. Fortunately for us a grant became available to allow us to ring for the millennium, the grant gave us a penny for a penny raised. So our £21,000 would be doubled. The cost of the accommodation for the workmen was reduced as some homes gave them accommodation and fed them as well. It all helped to keep the cost down. That was worth about £1,000
Two new bells, the treble and the second, were cast.
Whilst each of the old Medieval bells was removed from the Tower, for their restoration, one came to grief.
The Head Stock crumbled and now the Bell rests in the Church. This was why we came to have the Edinburgh Bell.
It had been hanging in a brewery, but now serves us our Tenor Bell.
Our new bells, first the Treble was named after the youngest Church Member, Meghan Montgomery and the second Bell was named after our oldest Church member, Ella Mandale.
Over the past 20 years we have rung for weddings, Memorials, Remembrance Services and on occasions funerals as well as Church Services.
None of us in the Village knew how to ring, that was a problem, but with visiting the Cathedral and other Towers we soon learnt how to go forward. We’re still learning!
It has been a success story, we hope the Bells will ring out for many years.
Fortunately we have a happy band of ringers in our Tower and long may that be the story.