Sunday, 28 October, at the Family Service a beautiful model of a church bell in its cradle was presented to the bell ringing team of the Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin, Newington. It had been made by, and was the gift of, Roger Durrant, a member of the bell ringing team of Minster Abbey on the Isle of Sheppey.
Roger, who is a retired engineer, a bell ringer of many years, and whose real hobby is repairing old clocks and watches, has made a number of these and when Jackie Dyson, Tower Captain at Newington, met him at a New Year Ringing Day and asked him about the possibility of making one for Newington, he was happy to oblige.
As is the case with many churches nowadays, Newington is short of adult ringers but fortunate in having a number of very keen youngsters to keep the tradition alive. They have been ringing for, on average, two/three years but would have been greatly helped in their early days had a model like this been available.
Jackie was able to explain to the congregation at the service how it worked and how it really was a very small model of what is up in the tower and normally not available for viewing – the model will be permanently on view either in the ringing chamber or in the church. She expressed the hope that it might stimulate interest in anyone wishing to have a go at learning to ring “the real thing”.