Tarvin Church Bells

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Whether you like them or not, the Bells in St Andrew's Church, Tarvin have rung for 235 years, welcoming parishioners to worship on a Sunday, marking someone's passing, or celebrating a wedding.

They are also often rung by visiting ringers., but one tradition which has unfortunately died out is the Pancake Bell, which used to be rung every Shrove Tuesday at 11.00a.m "to remind housewives to mix their batter for their pancakes"

St Andrew's was one of forty Cheshire churches whose bells were cast by the well known bell-founders, Rudhall's of Gloucester, a company founded late in the 17th century, but ceased to trade in 1830..

The six Tarvin bells were cast in 1779, but the metal used may well have been considerably older, as Rudhalls frequently melted down old bells for manufacture of new ones. The total weight of the bells is 35.25 cwt (over one and three-quarter ton), with the smallest 27inches in diameter weighing 4.25 cwt, to the largest of diameter 37 inches, and weighing 9 cwt.

All the bells bear inscriptions, three being "Peace and good neighbourhood", "Fear God, Honour the King" and "Come at my call, and serve God all", whilst the other three mark the founder "Thos Rudhall," the church wardens of the day "John Blythe and Henry Briscoe" and the incumbent "The Rev Thos Dickenson".

The Bi-Centenary of the hanging of the six bells was marked in 1979 by a Flower Festival in St Andrew's Church, the theme of which was "The Fisherman's Peal", linking the bells with the church's Patron Saint St Andrew.

There is a dedicated team of bell ringers at St Andrew's, under the expert direction of Bell Tower captain Colin Haworth, but there is always a vacancy for anyone who is interested in taking up the art. Practices take place every Thursday at 8.00 p.m. and should you be interested in joining the team, contact Colin on 07584419348 or the Vicar on 01829 740354.

Ed: In old money, a hundredweight, or centrum weight (cwt), is 112 lbs or 50.80 kgs.
Anyone in favour of resurrecting the Pancake Bell?

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