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Halesowen bell ringers to showcase talents at autumn fair
3:17pm Friday 25th October 2013 in News
THE secrets of Halesowen’s renowned bell ringers are set to be revealed at St John the Baptist church’s Autumn Fair.
Since 1707 the bells have marked every major local and national event including wars, monarch’s cornornations and anniversaries as well as the advent of the Olympics.
The church is opening the historic bell tower to the public on Saturday, November 16 when visitors will be able to see the ringing chamber and watch a demonstration.
The clock room will also be open so visitors can see the inner workings of the timepiece bought to mark Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee in 1897.
The battlements on top of the tower will also be open to sightseers who will be able to experience the best panoramic views of Halesowen in the town.
Captain Michael Brown, who has rung for 25 years, believes the bell ringers are an important part of the town’s heritage.
He said: “Bell ringing is one of the few remaining English folk arts and we are keen to keep the tradition going here in Halesowen.
“We have a thriving bell ringing band but we are always keen for new people to join our group so hopefully interested people to come and see what we are all about.”
The Halesowen bell ringers are renowned across the world after winning countless awards over the years and recently won the Worcester and District championships.
The majority of the bells were made in 1707 in Edgbaston by Joseph Smith and then in 1753 another two were added after a fundraising drive by local poet William Shenstone.
The annual Autumn Fair will also feature stalls offering bargains and Christmas gifts, plus snacks and lunches, will be on Saturday November 16, from 10am until 3pm.
The bellringing tours start at 11am, noon and 2pm.
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