Author Archives: Ray Hutchings

Yarkhill, St John Baptist

Yarkhill church, Hereford. Bells cast in 2011 by Whitechapel Bell Foundry Ltd

Fabian Steadman, sometimes referred to as “The Father of Change Ringing” was born in the village of Yarkhill and was baptised in the church on 7th December 1640. His father, Francis, was rector at St John’s between 1625 and 1671. It was during that time that a ring of four bells was installed in the tower. A new light ring of eight was installed in 2011 with the bells cast by Whitechapel Bell Foundry Ltd. The tenor bell weighs 228 kg and the ring is tuned to D. There have been discussions about hanging the old ring of four so they can be sounded again. But at the moment, no concrete plans have been made public. The lightest three of the bells were cast in 1671 by John II Martin. The fourth bell, the tenor, was cast in 1636 by John Finch.

Hoghton, Holy Trinity

Hoghton, Lancs, Holy Trinity. 8 bells 13-0-14 in G.

The bells

Holy Trinity has a ring of eight bells cast in 1886 by Mears & Stainbank. The tenor bell weighs around 13 cwt and the ring is in the key of G. There is also a 1 cwt service bell.

Getting there

There is a small car park to the west of the church. This is normally kept locked shut.

Preston Minster

Preston Minster

The Bells

The Minster Church of St John Evangelist has a ring of twelve bells with the tenor bell weighing 881 kg and tuned to the key of F. The back eight bells were cast in 1920 by Mears & Stainbank and were originally hung in Holy Trinity, Bolton. The ring was augmented to ten in 1997, when the back eight were installed to replace the previous ring, with the addition of two treble bells cast by Whitechapel Bell Foundry Ltd. Two further bells were added in 2003, also cast by Whitechapel Bell Foundry Ltd, to form the current ring of twelve.

About the Bells

Dedication: Minster Church of St John Evangelist
Bells: 12 bells. Tenor 17-1-10 (881 kg) in F
Association: Lancashire Association / Preston Branch
Practice Night: Tuesday 7.45 pm to 9.15 pm
Sunday Ringing: 9 am to 9.30 am
Address: Church Street, Preston. PR1 3BT

Getting There

There is a small area for parking cars on the south side of the Minster which can be accessed from Rose Street.


Heptonstall, Saint Thomas the Apostle

Saint Thomas the Apostle, Heptonstall. 8 bells; 18-1-3 in E. 1929 by John Taylor & Co.

The Bells

The Church of St Thomas the Apostle in Heptonstall posses an excellent ring of eight bells. The bells were cast in 1912 by John Taylor & Co. of Loughborough. The tenor bell weighs 929 kg and the ring is in the key of E.

I rang my 1,000 peal (5,040 changes of Ruby Alliance Major) here on October 29th 2018.

Getting There

Radcliffe, Saint Mary

The Bells

Radcliffe Parish Church possess an impressive sounding peal of 8 Taylor bells, cast in 1923. The ring is in the key of F♯ and the tenor bell weights 765 kg.

About The Bells

Dedication: Saint Mary
Bells: 8 bells. Tenor 15-0-6 (765 kg) in F♯
Association: Lancashire Association / Rossendale Branch
Practice Night: Monday. 7.30 pm to 9 pm
Sunday Ringing: Not Known
Address: Church Green, Radcliffe, Manchester. M26 2QA

Getting There

There is a convenient (free) car park off Church Green to the north east of the Church, very close to the entrance to the Church grounds.

500 Together

Peal 1,014

Lancashire Association
Worsley, Greater Manchester
St Mark
Friday, 4 January 2019 in 3h 13 (24–0–7 in D)
5,040 Nideggen Surprise Royal
Composed by T W Griffiths

  1. James E Andrews
  2. Anne C Orme
  3. Carol A Marchbank
  4. Gail L Randall
  5. Nina E Brannan
  6. Peter C Randall (C)
  7. Raymond A Hutchings
  8. Derek J Thomas
  9. Peter L Furniss
  10. Trevor W Marchbank

[500th peal together: 6 & 7.]

Peal 1,000

My first peal was in November 1976 and my 1,000th peal was in October 2018. My thanks to everyone who helped me reach my 1,000th peal. It has been my ambition since the early 1980s.

Peal 1

Kent County Association
Minster (Sheppey), Kent
St Mary and St Sexburga
Friday, 4th November 1976 in 3h 04 (10–2–0 in G)
5,760 Plain Bob Minor
1 x 2,160 and 5 x 720 each called differently

  1. Christopher I Pearson
  2. Julie A Gardner
  3. Neil K Moring
  4. Howard Gardner
  5. Raymond A Hutchings
  6. Phillip R J Barnes (C)

First peal: 1, 2, 3 and 5
Longest length: 4 & 6
First peal as conductor: 6

Peal 1,000

Lancashire Association
Heptonstall, West Yorkshire
St Thomas the Apostle
Monday, 29 October 2018 in 3h 2 (18–1–3)
5,040 Ruby Alliance Major
Composed by Ian Butters (no 737)

  1. Lee Pinnington
  2. D Robert Pettifor
  3. Pauline Campling
  4. James E Andrews
  5. Andrew J Rawlinson
  6. Raymond A Hutchings
  7. Derek J Thomas
  8. George H Campling (C)

1,000th peal: 6

Rung to celebrate George and Pauline’s 40th Wedding Anniversary

Whitworth, Saint Bartholomew

About the Church

Saint Bartholomew’s Church, Whitworth near Rochdale

The Church of Saint Bartholomew, Whitworth has a ring of eight bells cast by John Taylor and Co. in 1910. The ring is in the key of F with the tenor bell weighing 801 kg.



One of many grotesques at Whitworth Church.


Access and Parking

Access to the small car park in front of the Church is via Whitworth Rake.