'Bored' ringers want more bells

PUBLISHED: 10:36 16 January 2013 | UPDATED: 10:36 16 January 2013

Mark Moran, Trevor Hitchcock, James Hancock and Stan Thompson with (seated) Ruth Hitchcock and Lisa Clarke), Laurence Clarke and Janet Reynolds also ring at Combe Raleigh.

Mark Moran, Trevor Hitchcock, James Hancock and Stan Thompson with (seated) Ruth Hitchcock and Lisa Clarke), Laurence Clarke and Janet Reynolds also ring at Combe Raleigh.

Archant

Eight ringers have just three bells at Combe Raleigh. They say they need six.

Bored bellringers in an East Devon village want more bells to ring.

The 15th century tower at the parish church of St Nicholas, in Combe Raleigh, has just three bells, but campanologists are on a mission to increase that number to six.

“Three bells is a bit boring,” said ringer Trevor Hitchcock. “It would be nice to have six.

“The bells weren’t rung for 50 years but on the Sunday before Christmas we had eight ringers and only three bells.

“Six bells would sound better, be better for the bellringers and give us more scope.”

The bells were last re-hung in 1900, in a five-bell frame. Experts have been called in to see if it is possible to fit six bells in the tower.

Mr Hitchcock admits: “It is going to cost tens of thousands of pounds. It is a big project.

“We would also like to reinstate the church’s gallery, which was taken out in 1859.”

The oldest bell at Combe Raleigh dates back to 1430 when it was cast by Robert Norton, of Exeter.

It is believed the bell has been in the village ever since.

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