Monthly Archives: October 2015

Blackburn Cathedral

The Cathedral Church of Saint Mary the Virgin

Blackburn Cathedral
Blackburn Cathedral

The west tower of Blackburn Cathedral holds a well-toned peal of ten bells cast in 1949 by John Taylor and Co of Loughborough. The tenor bell weighs 25 – 1 – 14 (just under 1.3 metric tonne) and the peal is tuned to the key of D major.

There have been bells on the site since at least 1552. It is documented that the Vicar and church wardens paid the sum of £26 12 shillings and 1 penny to the Royal Commission for the purchase of five bells for the old parish church of St Mary. Those bells were in use until circa 1690. In 1737 the metal from the five bells was melted down and used to make a ring of six bells. In 1832 those six bells were moved from the old parish church, demolished circa 1820, into the tower of the new Parish Church, designed by John Palmer and consecrated in 1826. Four extra bells were added around 1852 to make a ring of ten with the tenor weighing 15 cwt. 

The Parish Church was raised to a Cathedral in 1926, when the Dioceses of Blackburn was created. In 1949 the ten bells were melted down and the metal, with added metal, was used to make the current ring of ten bells which are still in use today.

About The Bells

Dedication: Cathedral Church of Saint Mary the Virgin
Bells: 10 bells. Tenor 25-1-14 (1.3 tonne) in D
Association: Lancashire Association / Blackburn Branch
Practice Night: Thursday 8pm to 9.30pm
Sunday Ringing: 09.50am to 10.30am
Address: Darwen Street, Blackburn. BB1 5AA

Contact us on Facebook:

Peals On The Bells

The Dean and Chapter encourage peals being rung on the bells and we always welcome enquiries. There is no fee for quarter peals and for a peal attempt there is a standard fee of £5 a rope. If you would like to book the bells then please let us know.

Most peals are rung on a Wednesday evening (with a 6pm start) and Sunday afternoons finishing with the bells rung down for the 4pm service.

How To Find The Cathedral

Recent changes (November 2015) in the one way system at the top end of Mincing Lane now require cars to turn left into King Street and then immediately right (Barton Street) and right again (Cardwell Place) to access Darwen Street via Astley Gate. If you are approaching from the west, Bank Top, then it is best to follow the road into Blackburn and carry straight on, when the roads turns right, into King Street. At the end of the one way section of King Street turn left into Barton Street and right into Cardwell Place to access Darwen Street via Astley Gate.

Find the Cathedral on Google Maps


When visiting the Cathedral the best places to park are:

  • on Darwen Street (pay and display) there are various bays in Darwen Street just down from the Market Street Lane junction and all the way down. Outside BBC Radio Lancashire is popular, but there are only a few spaces.
  • Saint Peter Street or Mill Lane (both pay and display)
  • During the week and a weekends there is a pay and display car park next to Fleming Square with the entrance at the top end of Mincing Lane. This car park charges £3 for 5 hours parking and it very close to the Cathedral.
  • I understand it is also possible to park at Morrisons for a small charge.

Since building work commenced in 2014 there is very limited parking available in the Cathedral grounds. You are politely requested not to park on the flags outside the west entrance.

For parking in the town centre I recommend the Visit Blackburn website. This provides details or car parks. There is a good quantity of on street parking available in Darwen Street and Saint Peter’s Street. Please check carefully as parking changes almost as often as the one way systems.

More About The Bells

The current bells were cast by John Taylor and Co of Loughborough and were installed in 1949. More details are shown below.

14-3-222' 3"F#In memory of W. E. Wilson, Ringer and Belfry Master 1887 - 1943. Also Edward Wilson 1933 - 1946. T. Wilson, Captain
25-1-162' 4 ½"EVivos voco, mortuos plango, fulgura frango (I call the living, I mourn the dead, I overpower the thunder)
35-3-82' 6"DLaudo Deum, plebum voco, congrego clerum, defunctos ploro, pestem fugo, festa decoro (I praise God, I call the people, I assemble the clergy, I lament the departed, I drive away the plague, I proclaim the feasts)
46-1-122' 7"C#Funera plango, fulgura frango, Sabbata pango (I tell funerals, I subdue the thunder, I declare the Sabbath)
57-0-252' 9"BExcito lentos, dissipo ventos, paco cruentos (I hasten the tardy, I scatter the winds, I pacify the angry)
68-1-62' 11"ANomen Jesu Christie, tu attendas er defendas (O name of Jesus Christ, turn Thou and succor us)
710-1-73' 2 ½"GTe laudamus et rogamus; nos a morte tristi (We praise thee and we pray; deliver us from sad death). 1949
812-1-223' 5"F#This belfry was restored and the clock, with chimes, renewed in 1949. T. Stirrup, J. W. Wilson, J. L. Heppard, V. J. Abbott, Churchwardens.
917-2-233' 10"EIn memory of those of this congregation and diocese who gave their lives in the war 1939-45.
1025-1-144' 4"DThis peal was recast and enlarged in 1949, while extensions to the Cathedral were being made. W. Hare, Treasurer, Cathedral Fabric Funds from 1934, and of the Bishopric in 1926.

Prior to 1949 the Cathedral had a ring of ten bells 15cwt in F. The back six were cast by Rudhall of Gloucester and four trebles were added in 1852 cast by Mears & Co of Whitechapel Bell Foundry, London.

Hear & See The Bells Ringing

I won’t do that again

Oh no! What have I done?

Oh no! What have I done?

Having recreated and I think improved my website by using WordPress I wanted to the remove the problem of now having both the old and new sites running. The new site (I’ll call it .uk) looks nicer and is so much easier to update than the old one (I’ll call that one I had created the new site inside a directory (/blog) of my old site and I had set my domain name to redirect to

A simple change to one setting. What could go wrong?

Hindsight is always good, but at 7am in the morning applying the same redirection to the domain sounded like a plan. Yes, I agree that there was the possibility that redirecting “” to “” involved recursion, but far more superior minds than mine created this stuff. It was 7.05am when I discovered that “ …” was indeed the result and it was 7.11am when I deleted the redirect. Which I thought would return things to how they were before I started.

Unfortunately not to be the case. Neither domain names, .uk and, were pointing at anything of use. I had to call 123-reg technical support, fine people they are too, who spotted almost immediately that in the process of creating the forward I had changed the DNS Address Record (A record) in my hosting table so my primary domain,, was no longer pointing at my web hosting. A quick fix was to correct the A record – the fix took 2 minutes but it took a further 3 hours to propagate fully around the Internet.

Free Parking for homeless domains.

Free Parking for homeless domains.

I discovered afterwards that the correct solution was to copy two files from “/blog” to “/” and change a setting in the WordPress control panel. Job done in 30 seconds and now both URLs point to the same web site.

Peal 866

Non Association
Farnworth and Kearsley, Greater Manchester
St John
Friday, 23 October 2015 in 2h42 (12–1–8 in G)
5,088 Cambridge Surprise Major
Composed by J. Carter & J. Brannan

  1. Raymond A Hutchings
  2. Jane Owen
  3. Peter C Randall
  4. Derek J Thomas
  5. Gail L Randall
  6. James E Andrews
  7. Peter G Bellamy-Knights
  8. Jeffrey Brannan (C)

40 years ago, on Friday 24th October, 1975 a “peal” of 5088 Cambridge S. Major composed by John Carter was rung at this tower. Some 7 years later the composition was found to be false and the “peal” had to be withdrawn. Tonight matters have been put right with a true version of Carter’s composition, which only differs in the final 3 courses, being successfully rung. Some interesting statistics:- same ringer on 4th, same ringer on 8th, same conductor and the same time as 40 years ago!

The Ringing World January 1976

The Ringing World January 1976

The Ringing World January 1988

The Ringing World January 1988

Shaun in Bristol – Day 3

Unlike yesterday, today was more of a driving day to mop up the last 10 Shauns. I always found driving around Bristol a little on the stressful side: the roads are narrow, the hills are steep and there are cars parked on both sides of the road. However, I’m pleased to say the day past without incident and we managed to “grab” the last 10 Shauns.

Sparkle the Unicorn

Sparkle the Unicorn

Sparkle the Unicorn was our last one.

Image of the Shaun Trophy Award

The Ultimate Shepherd.


Shauns today: 10

Shauns this weekend: 60

Total Shauns: 120 ex 120.

Branch Outing 2015

The 2015 joint Preston and Blackburn Branches was on October 10th. Here are some of my pictures from the four towers I visited. There were two additional towers that I didn’t visit. Todmorden Unitarian and Todmorden Saint Mary.

Skip ton in Craven, Holy Trinity

Skipton in Craven, Holy Trinity

Kildwick, Saint Andrews.

Kildwick, Saint Andrews.

Keighley. Saint Andrew's

Keighley. Saint Andrew’s

Haworth. Saint Michael & All Angels

Haworth. Saint Michael & All Angels

Quarter 346

Lancashire Association
Blackburn, Lancashire
Cathedral Church of St Mary the Virgin
Thursday, 8 October 2015 (8–1–6 in A)
1,260 Plain Bob Doubles

  1. Janet Stockton
  2. Raymond A Hutchings (C)
  3. Ian Fowler
  4. Gary Wignall
  5. Graham Barnes
  6. Bruce Kitchin

Rung on the front six. First Quarter Peal: 6. 100th Quarter Peal as conductor: 2.